Practical Earth Skills

E hara taku toa i te toa takitahi, engari he toa takimano, takitini.
Success is not the work of one, but the work of many.

Nau mai. Harae mai. Welcome! Come!

Kia ora koutou. My name is Anne Galloway. I’m an Associate Professor in the Design for Social Innovation programme and lead the More-Than-Human Lab in the School of Design, Victoria University of Wellington, Aotearoa New Zealand.

The Guidebook to Practical Earth Skillswas researched and designed by the students of CCDN233: Design Ethnography—a second-year course I teach.

I also want to acknowledge the generous collaboration of all our research participants, and the expert guidance and encouragement of tutor Madi Mañetto Quick. 

I created this brief with two tikanga Māori principles guiding our design ethnography practice:

  • manaakitanga, or hospitality, kindness, generosity, support; and the process of showing respect, generosity, and care for others.
  • kaitiakitangaor guardianship, stewardship, trusteeship of land, water, and sky as the responsibilities, duties, and obligations that arise from holding no distinction between people and their environment.

Basically, this meant that students were expected to find new ways of thinking, doing and making with others—ways that might mean the difference between surviving and thriving under difficult circumstances.

Combining background research, participant observation, interview and personal reflection, the Guidebook to Practical Earth Skills distills and shares what students learnt about bee-keeping and kororā conservation; raranga, sewing, embroidery, and knitting; shoe and electrical repairs; candle-making, woodworking and glass casting; harvesting wood for fuel, fishing and pāuagathering; beer brewing and food preservation… and much more!

We hope you share this collaborative document with anyone you think might find it useful or interesting – but we’d be even more chuffed if you started making and sharing your own, local versions! 

Kia ora rawa atu. Many thanks.