Surface built : making the New Zealand home : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Masters of Design in Spatial Design at Massey University, Wellington, New Zealand

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Massey University
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The potential for prefabrication has been sidelined by the process of the design>build>do-it-yourself model of building, maintaining and updating houses in New Zealand. Working from an industrial design perspective this research charts the possibility of a shift in home construction from site building towards factory-manufacture. Mindful of New Zealand’s creative, do-it-yourself heritage and personal rituals of homemaking, this study explores domestic ritual and the iterative nature of amateur home alterations. Just as we have the right to alter our own body’s surfaces so too should the homeowner have the ability to alter the surfaces and services they own and with which they interact. Flanked by the design-to-manufacture model promoted by industrial design and the emphasis on inhabiting and rearranging the home from spatial design a hybrid notion of housing design and production is put forward. Suggesting a product that deals affordably with the home’s surfaces and services, within the customs of daily and seasonal acts of maintenance in the home, offers an area of prefabrication that seems attainable for New Zealand interior.
House prefabrication, Housing design and production