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‘The Future Will Be Live’ Labour Weekend in Christchurch

Festival of Transitional Architecture presents ‘The Future Will Be Live’ this Labour Weekend in Christchurch.

A glowing city made of jelly, a virtual performance in an ambient architectural space, water calligraphy workshops and a live, large-scale elevated city with a digital dimension are just some of diverse range of ‘live’ future scenarios open to people of all ages at this year’s Festival of Transitional Architecture (FESTA).

The free, urban-scale festival invites the public to return to the central city and celebrate collective and creative city-making with their exciting 2014 programme for this Labour Weekend (24-27 October), ‘The Future Will Be Live’. FESTA 2014 explores alternative futures through a myriad of activities and events that take place throughout the central city and return life to Christchurch’s heart.

There are over 30 events to participate in, which range from transitional vacant space projects, to immersive futuristic installations, sustainable projects and hands-on workshops. Children can create a colourful, wobbly city made out of jelly at the hands-on Jelloucity family activity. For those who prefer lively discussions, Speakers’ Corner should not be missed. A range of national and international participants from the International Congress on Adaptive Urbanism (held in the lead up to FESTA) talk about city-making and invite questions from the public.

Art lovers and the curious can experience a virtual performance in an ambient architectural space at Dematerialization (brought to the festival by three Melbourne architecture graduates) or the Plant Gang’s immersive installation The Present State– a verdant space filled with the recordings of foraging adventures throughout the city. Poetica’s Emerge project involves a line of poetry floating in the Avon, and artist-led water calligraphy sessions accompany the installation. In terms of sustainability, the public can explore the central city with Signs of Things to Come, where wayfaring signs compare the current and future potential of transport in Christchurch in a joint project by Generation Zero and design practice Diadem.

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On 25 October, people in Christchurch can be part of the city of the future – both physical and virtual – imagined and created by the next generation of architects. CityUps, this year’s headline event, is live for one night only. Led by Studio Christchurch, over 250 architecture students transform two blocks of Christchurch’s central city with towering physical installations and a futuristic digital city. Beneath their outrageous designs are buzzing city spaces, where a night market, dance hall, street games, community bike workshop and much more operate.

A wide range of organisations, performers, artists, architects, citizens and local businesses has collectively created this year’s programme. Make sure you come into the city for FESTA 2014: The Future Will Be Live and help to give Christchurch a dense, exciting street life.



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Speakers’ Corner gathers citizens, architects, urbanists, developers and government officials from the Adaptive Urbanism Congress (held in the lead up to FESTA), and from Christchurch, to speak about how flexible and temporary spaces are becoming increasingly important in the creation of cities. Timothy Moore from the University of Melbourne is the MC for this public discussion. Ryan Reynolds and Jessica Halliday are available for interview.

FESTA is excited that Melbourne architecture graduates Patrick Hegarty, Madeline Sewall & Jayden Kenny have brought Dematerialization to Christchurch for Labour Weekend. They have designed a vertical timber corridor that orientates the audience towards a screen, projecting a performance recorded in Melbourne at one-to-one scale. When the projection mirrors the space inhabited by the audience, the screen becomes a portal into the virtual environment.

Studio Christchurch is leading the headline 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


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.

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