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Kauri Lounge - Ellen Melville Centre Conservation Week

Kauri Lounge - Ellen Melville Centre Conservation Week

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  • Mon 17 Sep ’18, 9:00am – 5:00pm
  • Tue 18 Sep ’18, 9:00am – 5:00pm
  • Wed 19 Sep ’18, 9:00am – 5:00pm
  • Thu 20 Sep ’18, 9:00am – 5:00pm
  • Fri 21 Sep ’18, 9:00am – 2:00pm


Ellen Melville Centre, Cnr High St & Freyberg Plce, Auckland CBD


All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • Free Admission


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Students Create Virtual Kauri Forest in Auckland’s Central City as part of Conservation Week.

Design students from Auckland’s Media Design School (MDS) have partnered with Ellen Melville Centre to create an ‘urban forest’ installation at Ellen Melville Centre (EMC) from Monday 17 – Friday 21 September, as part of a series of Conservation Week activations.

The installation, titled ‘Kauri Lounge’, will be set up in the Helen Clark Room, and uses a combination of projections, sculptures and sound effects to simulate a New Zealand bush setting in and around the existing lounge seating.

Throughout Conservation Week the Ellen Melville Centre will also play host to a series of talks and school visits intended to raise awareness of kauri dieback disease, an issue that is especially pertinent in light of the recent closure of Auckland’s Waitakere Ranges.

Students, Donald Mavunga, Sameera Khan, Mitchell Starns, Jaromme Lawn, Adam Small and Andrew Eiserman, are in the second year of their Bachelors of Media Design at MDS, specialising in Interactive Design and UX.

They were briefed by the centre’s management Ateesh Patel and Leesa Tilley to create “an activation of the community space for people to experience the sights and sounds of a forest in the heart of central Auckland and learn a little about kauri dieback disease and the native forest that we cherish so much.”

After an extensive planning and prototyping period, the group reached a final concept that would enable them to transform the space and educate the public, without impacting functionality.

“We’re looking to create an inviting experience, but also inform (the general public) on the epidemic throughout our kauri. Kauri dieback disease is a critical issue to our environment’s ecology and we have been presented the opportunity to bring more awareness to the situation,” says student Donald Mavunga of the project.

Adam Small adds, “The kauri dieback project at the Ellen Melville Centre has been a great learning experience, from dealing with a client to tackling the issue, and spreading the importance of the kauri tree and awareness of the disease that is unfortunately wiping these trees out.”

Speaker Timetable – (All sessions are held from 12-1pm in the Helen Clark Room):
- Mon 17/9: Dr Mels Barton (Kauri Rescue): Citizen Science and a community treatment trial
- Tues 18/9: Dr Cate Macinnis-Ng (Auckland University): Climate change and its impact on kauri
- Wed 19/9: Chris McBride and Ariane Craig-Smith (The Kauri Project): Using art as a language for raising awareness and promoting understanding of kauri dieback disease
- Thurs 20/9: Jeanie Allport, (Auckland Council): A Controlled Area Notice: what this means, how it’s working
- Fri 21/9: Dr Nick Waipara, (Plant and Food Research): A bio history of kauri dieback in New Zealand

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