The concept of place in relation to location, time, living patterns, and sustainability is of relevance to this research. Otatara site in Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand has a strong historic, cultural, and spiritual association with local indigenous Māori. In 1975, an arts programme was established there as an attempt to connect knowledge with tradition to produce optimal outcomes for both nature and culture. Although the arts programme has since moved away from that site, the cultural and social associations with the programme are still there. The only building left on the original Otatara site will be refurbished to become a demonstration facility for showcasing sustainable building design and technologies. It will also act as an educational tool for promoting behaviour and values that support sustainability. This paper will describe the development of the research model, which includes both interpretive and qualitative strategies. These will be adopted to uncover the complex factors that will help to explain the social and cultural influence in an explorative approach. The research, which is now underway, is a case study, which involves creating, monitoring and using a sustainable building and conducting a series of interviews with those involved in this process to understand the influence of the social and cultural contextual dimensions on sustainable buildings. The paper will report some initial findings.
|Keywords:||Social and Cultural Dimensions, Demonstration Project, Indigenous Culture, Sustainable Building|
Senior Lecturer, Idea School, Arts and Thinking, Eastern Institute of Technology, Napier, New Zealand