This thesis investigates how the strategies used by mass media and advertising can be appropriated to generate architectural material that reflects preoccupation with media representation in architecture, and responds to the socio-political context of the Auckland housing crisis. The study is used to generate a speculative and satirical design project, the fictional architecture and design magazine Good News, featuring the design of a city wall built along the Auckland Council Rural Urban Boundary.
The thesis will examine historical and contemporary mass media phenomena in relation to architecture, including architecture’s dissemination in popular print media, guerilla publishing of architecture, and subversive mass-produced consumer objects. This line of study references the work of Beatriz Colomina on mass media and architecture, and attempts to apply the ideas to the redevelopment of Auckland city. The study is used to generate a speculative and satirical design project, the fictional architecture and design magazine Good News, featuring the design of a city wall built along the Auckland Council Rural Urban Boundary. Analysis of the project context, both the physical site of Auckland’s periphery suburbs, and the media context of design magazines, provide formal material that is reflected in the design. Using the design language and production aesthetic of the design magazine medium, the material found in site analysis is collaged, juxtaposed and exaggerated into hypothetical building forms, building elements, and materials.
The title, Good News, alludes to the Good News Bible, also known as Good News for Modern Man (1966). It acknowledges the project’s attempt to take a published material considered gospel by many fervent followers, and to re-present it, to offer a translation of the material that de-mystifies the concepts and particular language of a medium. It also references the proverbial ‘Modern Man’, the progressive consumer who is the subject of cross-examination in the work of my precedent theorists, historians, and practitioners. Finally, Good News is an optimistic assertion that architects will continue to be critical of their own role in mediating the socio-political messages conveyed by the built environment.