The corner of Lichfield, Manchester and High streets came to life at Festa 2014’s main event. CityUps transformed previously vacant lots in central Christchurch with a spectacular city of the future designed and created by the next generation of architects in a Studio Christchurch-led collaboration.
More than 10,000 people came into the centre to regenerate the city’s heart at this free, urban-scale event. Music came from all directions as crowds eagerly explored and interacted with the students’ luminous, large-scale installations, supported by twelve metre high scaffolding.
The students’ elevated, futuristic city comprised thirteen spectacular designs made with a variety of materials – from road cones to diaphanous materials. Structures included a labyrinth with live music tucked into nooks, a twelve metre walk-in kaleidoscope; towering sheets of lit up bottles, a canopy of floating light shards; a hanging wall of luminous and colourful ducting tubes; a multitude of interconnected, glowing strings and an undulating cascade of blue-glowing orbs.
These futuristic city spaces were activated with live performances and activities. From koha haircuts and a bike disco through to live music performances tucked into nooks of the Daze Maze installation, the collective efforts of many brought life to the city for the night. People of all ages joined in for street games including tug-of-war, volleyball and ping pong; the dance hall presented a variety of acts that had people dancing in the street – from Japanese drumming and a Jane Fonda-style aerobics class through to the captivating Abacus Bhangra dancers. The bustling night market, busy food vendors and pop-up bars added to atmosphere.