Peter McPherson
Annabel C. Pretty


Design is considered one of the most important parts of an architectural education.  Much emphasis is placed upon the Design Studio within a School of Architecture, yet in the traditional tutor/student model how much opportunity is there for the student to understand the process of designing when emulation forms the heart of the learning?
This paper reflects upon a series of large scale fabrication projects offered to students from 2012-2014 in Christchurch, New Zealand, under the umbrella of FESTA.  These projects challenged the students to confront a series of ‘firsts’; to work collaboratively, to present themselves professionally, to navigate regulatory bodies, to engage with a client, and to realise a project at full, one to one, scale.
These projects tend to exist without a specific precedent for students to draw upon, as would be usual when designing one of any number a normal building typology.  This forces students into a space of discovery, one where a design can change for any multitude of reasons.  Students are moved from the usual Design Studio experience of problem solving to one where the situation is uncertain and problematic, to a space of problem setting.


How to Cite
McPherson, P. and Pretty, A. C. (2017) “Re-solved. Iterating design solutions by understanding failure”, The Journal of Public Space, 2(3), pp. 167–176. doi: 10.5204/jps.v2i3.125.
Chapter III
Author Biographies

Peter McPherson, Unitec Institute of Technology, School of Architecture

Peter McPherson has been with Unitec since 2010 as a member of academic staff in the Department of Architecture.  Projects involving the realisation of a built outcome have formed a central part of Peter’s teaching approach and he co-ordinated large scale fabrication projects LuxCity and CityUps.  His areas of research include digital technology in design and approaches to the teaching of design.  
Peter arrived at Unitec after several years working at Foster+Partners in London, England.  Experiences in London included working on a range of projects including masterplans, supertall towers, luxury resorts and various civic, office and apartment buildings across a number parts of the globe.  This experience highlighted the importance of a research based, interdisciplinary approach to architecture.

Annabel C. Pretty, Unitec Institute of Technology, School of Architecture

Annabel Pretty is Academic Leader for Master of Architecture (Professional)  & Senior Lecturer within Architecture (Architecture, Interior Design, Landscape Architecture) at the Unitec Institute of Technology. A mobile architectural photographer, designer and writer who teaches second year studio within the Bachelor of Architecture programme as well as supervising Masters of Architecture (Prof) students. Formerly an Associate Head of Design School. Her current research interests lay in, representation of Architecture, live studio projects, design methodologies, e-learning technologies, and innovation within the wider Design and Architecture field. Elected twice as New Zealand’s Executive board member for Cumulus Association; the only global association to serve art, architecture and design education and research, and is a forum for partnership and transfer of knowledge and best practices. Cumulus consists currently of 257 members from 54 countries.