Huri Te Ao Hoahoanga - School of Future Environments
Aotearoa New Zealand
  PhD, BDes (Int Arch).  Author of Regenerative Urban Design and Ecosystem Biomimicry  
Auckland University of Technology

Te Wānanga Aronui O Tāmaki Makaurau

Dr Maibritt Pedersen Zari 


Associate Professor

Research Led Teaching and Supervision

I teach in the Interior Architecture and Architecture design studios and in the Sustainable Architecture and Sustainable Engineering Building Science streams at the undergraduate level at Victoria University of Wellington's School of Architecture . I also supervise Masters students in the Ecologies Design Lab in the School of Architecture and supervise several PhD students.


This journal paper discusses some of my teaching philosophy ideas in relation to sustainability and gives examples of student projects and work (see page 6). Other examples of student work from my sustainability courses can be found here. Some students were invited to be interviewed on the National 'Good Morning' television programme to discuss work produced in one of my courses. A clip of the show can be found here.


My teaching in the area of sustainability encourages students to see buildings as parts of wider systems including physical, cultural and climatic contexts over time rather than as separate and disconnected units. Students are encouraged to engage in projects that explore how they could create or participate in new and retrofitted existing built environments that are potentially regenerative (able to produce beneficial ecological and social results), rather than to focus on simply reducing negative environmental impacts or adding technologies to buildings. My understanding of sustainability is that issues of social and community wellbeing are indivisible aspects of ecological health and that the two are intertwined.

 

As part of my on-going research, biomimicry in a built environment context is a focus of some of my teaching. Students are encouraged to learn about how ecosystems work to make changes to an overall building system before engaging with organism level biomimicry.


I run the Biophilic Design Studio Stream at 4th year level for Architecture and Interior Architecture students. In 2019 and 2020 we worked on developing an architectural inner city green belt for Wellington City.


In the Interior Architecture programme I have taught both second year and third year studio courses. Students are asked to take a critical thinking approach to design and through the projects set are tasked with engaging in a variety of social and ecological issues. Examples of projects include temporary and portable designs for climate refugees or people recovering from natural disasters. I taught the Retail Architecture course where students engage with contemporary responses to the marketplace including pop-up stores, exhibition and traveling projects, through to traditional fixed shop design. This studio is combined with a technology stream in sustainability where students are encouraged to integrate issues of ecological and community health into their designs.

 

A research stream for me is understanding the architectural and urban responses to historic and contemporary cultural contexts of various parts of Asia, specifically Tibet, Mongolia, Nepal, and Northern India. In 2011 and again in I led a group of 32 students from across the faculty to Tibet and Nepal for a 6 week international field trip. I also led a group of 23 students to China, Tibet and India for 5 weeks at the end of 2015.

 

Student work, Sustainable Architecture

  • Jenneke Kurtz, 2012
    Jenneke Kurtz, 2012
  • Ivy Llanera, 2012
    Ivy Llanera, 2012
  • Ivy Llanera, 2012
    Ivy Llanera, 2012
  • Ethan Duff, 2012
    Ethan Duff, 2012
  • Ethan Duff, 2012
    Ethan Duff, 2012
  • Caitlin Wilson, 2012
    Caitlin Wilson, 2012
  • Natacha Sanguinetti, 2012
    Natacha Sanguinetti, 2012
  • Natacha Sanguinetti, 2012
    Natacha Sanguinetti, 2012
  • Robert Paulin, 2012
    Robert Paulin, 2012
  • Robert Paulin, 2012
    Robert Paulin, 2012
Jenneke Kurtz, 2012
Jenneke Kurtz, 2012

Student work, Tibet and Nepal Trip

Student work by: Thomas Strange, Laura Green, Anneke Prins, Zoe Glasson, Nicholas Dunning, Milly Howey.

Postgraduate Supervision

  • 2015 - 2020: Co-coordinator and founder of the Ecologies Design Lab (Master of Architecture, Master of Interior Architecture, and Master of Landscape Design programmes, VUW). 
  • 2020 - ongoing: Co-coordinator and founder of Te Ātea: Spatial Justice Co-design Lab (Master of Architecture, Master of Interior Architecture, and Master of Landscape Design programmes, VUW)


PhD completions (2):


Current PhD supervisions (7): 

  • Supervisor to 4 VUW PhD students
  • Supervisor to 2 external PhD students (Utrecht University, Netherlands; Natural History Museum, France)


Masters completions (23):

  • Supervisor to 5 VUW Master of Architecture (prof) students

Honors thesis supervision:
  • 2008 - 2010: Supervisor of 8 honors (4th year) students to completion and production of theses / research rep.

International Internship Supervision / Collaboration 

  • 2020: F. Delpy, Master of Bio-inspired Design, Department of Biology, Utrecht University, Netherlands (6 months). Urban Ecosystem Services Tools for Designers in Oceania project.
  • 2020: R. MacKinnon, Master of Bio-inspired Design, Department of Biology, Utrecht University, Netherlands (6 months). Urgent Biophilia project.
  • 2018/19 K. Hecht, Master of Bio-inspired Design, Department of Biology, Utrecht University, Netherlands (6 months). Strategies for designing urban ecosystem services map project.
  • 2018 M. Poulsen, PhD Fellow, Department of Architecture, Aalborg University, Denmark (2 months). New Zealand and Danish climate adaptive architecture project.
  • 2016 E. Cruz, Civil Engineering, University of Centrale Lyon, France (3 months). Biophilic map of Wellington project.