Type of project: Design-driven project
Collaborator: Christchurch City Libraries, All Right? Qtopia, Christchurch City Mission, Ōtautahi Creative Spaces, Purapura Whetu, Audrey Baldwin, Tusiata Avia
Sponsors/Funders: Christchurch City Council, CebelioNatural Paint Co. TimeZoneOne, The Donut Dispensary, Riverside Market

Location: Tūranga Central Library, September – December 2019; Riverside Market,  December 2019 – Present, Christchurch NZ
Completed: September 2019.
Status: Active

The Green Lab designed the Green Connection Pod as an intimate, interior gathering green-space to foster moments of genuine human connection. It is a flatpack, circular wooden seating area, enveloped by greenery, which creates a welcoming venue that fosters relationship, hosting kōrero, connections, meetings, and contemplation. Research shows that green spaces enhance mental wellbeing, lift our mood, reduce anxiety and depression, and support genuine connections between people.

A scale model of the Pod was prototyped at Tūranga in the Taupuni Waihanga | Production Studio. The planting was completed during a workshop for participants on Christchurch City Mission’s Reset Fridays. Conversation starter cards that were designed in collaboration with wellbeing organisation, All Right?, accompanied the pod on it’s first outing in Tūranga. These provided easy scripts to encourage conversation between pod users who may not have known each other previously. It was cared for at Tūranga by members of the no-fixed-abode community, who were given training toward this.

The Green Connection Pod hosted programming around Mental Health Awareness Week, 23 – 29 September, 2019. Welcome invitations to use the pod were translated into some of Waitaha Canterbury’s commonly used languages – Arabic, Mandarin, Samoan, Te Reo Māori. Representatives from wellbeing focussed organisations, All Right?, Qtopia, Ōtautahi Creative Spaces, and Purapura Whetu occupied the Pod over consecutive lunch times. Over the weekend, artist Audrey Baldwin brought her SCAPE Public Art project into the Pod, and poet Tusiata Avia crafted responses to those who sat with her in it.

In December 2019, the Green Connection Pod moved to Riverside Market to enliven a vacant space in the new venue. It is cared for in Riverside by Joanna at The Donut Dispensary, thanks Joanna!

If you are interested in a Green Connection Pod for your organisation, get in touch by clicking the link below.

Contact The Green Lab

Media Links:

Christchurch City Library (RNZ)

Fostering Connections (CCC)

Video Of The Slideshow Presentation:

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