Scoria Field: Volcanic Imaginaries of Tamaki Makaurau


  • Silvia Kostandini Auckland University of Technology
  • Carl Douglas Auckland University of Technology



Coastal spaces, Landscape, Material imaginary, Spatial design, Volcanoes


How might a volcanic material imaginary — particularly of the basalt scoria volcanic field that underlies Tāmaki Makaurau / Auckland in Aotearoa New Zealand — provide ways for people to see themselves collectively? Our surroundings shape a sense of identity, and spatial interactions organize our experience in the city. ’Scoria Field’ is a spatial design research inquiry into place-making; investigating the potential for material experiences of a volcanic landscape to produce public space along the coast of Takapuna, on Tāmaki’s North Shore. Through imaginative engagement with volcanic rock, this research explores abstract and tangible ways to unfold a narrative of matter. Through a practice of drawing and artisanal material explorations, the research engages with geographical, cultural, and social aspects of scoria and the volcanic landscape of Tāmaki Makaurau. The project culminates with a proposal to refurbish an existing car park as a public space that offers a new way for people to see each other collectively by engaging with their volcanic terrain.


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Author Biographies

Silvia Kostandini, Auckland University of Technology

Silvia Kostandini is a Master of Design graduate from Auckland University of Technology. Her work is based on active experimentation with methods and ideas, shaping a practice where materials are considered in creative and affective ways.

Carl Douglas, Auckland University of Technology

Dr Carl Douglas is a senior lecturer in Spatial Design at Auckland University of Technology. His research circulates around themes of public space, procedural design techniques, and material imagination.


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How to Cite

Kostandini, S. ., & Douglas, C. . (2023). Scoria Field: Volcanic Imaginaries of Tamaki Makaurau. DAT Journal, 8(1), 416–449.