In December 2021, architectural photographer David Straight was commissioned by Objectspace to document the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the built environment in Tāmaki Makaurau.
The outcome is a new publication featuring photographs taken at eight sites across the city – dispersed between two unprecedented regional boundaries instated under the Covid-19 Alert Level system.
Straight’s photographs are introduced by Fixed in Place, a text by Kim Paton written in the first half of 2022 that presents a personal reflection on the contemporary interventions that emerged within the city, alongside the residue of architectures tied to past pandemics.
Most of the physical signs of Covid-19 in our communities – testing facilities, vaccination centres, travel borders – are transitory. Locations of Interest functions as a document of these sites, both to record them for posterity and to provoke thought about our built environment as a site of socio-political action. What kind of access and use is prioritised in its design, and how well can it adapt and shift in response to the needs of its users?
We warmly thank Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei for welcoming us to visit the Tāmaki Vaccination Centre in St Johns, the only Iwi-led centre in Tāmaki Makaurau and the first location visited at the outset of this project. Our thanks also to the New Zealand Police for providing access to northern and southern border checkpoints and the Northern Region Health Coordination Centre for facilitating visits to all other community testing and vaccination centres.
Locations of Interest was designed by Giordano Zatta for Alt Group, edited by Victoria McAdam and copy-edited by Anna Hodge.