CPIT at the heart of FESTA
A heartbeat sensor triggering a light display is at the centre of CPIT’s installation for the Festival of Transitional
Architecture (FESTA) this year.
CPIT Bachelor of Architectural Studies students Rachael Berry and Haidee Woods are part of a team of 18 second-year
students working on the installation for FESTA’s City Ups event on Saturday 25 October.
For architectural studies students, the chance to bring designs to fruition is a highlight of the process. “We come up
with the concept then we get to build it and people get to see it – that’s quite different to working in the studio,”
Steel frames and elastics make up an interactive structure that is inspired by the way the people have kept Christchurch
going through challenging times, the students said. A light display forms the centre of the installation and is
triggered by a sensor picking up heartbeats of people who pass through. Meanwhile the entertainment is as varied as
Japanese drumming, hip hop, belly dance, swing, cha-cha and Indian dance.
Dubbed the “city of the future”, City Ups involves over 250 students from CPIT, Unitec and The University of Auckland
who will take over two blocks of the central city with design, performance, cafes and much more, creating vibrant urban
spaces, colour and activity.
FESTA was created in response to the changed environment in Christchurch. It aims to activate city spaces and draw
people into the city centre with installations, entertainment, art exhibitions, hands-on workshops, sustainability
events, children’s activities and events that defy easy categorisation - such as the Grandstandium Launch at the Retro
Learning to work with such a large group was a steep learning curve, Rachael said. “You quickly learn that being
organised is the best way to remain calm. Planning is really important.”
The students appreciate the preparation that had made it possible for them to be part of FESTA. “I am really impressed
that people have been able to create the opportunity to so do this, getting the consents, allowing things to happen in
empty sites – it is a lot of work,” Rachael said.