Idealog Urban

'All our shit stinks': Matt Liggins on The Real Pyramid Schemer and public art in New Zealand

Take it to the streets

'All our shit stinks': Matt Liggins on The Real Pyramid Schemer and public art in New Zealand

Public art has long been a poster of social, cultural and political context to communities. From pou (wooden poles) and Māori carving, to Banksy’s subversive graffiti and epigrams; and more recently Daniel Webb’s mural of 4,490 collected plastic pieces at Dreamland in Margate. The influence of public art has reshaped cities, from the movement in New York City from the late 1980’s, to the distinctive work originated out of Wellington’s Sculpture Trust. And one stand out looking to change culture and enforce public art into New Zealand is Matt Liggins the artist behind ‘The Real Pyramid Schemer’ - an interactive wooden temple structure, perched in cities across New Zealand that supplies free art to the people. Idealog meets up with the man tucked inside the temple, who is giving capitalism the middle finger, and is building public art from the bottom up.

Street art

When given the choice between a bit of scrawled graffiti and a thoughtfully crafted art piece, it's a no brainer that broadband company Chorus is choosing the latter. More than 200 of its cabinets across New Zealand have been used as a canvas by local artists, brightening up their urban surroundings and dramatically reducing the amount of graffiti being done.

Lighting the way

LandLAB director Henry Crothers is a man whose name has become synonymous with urban renewal in New Zealand. He has been involved in some of the most significant urban renewal and public transformation projects in New Zealand including the Auckland City Centre streetscapes and 'shared space' programme, as well as the pink light path. In a video profile series by Landscape Architecture New Zealand, he explains what drives him and how he believes the role of a landscape architect is changing.


Regenerate Christchurch has released its plan to redesign the quake-damaged centre of the Christchurch city – Cathedral Square – to the public. It says its aim is to ensure the space is transformed from being seen as “damaged and uninviting” and returned to its original purpose – a gathering place for locals and visitors alike.