Gap Filler Christchurch

EWB has partnered with Gap Filler for the 2017 Odyssey Design Challenge. This year’s challenge targets the youth of Christchurch.

Youth have limited space to connect and just simply hang-out; very little of Christchurch’s infrastructure is built with youth in mind. There is little to inspire or engage our youth of today; and even less that celebrates and highlights the skills, needs or voice of our youth today. The challenge enables university students to help change this!

This year there are 56 students participating in 14 teams for the Odyssey Design Challenge. The students began the challenge at the beginning of August, and have been aided by mentors and a human-centred design workshop.

On Tuesday 5th September, fourteen Odyssey Design Challenge participants from AUT, Auckland University and University of Canterbury met up in Christchurch for a busy day exploring the current activities for the youth of the Garden City.

In the morning Rachael from Gap Filler lead a walking tour, stopping at important Gap Filler sites and informing students of the history of each project, the target audience, maintenance required and the challenges Gap Filler have faced during the lifetime of the project. The students were engaged and asked many questions, taking notes of all the important factors they need to consider in their design. The tour also visited other iconic Christchurch locations like the Margaret Mahy playground, where the students enjoyed the flying fox and experimenting with water systems in the Water Play area.

The challenge participants were taken past the proposed site for their project, the close proximity to the Re:Start Mall and the Avon River make the site an exciting space for the students to utilize.

Back at the Gap Filler Commons the students made and cooked pizza in Gap Filler’s pizza oven for lunch, before heading across town to Epic Innovation. The afternoon session involved discussions with Bounce Youth Group Representatives, the students were able to get feedback on their current ideas and brainstorm aspects the youth representatives believe are important to be included in the designs.

From here, the site visit attendees will share their learnings with their other team members and will progress forward with the design process, preparing their poster, report and video for submission by the 24th September.

We would like to thank the Gap Filler and Bounce teams for their valued contribution to the site visit day!


Christchurch ODC participants, Reece and Robbie trying out Gap Filler’s Super Street Arcade Game


Auckland ODC participant, Max, enjoying making music in the Gap Filler Sound Garden


ODC Auckland Coordinator, Ally, and participant, Olivia, experimenting with water at Margaret Mahy Playground


ODC site visit attendees at the Margaret Mahy Playgroundodc_web_5.pngOdyssey Design Challenge Participants checking out the proposed site for the design challenge.