Design Considerations

“Universal Design is a holistic design philosophy that aims to create environments, products, learning and education programmes and systems that can be used by as many people as possible. In other words, it makes things more accessible, safer, and convenient for everyone regardless of age and ability.”

Ministry for the Environment (2005) Urban Design Protocol: The value of public buildings such as libraries is emphasised in the Urban Design Protocol (which Christchurch City Council is a signatory to): they protect the cultural identity and heritage of our towns and cities; provide creativity; and add social, environmental and cultural benefits by creating well connected, inclusive and
accessible places.
“the basis for our distinctive identity comes from the identities, histories, narratives and aspirations of the tangata whenua of the lands the city has been built upon.”
“Matapopore is the mana whenua voice in recovery and is responsible for ensuring Ngāi Tūāhuriri/Ngāi Tahu values, aspirations and narratives are realised within the recovery of Christchurch. Matapopore do this by bringing together teams of Ngāi Tūāhuriri and Ngāi Tahu experts in natural heritage, mahinga kai, te reo Maori, whakapapa, urban design, art, architecture, landscape architecture, weaving and traditional arts to work alongside central and local government.”

Māori Culture: Te Pae Māhutonga
“Te Pae Māhutonga is the name for the constellation of stars popularly referred to as the Southern Cross. The constellation is used as a symbolic model by Professor Sir Mason Durie for bringing together the significant components of health promotion, as they apply to Māori health as well as to other New Zealanders. The four central stars can be used to represent the four key tasks of health promotion and reflect particular goals: Mauriora (Cultural identity), Waiora (Environmental protection), Toiora (Healthy lifestyles), Te Oranga (Participation in society). The two pointers are Ngā Manukura (Leadership) and Te Mana Whakahaere (Autonomy) and represent two pre-requisites for effectiveness, namely leadership and autonomy.”

Māori Culture: Te Whare Tapa Whā
“Te Whare Tapa Whā was developed by leading Māori health advocate Sir Mason Durie in 1984. The model describes health and wellbeing (hauora) as a wharenui/meeting house with four walls. These walls represent taha wairua/spiritual wellbeing, taha hinengaro/mental and emotional wellbeing, taha tinana/physical wellbeing and taha whānau/family and social wellbeing.
Our connection with the whenua/land forms the foundation. When all these things are in balance, we thrive. When one or more of these is out of balance our wellbeing is impacted.”

Māori Culture: Whakairo (Carving)
“Whakairo: The art of Māori carvings in wood, bone, or stone have unique designs and special meanings. Rather than purely being decorative, whakairo (Māori carvings) each give a unique narrative. The stories passed down through generations explain cultural traditions and tribal history. Māori carvings are rich in symbolism and use common patterns, though styles differ between tribes.
The art of wood carving is called whakairo rakau and focuses on using a range of native timbers, particularly wood from the majestic giants of the forest, the kauri and totara. Each carving tells a story and records a piece of history.”

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) & Sensory Processing
– “Acoustics, lighting, spatial configuration and materials are essential in quality design. By understanding all human experience through research, we can create better spaces and serve all who inhabit.”
– “Architecture can address the needs of occupants with ASD. That is because buildings accommodate the needs of their occupants through spatial configuration, acoustics, lighting, temperature, air quality, furnishings and finishes. A common hypothesis in the literature is that modulating these features of the physical environment can help all occupants relax and focus.”
– “Spatial Configuration: The need for personal space varies in different cultures, and between individuals. Those with ASD may also have different needs for personal space – or proxemics (Sanchez et al., 2011)…The resulting feeling of enclosure is fundamental to perception of safety and control. Together with the number of people in a space, enclosure sets limits for inhabitants’ personal space. Therefore, larger spaces offer meaningful options for people with ASD in achieving comfort.”
– “Acoustics: Sound perception occurs in numerous ways. For indoor environments, considerations include background noise (e.g. mechanical equipment) and distracting sounds (e.g. a ringing phone). Reverberation time also relates to the perception of how ‘live’ or ‘dead’ a room feels.”
– “Lighting: For community health, facilities should provide access to sunlight – both through quality daylight design indoors and by making outdoor spaces available to inhabitants.”
– “Thermal Comfort: Strategies for improving comfort include varying temperature set points for different spaces, providing ceiling fans, providing operable windows, and giving occupants control of these amenities.”
– “Materials: Finishes and furniture represent a small portion of most construction budgets, but have an enormous impact on indoor environmental quality. Bookshelves, workstations and seating are examples of furnishings that define the size and privacy of spaces.
Because of the importance of these dimensions for people with ASD, movable furniture is better than built-in furniture.”
– “Safety: Because behavior for [some] individuals with ASD can be unpredictable, a robust physical environment is desirable. Appropriate levels of risk can be incorporated into spaces while eliminating likely hazards.”

“Most of us take painting a room in our home as a simple weekend project. But for parents whose children are on the Autism Spectrum, painting a room can present a world of challenges.”
“Some research has shown that almost 85% of children with ASD see colors with greater intensity than non-autistic children. Therefore is important to choose not only the right color but to limit the intensity of the shade.”

“Biophilic design is a concept used within the building industry to increase occupant connectivity to the natural environment through the use of direct nature, indirect nature, and space and place conditions…it is argued that this idea has health,
environmental, and economic benefits for building occupants and urban environments.”
“Indirect experience refers to contact with images and or representations of nature.”
“The experience of space and place uses spatial relationships to enhance well-being.”

Environmental & Sustainable
“Environmental design is the process of addressing surrounding environmental parameters when devising plans, programs, policies, buildings, or products. It seeks to create spaces that will enhance the natural, social, cultural and physical environment of particular areas…Environmental design can also encompass interdisciplinary areas such as historical preservation and lighting design.”
“‘eliminate negative environmental impact completely through skillful, sensitive design’…renewable resources and innovation to impact the environment minimally, and connect people with the natural environment.”