Urban Designer - Vernacular Architect - Maritime Planner - Owner-Builder - Servant of Piglet - Educator - Author - Revolutionary - Peacenik - Tour Guide 

Tony Watkins

 ~ Vernacular Design 

Planning Department
Barrier by yacht Print E-mail

Photo by Rod Witte
The yacht trip to Great Barrier Island was exciting enough, but that was only the beginning. Planning students are sadly not good at planning. One of them forgot to take her medication.





Clutha Rescue Print E-mail

ImageAt our final strategy meeting before the students left to protest against the destruction of the Clutha Gorge by the Scheme F Clutha Dam I advised Keith Johnston to stop off in Wellington on his way down and get a prospecting licence.



Sean and Verney in Chicago Print E-mail
ImageOne night, working late as usual, there was a knock at my office door.
Piglet's ecohouse Print E-mail

ImageIn a sustainable world the architectural profession as we know it will become irrelevant. Sadly architects are interested in artistic houses for the wealthy rather than a good environment for all. They sacrifice ethics to become the servants of exploitation. At the very bottom of the architectural heap the worst living conditions in New Zealand are endured by pigs. It is a tragedy. Pigs are not only very sensitive and concerned about their living conditions, they also love building. The students set out to give our pigs a helping hand.



Justin's shed Print E-mail
ImageThe last design Justin did before he was taken to hospital with a brain tumour was a mud brick shed. The other students decided that instead of sending a get-well card they would build his shed for him.
Preparing for bird flu Print E-mail

ImageGetting someone else to build your house for you is rather like getting someone else to make love for you.

It is efficient. It saves time. Someone else takes all the risks. When it goes wrong you have someone else to blame. You can get on with the really important things in life, like making money. The arguments are very convincing.



Railway Campus Print E-mail

ImageOne technique for saving a building from demolition is to buy it. The students raised three million dollars and came very close to owning the Auckland Central Railway Station.



Solar go-cart Print E-mail


ImageAt the Course and Careers Day those seeking a University education paid scant attention to the slick, expensive public relations Power-Point presentations. Instead they showed early intellectual promise by queuing up to take a ride on the solar powered go-cart.




Igloos on Ruapehu Print E-mail

ImageThe weather had already closed in by the time I set out in the dark to climb up the side of Mount Tongariro to the Ketetahi hut. With snow falling and sleet biting into my skin I was driven on by the thought of a warm hut and a riotous welcome from the students.