What is ĀKAU?
We are ĀKAU, a design and architecture studio with a social conscience.
Our unique vision is to weave together youth creativity, community strengths and design, to develop innovative solutions to the challenges facing communities today.
Around New Zealand communities struggle with high unemployment and a lack of economic growth, whilst the talents and creativity
of their young people go to waste.
Our solution: Empower youth to achieve their full potential and create positive change in their own communities by engaging them in the design of real projects.
Working with youth to design and create a selection of high quality furniture items utilising local materials gives each piece within the ĀKAU Stories collection it's own story.
Partnerships with NZ furniture manufacturers will enable us to produce consistently high quality products while providing future employment opportunites for ĀKAU graduates.
Profits from the sale of ĀKAU Stories will be re-invested back into the ĀKAU Workshops programme.
Based on real life projects, from ĀKAU Stories and ĀKAU Projects, this programme offers life skills, workplace experience, mentoring, and a support system. Our trainees will be encouraged to find their talents and passions and pursue these futher.
The programme acts as a pathway for rangatahi into further education or full-time employment. But most importantly, ĀKAU Workshops empowers rangatahi with a belief in themselves through practical creation.
Youth and community engagement as part of the design process will be facilitated by ĀKAU Studios. An emphasis will be placed on locally sourced designers, materials, industry and history to develop unique designs.
Profits from the service fee from ĀKAU Projects will feed back into the ĀKAU Workshops programme.