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The Quad, Paeroa College, Paeroa

The Living Design process was used to develop a new focus for Paeroa College in a barren area of concrete and tarseal in the centre of the school. My partner Mike and I have worked with the students since 2017, gradually bringing them into the design process by starting at Tarariki Stream and bush. A selected group of students worked through a sense of place for their college and developed the design. The site was creatively activated by using a kango hammer to remove a hole in the concrete, making a fireplace with stones collected from Tarariki Stream and then lighting a fire. The project was started within weeks and completed over the summer of 2017 - 2018. The second stage of the design involved every student and staff member of the school to make a clay tile that depicted their whakapapa or their key interests and these were laid in the pathways leading to the central kohatu or rock, signifying the spring.
A maarakai or traditional food garden was developed to one side of the Quad and since 2018 I have had an on-going contract to teach the students about seed saving, our heritage foods,the importance of soils, permaculture and much more.

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