Stephen Olsen

Empire State Building owner talks energy efficient retrofits and dishes out some advice to John Key

Green architecture/design

Empire State Building owner talks energy efficient retrofits and dishes out some advice to John Key

Before delivering his keynote speech at today’s Green Property Summit in Auckland, influential “environment capitalist” Anthony Malkin, of New York City, had an opportunity yesterday to meet with Prime Minister John Key to talk about energy efficient retrofits and how the rebuilding of Christchurch can benefit from “doing the simple stuff first”. He says dollars spent on retrofits in existing bulk energy commercial buildings have a payback you can't get from new builds, no matter how highly they might rate in innovative architecture terms.

Web Design

DigitalNZ—the country’s two-year-old seedbed for making NZ digital content easy to find, share and use—has recently completed its debut run of the Great NZ Remix and Mashup competition, with some stellar results.


What stimulates your memory, or your understanding of what memory is? How does the motivation to create and contain memory co-exist within the expression of your design work, your architecture, your photography or art? Wellington was the place to be to get deep and meaningful about this growing agenda of questions last week, when the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa joined with New York’s Syracuse University and Massey University in hosting the Contained Memory Conference – Pupuri Pohewa.


A seminal book full of “prototypes for a Maori sustainable future” has been launched this week in Wellington. Tāone Tupu Ora, meaning an urban environment where nature and culture are not separated, is the third joint publication venture between the New Zealand Centre for Sustainable Cities and publisher Steele Roberts.


Nga Aho, the culturally connected network formed to support Maori design professionals, has been enriched this year by the inclusion of Auckland-based German designers Luka Hinse and Oliver Kraft as Kaupapa Whanau members. As new New Zealanders, Hinse and Kraft have both been making their mark on the design world in Aotearoa in varied ways. Hinse is well known for bringing to life the ever popular Pecha Kucha Nights here, while Kraft was a founder with Amanda Hookham of the ground-breaking furniture design label Purple South.

Urban Design/Infrastructure

Emerging partially out of a ‘fit of gloom’, Property Council New Zealand has opened a debate in Wellington about what it will take to super-charge the city, commencing with the launch this month of an agenda-setting publication titled The Future Of Our Capital.

Urban Architecture

If there’s a niche space to keep an eye on in our urban landscapes and landscape architecture it seems we don’t need to look much further than the nearest wall or roof. The sustainable benefits of green walls and roofs are causing businesses around the world to look up, with the green roof industry in North America alone growing by an amazing 16 percent last year and still accelerating. And in Europe the French are particularly renowned for green walling entire buildings, most notably the entire exterior of the Paris Museum.