Te Ahi Tupua, an exploration of Māori pattern geometry through computation

In his inaugural lecture, Professor Derek Kawiti delves into the realm of Māori geometry, unveiling the power of Te Ahi Tupua sculpture.

Hailed as the largest 3D printed sculpture in the world at the time—the installation of the Te Ahi Tupua sculpture in Rotorua in November 2020 highlighted two important aspects pertaining to our current industrial era: The challenges facing a ‘traditional’ manufacturing industry/fabricator in its shift toward technologically demanding manufacturing, and the drive for industry change due to an increase in design complexity redefining the limits of art, design, architecture, and engineering.

In this lecture Professor Kawiti explores the latent potential of Māori geometry and indigenous computational design as materialised through sculpture. He describes this as a ‘stretch’ factor that could potentially drive development of much needed architecture, engineering, construction and manufacturing industry capability and innovation.

Three professionally dressed academics standing in front of a photo featuring a serene lake scene, with a man engrossed in reading a book by the lakeside.
Left to right—Professor Rod Barnett, Professor Derek Kawiti and Professor Rawinia Higgins.

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