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CityUps – Christchurch as the city of the future

Studio Christchurch's CityUps for FESTA 2014. Image courtesy of OML and Studio Christchurch.

CityUps – Christchurch as the city of the future

On 25 October, the people of Christchurch can be part of the city of the future – both physical and virtual – imagined and created by the next generation of architects. Over 250 New Zealand architecture students will transform two blocks of Christchurch’s central city during Labour Weekend with towering physical installations and a futuristic digital city in an event called CityUps.

CityUps is this year’s headline event at Christchurch’s annual Festival of Transitional Architecture (FESTA). FESTA, which celebrates creative and collective city-making, presents ‘The future will be live’ for its 2014 edition. Over the course of Labour Weekend, alternative futures are explored through a myriad of projects, activities and events throughout the central city, which return life and energy to Christchurch's heart.

The public is invited to come into the centre on October 25 to experience the students’ version of future Christchurch. Led by Studio Christchurch, they are creating an elevated future city where 10 metre high frames support spectacular installations.

This future vision includes buzzing city spaces where pop-up cafes, markets, bars and performance spaces operate. It is expanded upon with an immersive digital world. A special digital app, CityUps+ developed by HIT Lab NZ, open up a virtual future Christchurch designed by architects from across the globe.

To create this digital world of up to 100 designs, Studio Christchurch is calling for submissions to its augmented reality competition, CityUps+. The ten best submissions will be awarded an ‘avatar for a night’, and through their avatar’s viewing platform, the winners will be able to participate in CityUps with the people of Christchurch, no matter where they are located in the world.

CityUps will be live for one night only on the 25th of October.


For more information on CityUps+ and to enter the competition, please visit:

To read more about FESTA, please visit

• After a devastating earthquake on 22 February 2011 and the swarm of seismic events that followed, approximately 80% of inner city Christchurch has been demolished
• FESTA responds to the extraordinary circumstances and possibilities inherent in this by bringing life to the city through creative urban renewal on a large scale
• FESTA is the first and only festival of its kind in the world
• Previous headline events include LUXCITY, where over 20 000 people poured into Christchurch’s centre for FESTA 2012 to experience a city made from light for one night, and Free Theatre’s Canterbury Tales carnival and procession (complete with three metre high puppets) as part of FESTA 2013.
• Studio Christchurch is leading the CityUps event. Studio Christchurch is a collaborative Christchurch based research and design platform for architecture and related disciplines. The vision of an exemplary Christchurch rebuild is seen as a shared opportunity to bring together tertiary institutions, local industries, the profession and governmental bodies
• The students involved in CityUps, come from the School of Architecture and Planning at The University of Auckland, CPIT’s School of Architectural Studies, Unitec Architecture Department, and Elam School of Fine Arts, The University of Auckland
• Architects and designers from Christchurch, nationally and all over the world are invited to create outrageous future visions of architecture for CityUps+

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