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pre:fab Xmas MiXer

pre:fab held an end of year Mixer to celebrate the milestones achieved over the previous twelve months and to thank all of our members and supporters for their efforts in contributing to and building the pre:fab community. Attendees were asked to dress in old clothes and come prepared to participate in an interactive demonstration of mud mixing, earth brick making, and hot dog assembly.


pre:fab supports the adoption and development of natural building methods by the architecture discipline. This event was an opportunity to promote this cause to our members, as well as give attendees a tactile experience of the materials and process in a low stakes environment. The event was made possible with the guidance and expertise of master earth builder Alan Drayton of Biobuild.

TKW Board Meeting
Detecting the Darchive - pre:fab Conference 2023

pre:fab conference 2023 explored the concept of the Darchive—the dark matter of architectural practice: the undeclared, undiscussed, unacknowledged, uninspected, or otherwise hidden people, objects, spaces, events, and ideas that have had an enduring effect on our individual or collective imagination, and through that, our creative practices and built environment. The things that make alternative practice alternative.


The conference was free, open to anyone, and attempted to reveal the Darchive through a combination of quickfire presentations, participatory workshops, and shared conversation over a potluck lunch.


The conference was organised and run by the pre:fab Team with the support of our sponsors:


Flight Coffee; Florets; Groupwork; Lamplight Books 


The following 20 invited speakers gave presentations at the conference:


Andreas Muller; Aphiwat Pengpala; Binh Minh Ha; Cindy Huang; Eugene van Dalen; Evelina Lolesi; Farzad Zamani; Joseph Mcauley; Judith Taylor; Katie Braatvedt; Leith Macfarlane; Nathan Walker; Nicola Chang; Oliver Brockie; Tane Pamatatau-Marques; Thom Gill; Tom Collins; Shan Yu; Vanessa Werder; Zali McMahon


Additional contributions of Darkefacts were provided by:


Anonymous; Dank Lloyd Wright; Daniel Ho; Sharon Lam; Stacy Vallis; Tony Watkins


Participatory Workshops were designed and run by


Leonard Hobbins; Oliver Brockie; Sakina Ali; Simon Glaister

Quattro Stagioni Shaktipata

A pizza[1] base [terrain map] locating the structure and ambitions of pre:fab–-the quadrants: tools, school, pool, and field—against its predominant modes operation—the axes: Johns, Ritual workers, potluck gatherings, and Discord (plus Google Workspace). The quadrants and axes provide a crispy base that supports the seasonal toppings [activities, actions, and interactions] of the pre:fab field.


Interactions between neighbouring and opposing axes provide each quadrant with its unique character—improvement [basil], application [olives], Delivery [artichoke] , and creation [mushroom]—and a subtle complex of differentiating flavours—automated & utilitarian, apollonian & anthropocentric, dynosian & zoomorphic, and rhizomatic & autonomous. Movement across the pizza, from one slice to the next, sees a continuous change in the flavour profile and consequent agency/affect of the polyphonous toppings.   


1. At pre:fab, we include the category ‘pizza’ within the supercategory ‘Mandala’: A carefully constructed microcosm, or ecological model in miniature of a larger virtual reality rendering engine of alternative spaces for ritual collaboration and experimentation—in this case the pre:fab universe.

TKW Board Meeting
ABC School - Demotic Ritual Practices Workshop

pre:fab team member Leonard Hobbins ran a workshop “Demotic Ritual Practices: What do you Reckon?”  as part of the Architecture Lobby’s Architecture Beyond Capitalism School 2023. Leonard Collaborated with horticulturist Jesse Melville on the workshop that explored the history and qualities of the site of the abandoned alternative lifestyle commune “Prana” on the Coromandel Peninsula. The workshop took place via Zoom live from Prana and invited participants to participate in a series of ritual activities that were designed to respond to the history of alternative and collective living arrangements on the site - and also reveal the ways in which ritual activities formed the basis of both everyday life in the disparate locations of the participants, and the way contemporary collective living arrangements and collective organising practices in architecture may function. The activities included shared meals, shared work stories, collective movement, and voodoo sacrifice.

Radical Retrofit: FG Wilson Fellowship

pre:fab was shortlisted for their submission to Te Kahui Whaihanga NZIA’s F G Wilson Fellowship—a $20,000 one year research grant for public housing.  This proposal was the work of a diverse group of pre:fab members who gathered around two questions in response to this opportunity: 

  1. “Where is public housing absent today, where it might be possible to expand its location both physically and conceptually?”

  2. And “How can we use this opportunity to conn