Health in the city: how we can cultivate a more humanistic urbanism

Wellbeing Month

Health in the city: how we can cultivate a more humanistic urbanism

Cities are systems in which the people are meant to thrive, but Isthmus creative director David Irwin says the design of them is instead accentuating many of the human ailments, such as stress, anxiety and depression. Here, he outlines how using a human-centric approach in urban design can support the needs of a modern world.

The future of fitness

Even after 50 years of successful business, Les Mills has shown its confidence in its ability to innovate in order to remain an industry leader. Now, the fitness experts have debuted s a new state-of-the-art workout studio that mixes innovative design with operation endurance. We have a chat with Les Mills New Zealand managing director Dione Forbes-Ryrie about how its new form is a way of increasing Les Mills’ outlook on an inclusive evolution that’s happening in the fitness world.

Idealog + Isthmus

Isthmus’ original plan for the Wellington waterfront at Kumutoto composed two key spatial moves: to push the city out and let the sea in. Now, over a decade on, the project is nearing completion. The latest phase of work – North Kumutoto – extends the laneway, tracing the historic sea wall past new commercial buildings. And while the precinct has evolved since its original plan, it still explores the relationship between land and sea. Findlay Buchanan talks with Isthmus CEO Ralph Johns about the new additions.

Architecture with purpose

How do you design for social change? This is the quest Steven Lawson architects is undertaking with the redesign of the Auckland City Mission’s Hobson St hub, slated to be finished by 2020. The charity’s premises in its current state is deemed ‘sub-standard’ and ‘not fit for purpose’, so its new design dubbed Mission HomeGround will transform it to better help those in need.


Cody Ellingham is an architectural photographer and art director who grew up in Hawkes Bay, but now spends his days capturing the beauty of Tokyo’s otherworldly buildings. His new exhibition, Future Cities, uses sophisticated photography and editing techniques to explore what a city of the future could look like. Here, he shares his take on the intersection between technology, architecture and art.

Wave after wave

Earlier this year, architecture organisation ADEDU put out a call for students and professionals to redesign the Band Rotunda at the Oriental Bay Pavilion, a site that has sat unoccupied since an earthquake in 2016. Now, the first prize winner has been announced as Russia-based Stanislaw Michalowski’s Wellington Wave design. Plus, the jury were impressed by several other strong international contenders.


What makes a piece of architecture well designed – is it its surroundings, sustainability, longevity, performance and return on investment? Or is it just the aesthetics? Director of new projects at design-and-build company Box, Dan Heyworth, explains why he thinks New Zealand design shouldn't always aim for just the 'wow' factor.