Creative spaces: The application of arts and crafts in contemporary architecture

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McNab, Adele
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Master of Architecture (Professional)
Unitec Institute of Technology
Austin, Michael
Masters Thesis
Ngā Upoko Tukutuku (Māori subject headings)
arts centre design
Arts and Crafts Movement
private and public space
ANZSRC Field of Research Code (2020)
McNab, A. (2010). Creative spaces: The application of arts and crafts in contemporary architecture. (Unpublished document submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Architecture (Professional)). Unitec Institute of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand. Retrieved from
This research project is concerned with the design of Creative Spaces, an arts centre for urban dwellers. Urban life can be complex, disjunctive and isolating, and as a result our generation relies on "quick fixes" for instant gratification, "retail therapy" or spa treatments are just two examples of this phenomenon. The knowledge and skill of making on the other hand has been lost and with it the rewarding feeling of achievement, that is gained due to activity and company. Furthermore, shop and art gallery designs aim at accommodation of the art object and focus on the sales process. The incorporation of the customers curiosity on how the object has been crafted is not provided neither is the possibility of his/her participation. As a consequence the artist studio is mostly hidden from view. This project will analyse and discuss how the nineteenth century Arts & Crafts Movement theories and contemplate whether or not an application of those theories can positively influence contemporary architecture in the design of Creative Spaces. This idea will work hand in hand with the function of the projected building which aims at infusing arts and crafts into an urban context, thereby providing dynamic activities for the long term benefits of the community. To finally dissolve the boundary between private and public space will be a fundamental part of both, this thesis and the projected architectural plan. What makes the architectural solution of Creative Spaces so successful is that it can encourage the local community to integrate the arts and crafts programmes into their busy daily lives.
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