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FESTA returns 19–22 October: A public festival of architecture, design & food

FESTA, the biennial weekend celebration of urban creativity returns to Christchurch this Labour Weekend, 19–22 October 2018! It brings life back into the city as thousands of Cantabrians as well as visitors imagine and experience how the city could be different through a headline event that is live for one night only (2016’s edition attracted 16,000 people back into the central city), and through projects and live events presented as part of the associate programme over the course of Labour Weekend.

We are calling for expressions of interest for the 2018 associate programme. Read on!

The headline event: FEASTA!

Christchurch has always had a powerful relationship with food and to celebrate this ongoing love FESTA is throwing a street party – a public feast of architecture, design and food. On Saturday 20 October artists, musicians, community groups, businesses, over one hundred architecture students from across Australasia, and design and architecture professionals will come together to create a spectacular celebration of food and city-making, live for one night only.

New and relocated restaurants, community gardens, and food trucks have kept the Ōtautahi’s fires burning over the difficult past few years. Food is the foundation for our urban spaces: some of the earliest cities in human history developed from the storage of seasonal harvests and the spectacular spaces created for massive feasts and celebrations.  For this year’s main event large-scale installations, performances, artworks, activities, people and lots of wonderful things to eat and drink combine to form a collective reimagining of Christchurch in the city’s new public spaces.

The Associate Programme

The associate programme builds on the theme of feasting, exploring the interconnections between food and urbanism through workshops, talks, pop-up projects, family events, tours, live performance, artworks and more. These take place at various venues across the city over the course of the weekend, beginning on Friday evening (19 October) and ending Monday night (22 October).

Food connects places, people and ideas and is an integral part of the urban fabric. From the domestic sphere to the workplace, from street scape to public space, it shapes our urban environment and has the capacity to enrich it. The food system (growth, distribution, consumption, waste) interacts with, and impacts, a range of areas: health, land, water, transport, economy, waste, identity, culture, environment, amenity, employment and equality to a name a few. It presents us many challenges in the twenty-first century, but also many opportunities – it is a great connector.

FESTA is a crowd-created festival – it is through the contributions of many that we are able to put on an urban-scale festival for Christchurch. We are calling for expressions of interest for the wider programme.

These might include investigations or reimaginings of:

  • Its role in smart cities
  • How it shapes the urban environment (now/historically)
  • The way we interact with the built environment through food
  • Its influence/reflection on different areas and architectures (from mall and food desert to urban farms, picnic spots and farmers’ markets)
  • Food resilience and food ecologies
  • Sustainability
  • Food insecurity (accessibility of healthy food)
  • Proximity to source
  • Its potential for participatory design
  • Food knowledge centres
  • Kaitiakitanga, mahinga kai, manaakitanga
  • As a catalyst for community development
  • Practices and traditions associated with it
  • Managing its waste streams
  • Collective imaginings of where and how you wish to share food
  • Land use etc.
  • Celebrating community based-food experiences and knowledge in suburban centres
  • Nutrition and public health

Contact emma@festa.org.nz with your EOIs by 20 May 2018. These submissions will be subject to a selection process – if you wish to know more about this, please email us.


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We can't create FESTA without our many wonderful volunteers! There are lots of ways to get involved so let us know what you would like to do.

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