Perspective on the past
Our students have been delving into the history of humans' relationship with one local site.
Tauraka Pipipi was a tidal lagoon in Otago Harbour, near the current site of our Dunedin campus. It was given the European name Pelichet Bay, then partially reclaimed in the early 20th century, forming Lake Logan. The reclamation was completed for the New Zealand and South Seas International Exhibition in 1925-26, which had over 3 million visitors. Now the site is Logan Park, hosting facilities and grounds for many sports codes.
The history of the area provided an opportunity for our Communication Design students to explore the relationship between ecologies and humans in the intertidal zone. They sourced royalty free photographs that showed the changing history of the site, and identified the current locations from which the photographs were taken. They then developed an Augmented Reality prototype, which would enable people to see how the area used to be when they pass by those locations.
The project enabled the students to see the landscape in a different way, through layers of time. The site has been caught up in unstable processes as human ambitions and uses for it have changed. It is hoped that others will be able to gain this perspective also as part of a wider project, Te Ara Honohono, telling stories about connections between local places and the people who have used them.