Derek Kawiti

Derek Kawiti profile picture

Senior Lecturer in Interdisciplinary Digital Design Wellington School of Architecture


Teaching in 2020

Iwi affiliations

Ngāti Hine, Ngāpuhi, Tūhoe, Ngāti Porou.


BArch(Hons)March ADDRL Lond.


Derek has a dual background as an academic at the Victoria University of Wellington—where he holds a Senior Lectureship, and as an architectural practitioner as director of a fledgling multidisciplinary practice—CILOARC.

Derek graduated with a bachelor’s degree in architecture from the University of Auckland before going on to gain a Masters of Architecture from the Architectural Association—Design Research Lab in London.

He has more than 12 years’ experience in both commercial and domestic scale architecture having worked in both New Zealand and international practice environments including London, the Caribbean and Italy.

With a background in teaching parametric design methods, he is heavily involved in generative digital modelling, digital heritage and ‘low’ and ‘high’ tech’ digital fabrication with which he has recently set up a collaborative research lab—SITUA (Site of Indigenous Technologies Understanding Alliance) with Iwi, Ngai Tamanuhiri—of the Gisborne, East Coast area.

Much of his research is concerned with understanding the implications of digital technologies in the convergence with Indigenous traditional knowledge.

Derek is one of the Maori Science Leaders of the National Science Challenge 11—NSC11 (Building Better Homes, Towns & Cities) and is a key Maori researcher at the Wellington School of Architecture, Victoria University of Wellington.

He also works as a Cultural Design Advisor to Fletcher Building Ltd, Infrastructure Engineers—Opus and Auckland Transport.


Teaching in 2020