City Gallery City Gallery

Past event

NZIA City Talks: Shelter for Everyone, Fill Empty Buildings, Stop Speculation

Monday 24 June, 6.30pm

This is a rescheduled date.


A tale of radical space sharing from squatting to two/fiftyseven
Ash Holwell 

Breaking into a house and calling the police on yourselves isn't everyone's jumping off point to becoming an architect, of sorts.  

Weaving a tale from a freezing squat in the south of Rotterdam, through community spaces in Whangārei to their latest project in Te Whanganui-a-Tara, Ash sees the sharing of spaces as a critical component of a socially just and sustainable future. 

Through their design practice, spacelamp, they have been running a small series of experiments in social infrastructures of sharing, community place creation, and sustainable design over the last fifteen years.  

In the absence of a town hall, library, and soon City Gallery Wellington, their latest work, two/fiftyseven, is beginning to play an intriguing role for Te Whanganui-a-Tara. Three years in, the climate-positive shared space has hosted over 500 organisations, 1,000 events and given away over $230,000 of space to those who otherwise could not access it.

What happens to a city when we learn how to share? 


Ash Holwell [they/them] is a design activist dedicated to radically changing our relationship to space and place through their practice, spacelamp. 

Through a meandering and rigorous series of experiments, including squatting, professional dumpster diving, graduating from clown school, commandeering a church, running for mayor, and managing a commercial property portfolio, they have developed a practice of creating transformational community spaces. 

They cultivate environments that nurture cultures of sharing, empowering groups and individuals to safely develop the bold practices needed to create a just and sustainable world - creating safe places to do dangerous things.  

City Talks is an ongoing series initiated by the New Zealand Institute of Architects Wellington Branch and presented in partnership with City Gallery Wellington. 

The talk will be followed by refreshments.

Join us via livestream.