Jasmax and Haumi Partner: Cultural Design Leadership

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Heidi North

Jasmax has entered into a partnership with leading Māori cultural development specialist, Karl Johnstone, founder and director of Haumi. Drawing on his extensive national and international experience in the heritage, arts and design sectors, including ten years creating and leading exhibitions at Te Papa, Karl will provide guidance to Jasmax around developing and maintaining cultural design leadership within New Zealand.

Jasmax CEO Sjoerd Post says the partnership with Haumi is reflective of Jasmax’s bold vision for New Zealand architecture. “This partnership allows us to lead a cultural design discourse in New Zealand. I’m excited by the opportunities this brings for our clients. Karl brings a wealth of knowledge in the cultural sector and shares our vision for the future of raising the bar on indigenous design intelligence and subsequent outcomes in the built environment.”

The partnership evolves from the commitment of one of Jasmax’s original founders, Ivan Mercep, to a design practice that acknowledges the way in which we are defined by the place in which we live, and Aotearoa’s bicultural foundation enshrined in Te Tiriti o Waitangi.

The formalised partnership has arisen out of the role Haumi has with Jasmax on the New Zealand Pavilion at Expo 2020 in Dubai.

Principal Architect, Matthew Glubb, says: “Having Karl on the team as the Director Māori (Creative), has allowed us to tell a more sophisticated and refined New Zealand story on the international stage.”

Of Rongowhakaata, Te Aitanga-a-Mahaki, and Ngāi Tāmanuhiri decent, Karl will also provide mentorship to Jasmax’s cultural advisory group, Waka Māia. Waka Māia is a team of dedicated designers who facilitate engagement with mana whenua groups on specific built environment projects utilising engagement frameworks including Te Aranga Māori Design Principles. As well as the NZ Pavilion at Expo 2020 in Dubai, recent projects include The University of Waikato’s Tauranga tertiary campus and Auckland’s transformational infrastructure project, City Rail Link.

Haumi is a specialist concept and development business which initiates, designs and delivers projects of national and international significance both in New Zealand and throughout the world. In addition to his role at Te Papa, Karl’s 20-year career in the cultural heritage sector includes eight years as the director of the New Zealand Māori Arts and Crafts Institute. He has been on numerous boards including most recently, the New Zealand Arts Council Toi Aotearoa and was Kaihautū for New Zealand at this year’s Venice Biennale.

Karl Johnstone says, “My work naturally involves shifting thinking in the cultural space from one of obligation to one of opportunity – and that aligns well with Jasmax’s vision for the future of Aotearoa New Zealand.”

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