The temporal and the temporary. Time, collaboration and architecture in post-quake Christchurch
This paper will look at an apparent tension between master plans that envision cities as finished objects and temporary projects that form in response to more immediate issues and concerns. In the five years since the large earthquake that struck Christchurch on February 22, 2011, a huge array of interventions, planning decisions, and design proposals have been made -affecting the lives of thousands of people and costing many billions of dollars. These actions are almost always separated into temporal categories of the short-term and the long-term; temporary and the permanent. In this categorisation there is a strange paradox in which the more concrete short-term actions are characterised as ephemeral and the paper ideas of the long-term more real.
The relationship between two forms is complex. Temporary and permanent forms of city-making can be complementary or in conflict - and sometimes both at the same time. Temporary projects can act as stepping-stones to a “finished” city, they can subvert and undermine the long-term plans, and they can support some aspects while undermining others.
The creation of a master plan in Christchurch – 18 months after the earthquakes – will be compared and contrasted with the making of a large temporary project called the Pallet Pavilion. Notions of public engagement strategies, finishing, and risk management will be articulated and used to illustrate how different the modes of temporary and permanent design operate in relation to the construction of the contemporary city.
Concepts from actor network theory will be used to describe the temporary and permanent forms of city-making and different associate types of collaboration. It is argued that the conception and planning of a new city and the design and construction of temporary amenities produce different experiences of time, and different forms of temporality. The authors are PhD candidates researching the role of temporary architecture in contemporary urban settings - this paper reflects on research findings from post-quake Christchurch.
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