Defining the scope and studying the history of home comfort

After defining the Wicked Problem with the community at the kick-off event, we are narrowing down the scope for the project. With completion of the project scheduled for end of February 2021 we have limited time and resources, so in order to achieve the most useful results, the community members we had met, were consulted for their input on what the scope should look like. We want a scope that leads to a project that the community would get the most value from.

While the scope was being shaped, I could begin working on understanding the inherited past. Masterton Library and the Wairarapa Archive were the best resources for developing a picture of the past. Understanding our history is an important step of the transition engineering process, but it is also fun!

While the archives are incredible resources, it is important to remember that what is recorded of our history is through a certain perspective. That perspective is (mostly) Pakeha, male, and upper-middle class. Photographs were only taken of what this group of people thought was extraordinary. And on top of that, photography indoors in the cold winter evenings was almost impossible due to lack of lighting. Still, talking to the historians and looking at these images, I can start to paint the picture of how the essential need was met.

Aside from my project, this week was a big week in the Transition Engineering world. The Convergence for a Carbon Transition Conference was held on Thursday 26th November. This was a No-Fly conference held in several locations across the country and online. At the Wellington location, I met with many likeminded people who want to get down to working on the problem.

On Wednesday, I was interviewed on RNZ about my experience as an Engineering Student emerging into the world of Climate Emergency, to promote the Carbon Convergence. You can listen to that here –

Image from Masterton library – The annual wood chop

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