Jessica Hulme

Architecture Graduate | BAS, M.Arch (Prof)

Architectural Graduate, Auckland, New Zealand

23 year old wāhine Māori, Samoan | BAS, M.Arch (Prof) |
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Ko Horouta me Māhuhu-ki-te-Rangi ōku waka.
Ko Ngāti Porou rātou ko Te Roroa, ko Va’asili’ifiti ōku iwi.

Before my architectural education, post-disaster reconstruction and humanitarian projects had always struck a chord in me. I saw architects as people with a practical skillset to transform the spaces that affect the experience of their inhabitants. I saw architecture as a tool that could improve a person’s well-being by improving their living conditions, an aspect that can affect the quality of life, especially for those living in poverty.

The people of the South Pacific to whom I belong are known as Tagata Pasifika (people of the Pacific), or Te Tangata o te Moana-nui-a-Kiwa (people of the ocean). European explorers who visited our territories some 200 to 250 years ago considered our land, from their world view, as Terra nullius or ‘empty land’ that was unaltered by man and therefore uninhabited; despite our presence, our cultures and our norms.

The downstream effects of our colonisation has meant that mātauranga Māori and mātauranga Pasifika (Pacific knowledge) are (or have been) on the brink of extinction across the board. Vernacular architecture and its methods of construction are but one of those aspects of lost mātauranga (knowledge). The environment and native ecosystems of the Pacific have also been colonised, through the introduction of foreign flora and fauna; as well as the over-harvesting of native flora and fauna. Many plants once used for traditional vernacular building are now endangered or already extinct.

With disasters occurring on a more regular basis and their severity increasing; with the widespread loss of knowledge and expertise of how to build vernacular housing; and the availability of traditional building resources facing extinction; many of our tagata pasifika are left vulnerable to future disasters during the reconstruction phase.

Thus decolonization of architecture, of cities, of knowledge was a core part of my M.Arch (Prof) research. Decolonization is the future to living more sustainably and to creating a more equitable society.


Intern at Habitat for Humanity NZ
2016 – 2016 Wellington, New Zealand
Construction at Habitat for Humanity NZ
2015 – 2015 Apia, Samoa

Drafting at Morrison Architects
2014 – 2014 Three Kings, Auckland

Construction at Unitec School of Architecture
2014 – 2014 Auckland, New Zealand

Architectural Contractor at Self-Employed
2014 – 2015 Auckland, New Zealand


Master of Architecture (Prof) at Victoria University of Wellington
2015 – 2016 Wellington, New Zealand
Bachelor of Architectural Studies at Unitec Institute of Technology
2012 – 2014 Auckland, New Zealand


Photoshop, Revit, Grasshopper, Rhino, 3DS Max, Illustrator, InDesign, Sketchup, LayOut