Learn about Trishna Newson and her journey returning to study at the School of Architecture and Planning.
"I completed my Bachelor of Architecture here at the University of Auckland in 2000. Since then, I have been travelling, working and raising kids. I worked in Christchurch, building passive solar houses and worked overseas in Bali and the United States.
"I returned to New Zealand just in time for Covid-19 Alert Level 4 to begin. Having been away for several years, I knew I had to work in a New Zealand architectural practice for six months before I could re-register. I found it challenging to land a job at the time, so I felt it was a good opportunity to do my masters and familiarise myself with the latest building challenges in New Zealand.
"I like that the School of Architecture and Planning at the University of Auckland is very interested in Māori and Pacific architecture as well as Asian and the rest of the non-Western world, for that matter.
I enjoyed studying for my bachelors here, I always knew I would like to study more, and the School of Architecture and Planning already felt like home, so it was a natural choice to return here to study.
"My lecturers and supervisors have been great. They can see where I need help and what my strengths are, and they offer me tools and techniques in writing my thesis, drawing my ideas out while also introducing me to related endeavours. I have had some struggles, but I have since found myself enjoying the freedom to follow my interests, the support and critiques, the comparisons to similar projects, as well as being shown all the ways to share my research. I am researching how architects can make spaces adaptable to the human senses and how this adaptability can encourage mutual maintenance and temperance of our society’s addiction to fossil fuels. My degree will prepare me for a PhD, and it will help me get the jobs I want, whether in academia or an industry of embodied-energy efficient architecture.
"My father is Indonesian from Bali, and I grew up there until I was 18 years old. I would like to see how Balinese architecture can inform architectural practice in New Zealand. I think that we should always question our profession and where we are heading with it, so this was my chance to open my mind and help shape the future I want to see. While architectural practice and building is a part of my life, I feel academia also has its pull. I am using this time to figure out whether I might enjoy doing a PhD, and life at the University of Auckland has certainly been kind."