Story and photos by Aneira Hasson….
“I chose this design based on what Tongan’s call ‘tauhi vā’, which is the idea of special awareness. The coconut leaves of the structure are bound – similar to how a traditional Tongan house would have been – and I just wanted to have fun with it, play around, see if what kind of structure I could make. I didn’t want it to be a house or a roof, I wanted it to be something fun.
Another factor in the design was the idea of ‘fakamuna’, or child’s play. The idea of fakamuna was again, not to create a shelter or a conventional structure, but to instead create the idea of being under a tree.
I didn’t want to put the leaves on so that they would create a shelter from the rain or the sun, I wanted the leaves to hang the same way they would from a tree and really give the sense that you were under a tree. I wanted to take these leaves that often would just be discarded, and give them value and purpose, subverting the usual way you see rubbish, reinventing it.
A big thanks to VEPA for trusting me to create this. Fakamuna in Tonga is undervalued. In reality, no one would have ever gotten to these islands in the first place if someone didn’t imagine it. You have to dream. Allowing me to renovate the space allowed me to imagine, to dream, to have fun with what this shelter could be.
It’s also a way to show the staff that they too can be creative and dream, continue to look at things in different ways.”
Find out more about Nqako Concepts by following them on Instagram @nQakoconcepts or visit their shop located in the Guttenbeil Plazza in Neiafu…….