Lusitania Vete

Architectural Graduate Practicing


Project Title
Shifting Grounds
Shifting Grounds: Conceptions of the Homeland and the Journey to Emergence This thesis explores the convergence of the past and present; the physical and social worlds in a journey through the emergent possibilities of Tonga and its people. As a ‘home,’ ‘homeland,’ and ‘imaginary homeland,’ Tonga exists as a malleable construction of ideas, stories, traditions and history. The thesis draws from these numerous ‘conceptions’ and presents a projective imagining of how architecture can be used to stimulate progression and movement in the everyday social realm. The project imagines a trajectory of composed social spaces along the north western axis of Tupoulahi Rd, within the heart of Nuku’alofa. Binding across the ‘homeland’ from one body of water to another, the project responds to the expansive conception of Tonga; integrating expressions of Cosmological stories and domains as a way to reimagine social space and create an architecture of emergence. The act of journeying becomes an inherent and necessary process to the formation of the scheme, taking precedent from the dynamic history of exchange between islands in an outside Tonga’s archipelago. This active and constantly shifting network of islands mirror the emergence and dissipation of its people. As contemporary wayfinders, Tongan communities have grown and developed ‘oceans’ away in new lands and surroundings. Central to the core of the research of this thesis is the exploration of a Contemporary Tongan Condition which seeks to actively encompass these communities of growing diaspora. Architecture here, functions as a catalyst for the translation of these ideas and stories into spatial and material expressions. As a reimagining and portrayal of social space, the project speculates into the nature of identity and perception on Tongan ground and asks, ‘How can the various conceptions of Tonga help to an inform an architecture for and about Tongans?’
Year of Completion
MArch(Prof) Thesis