Thomas Collins | William Chick Kupe Leadership Scholar

Master of Architecture (Professional)

If architecture hopes to remain relevant in the 21st century then it cannot continue to treat itself as an autonomous discipline. No longer can our planet and societies sustain uncritical worship of market-driven luxury and a built environment that reinforces anthropocentric consumption.

Contrary to common professional practices, it is critical that the social and political consequences of architecture precede the object of architecture. Only by accepting accountability for their agency can architects begin to address pressing problems such as climate change and class struggle.

As a leader and in my own research I am excited to explore and promote alternative models of architectural practice based on the belief that a building is not always the best solution to a spatial problem. Through activism, community-building, discussion, pedagogy, policy and participation I believe that building users and architects can be empowered to create an egalitarian built environment that will serve Aotearoa for generations to come.

Sponsor: William Chick Trust

Mentor: Pip Cheshire Gold Medal-winning architect; former President of the NZ Institute of Architects; Distinguished Alumnus of the University of Auckland and Professor Deidre Brown; Head of School of Architecture and Planning, The University of Auckland, art historian and author.