- Current students
- Under 25s
School of Architecture
National Executive Committee for Garden Design Society of New zealand (GDSNZ)
Auckland Branch Committee for New Zealand Association of Environmental Education.
Landscape Design representative on Services Working Group of the 2012-2013 Horticulture Targeted Review of Qualifications (TRoQ)
Background: Sue’s early training and family background in horticulture provide her with a fundamental connection to the earth and things that grow in it. Work experience over many years in this area has given her a breadth of knowledge, skills and amazing experiences, including several years managing the historically significant cemeteries and gardeners of the British Commonwealth War Graves Commission in Normandie, France. Her passion for plants and motivation to share this led her into teaching, first in the UK and then on her return to New Zealand. Motivated by experience working for the War Graves Commission she completed a landscape design qualification and returned to teaching in order to inspire others. This has led to post-grad and masters qualifications in education and a research focus on children and youth environments. She believes strongly that academic pursuit should be linked to practical experience and knowledge. She is also committed to environmental education and encouraging environmentally sustainable practices.
Sue strives to offer students a wealth of experiences and learning in which she is the facilitator rather than the director. She embraces the Living Curriculum pedagogy that Unitec has recently introduced because it focuses on experiential learning and student autonomy. Through a variety of information sessions including fieldtrips, seminars, practicals, tutorials and workshops she encourages students to experiment and experience. By maintaining close industry links through her teaching, professional development, research and consultancy she is able to link students into the profession of landscape architecture or garden design that they have chosen.
Her overseas travel, as well as that within New Zealand, provides further opportunities to enthuse and engage students and others in the rich world of plants, gardens, urban and rural landscapes, playscapes, history and culture. Sue regularly gives public seminars on these topics and for the past thirteen years has run the successful Scala Seminar Series for the Departments of Landscape Architecture and Architecture.
Since being awarded a Winston Churchill Fellowship in 2005 for travel to the USA to study children’s gardens, Sue has been actively researching in the area of children and youth environments. With increasing awareness of children’s rights, coupled with growing global concern at overstructuring of children’s lives and their increasing isolation from natural systems, with consequent wellness and biophobia issues, this is a topic of great interest to landscape and architecture students.
Sue has supervised a number of student research projects in this area and within her teaching she encourages students to grapple with the unique challenges and rewards of this type of design – whether it be playgrounds, skate parks, schools, kindergartens, urban spaces or parks and botanical gardens. Sue consulted on the design and interpretation of the children’s gardens at the Auckland Botanic Garden in 2004-2005 and advised on phase two of the garden in 2009-2010. She has also done other children’s environments consulting and advisory work for schools, landscape architects and local councils.
Her particular focus is on encouraging participation of children and youth in the design of their environments and this was a central theme in her Masters thesis, as well as the topic she has taken to many conferences and written a number of academic papers on. A short podcast presentation by Sue on shared democracy of primary school students with adults, from her Masters research project can be viewed by pasting the link provided in her research outputs for Change 'because of' or change 'in spite of'? Motivations versus barriers in a New Zealand school design example. The full Masters thesis can be accessed from The University of Waikato Research Commons website by entering the thesis title from her research outputs section.
A related aspect of Sue’s research is her interest in education for sustainability (EfS). Her Masters thesis was grounded in EfS and she is an active member of the Unitec Sustainability Strategy Team and the Sustainability Research sub-committee. She is currently lead researcher on a collaborative project to survey sustainability values among Unitec staff and students. She is also a committee member of the Auckland Branch of the NZ Association of Environmental Education and has actively participated in the previous two national NZAEE conferences (held biennially).
Graduate supervision of completed theses/dissertations
Masters theses or dissertations
Masters theses or dissertations supervised by Sue Wake as Principal Supervisor
Wang, Chentong (2020). Designing for dementia : providing public spaces for inclusion, enjoyment and wellbeing (Master of Landscape Architecture (by Project))
Zhan, Jim (2019). Lookout : applying a process of design participation with children (Master of Landscape Architecture)
Wang, Qian (2017). School ground greening : developing a model for comprehensive design with multiple benefits (Master of Landscape Architecture)
Masters theses or dissertations supervised by Sue Wake as Associate Supervisor
Kumar, Aleesha (2019). Land, symbiosis & cultural identity : curating a collective narrative in Fiji (Master of Architecture (Professional))
Pullan, Brian (2019). From extraction to rejuvenation : how can architecture influence the re-purposing of quarries to suit an environmentally conscious urban environment? (Master of Architecture (Professional))
Hogan, Kieran (2018). Seeing is deceiving : illusionary architecture (Master of Architecture (Professional))
Dinglasan, Raphael (2018). Into the ice : exploring an architectural identity in Antarctica (Master of Architecture (Professional))
Xu, Gao (2015). The New Coast : how can an environmentally sustainable model of coastal development be developed? (Master of Landscape Architecture)
Wake, S J., & Zhan, W. (2019). How will the children play? A participatory design response to Auckland's intensification & green space provision. A. Agrawal, R. Singh, A. Kumar, 53rd International Conference of the Architectural Science Association 28-30 Nov.
Wake, S. J., & Zhan, W. (2018). Child-friendly urban design aesthetics: Testing a 'shared dialogue' approach. Gibbons, A. & Craw, J. 5th Childhood Studies Colloquium: Aesthetics & childhood, research & practice. Te Oro Music & Arts Centre for Young People, Glenn Innes, Auckland.
Wake, S. (2017). Connecting threads between performance art, urban design and environmental education. 9th World Environmental Education Congress. CulturEnvironment: Weaving New Connections. 9-15 September, Vancouver, BC, Canada.
Wake, S. J. (2017). Looking ahead: Investigating performance art with schoolchildren as a catalyst for urban redesign. M. A. Schnabel, Back to the future: The next 50 years. 51st International Conference of the Architectural Science Association (ASA/ANZAScA).
Wake, S. J. (2017). Forest Jump: Schoolchildren leading design for school ground greening. 9th World Environmental Education Congress. CulturEnvironment: Weaving New Connections. 9-15 September, Vancouver, BC, Canada.
Wake, S. J., & Wang, Q. (2016). Developing a co--design methodology for school ground greening. S. Birdsall & S. J. Wake, Edited Proceedings of the New Zealand Association of Environmental Education Biennial Conference: Activate, Agitate, Advocate. 9-12 February, University of Auckland.
Wake, S. J., & Wang, Q. (2016). Developing the greenery: Results from a co-design project with landscape architects and schoolchildren in Auckland, New Zealand. J. Zuo, L. Daniel & V. Soebarto, Fifty years later: Revisiting the role of architectural science in design and practice: 50th International Conference of the Architectural Science Association, 7-9 Dec, University of Adelaide.
Wake, S. J. (2015). Bringing schools to life through a co-design learning approach with children. In R. H. Crawford and A. Stephan, Proceedings of the 49th International Conference of the Architectural Science Association: Living and Learning: Research for a Better Built Environment.
Wake, S.J., & Birdsall, S. (2015). Learning lessons: Involving landscape architects and students in a participatory approach to school ground greening. 52nd World Congress of the International Federation of Landscape Architects: History of the Future, St Petersburg, Russia.
Graham, T., & Wake, S.J. (2015). Landscape and cultural exchange: Landscapes of prophecy. X-Section Journal (Vol. 5).
Wake, S.J. (2015). 'Same, same, but different': A comparison of rationales between historic and contemporary school garden development. In M. Ignatieva, Proceedings of the 52nd World Congress of the International Federation of Landscape Architects: History of the Future.
Wake, S. J. (2014). Building empowerment: Ways of working with children and youth to create sustainable buildings. Green Building Council Espana, World Sustainable Building Conference.
Wake, S. J., and Leather, J. M. (2014). Agents of change or changed agents? Early missionary landscape translations through knowledge, culture and biota at Bay of Islands Missions, New Zealand. C. Schnoor, Society of Architectural Historians, Australia and New Zealand: 31, Translation.
Wake, S. J. (2014). Flourishing in the desert: Kasbahs, palmeraies & gardens in the Sahara and Atlas Mountain regions of Morocco. Presented at the Scala Seminar Series. Hosted by the Depts of Landscape Architecture and Architecture, 3rd April, Unitec Institute of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand.
Wake, S.J. (2013). Learning in action: History and pedagogy of environmental education and education for sustainability. Presented at Dept of Education Research Seminar Series, Unitec Institute of Technology, Auckland, NZ. 19 Nov.
Wake, S.J., Rolland, D., and Cox, C. (2013). Commitment to Environmental Sustainability in Higher Education. Presented at the 7th World Environmental Education Congress (WEEC), Marrakech, Morocco, 9-14 June.
Wake, S.J., and Cha, J. (2013). A consultative process with children for designing a community education park about positive climate change awareness and action. Presented at the 7th World Environmental Education Congress (WEEC), Marrakech, Morocco, 9-14 June.
Wake, S.J., and Cha, L. (Jiye) (2013). Children's contribution to design for climate change learning: A student research-led design project. Proceedings of the 50th International Federation of Landscape Architects World Congress (IFLA50), 'Shared Wisdom in an Age of Change'. 10-12 April, Auckland, NZ, USB, pp. 363-370 (Vol. ISBN: 978-0-473-24360-9.).
Wake, S. J., and Eames, C. (2013). Developing an "ecology of learning" within a school sustainability co-design project with children in New Zealand. Local Environment: The International Journal of Justice and Sustainability, doi: 10.1080/13549839.2012.748723 (Vol. 18(3)).
Wake, S.J. (2013). Closing the generation gap: Using co-design with children to encourage sustainable practice in the built environment. Proceedings of the Central Europe towards Sustainable Building Conference 2013: Sustainable Building & Refurbishment for Next Generations. CTU Prague, Czech Republic,26-28 June.
Wake , S. J., and Cha, L. (Jiye) (2012). Reflections on a student research-led design project involving children, climate change and landscape architecture. Proceedings of the 46th Annual Conference of the Architectural Science Association (ANZAScA). Building on Knowledge: Theory and Practice. 14-16th November. Department of Architecture, Griffith University, QLD, Australia.
Wake, S. J. (2012). Learning from the Eco-classroom project: An evaluation of co-design as a valid process within EfS. New Zealand Association for Environmental Education Biennial Conference, Changing Course for a Sustainable World, 17-20 January, Wintec, Hamilton, New Zealand. 17-20 January.
Wake, S. J. (2011). Children and sustainable buildings: Learning through community collaboration. In SB11 Helsinki, World Sustainable Building Conference Proceedings. Organised by Finish Assoc of Civil Engineers & VTT Technical Res Centre of Finland. (Vol. vol 1).
Wake, S. J. (2011). Using principles of education to drive practice in sustainable architectural co-design with children. In Hyde, Hayman & Cabrera (Eds.). 45th Annual Conference Proceedings of the Australian and New Zealand Architectural Science Association. (CD-ROM). Faculty of Architecture, Design and Planning: University of Sydney. Australia.
Wake, S. J. (2011). The Eco-classroom project: Fostering student participation through education for sustainability. Unpublished Masters in Education thesis, The University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand.
Wake, S. J. (2010). Change 'because of' or change 'in spite of'? Motivations versus barriers in a New Zealand school design example. Presented (via podcast) at the University of Nottingham and the UK Energy Research Centre's workshop on "Education for sustainability, new educational philosophies and designing sustainable schools - what can we learn?", St Hugh's College, Oxford, UK, 27-28 April. Available at http://www.ukerc.ac.uk/support/tiki-index.php?page=1004_MP_SchoolDesignFutures.
Wake, S. J. (2010). Revisiting cultural building traditions to link environmental learning: Change for the sake of change? ASLE-UK & EASLCE Annual Conference "Environmental Change - Cultural Change", University of Bath, UK. 1-4 September.
Wake, S. J. (2010). Learning ecologies developed through a school sustainability project in New Zealand. Royal Geographical Society- Institute of British Geographers Annual International Conference, London. 1-3 September.
Wake, S. J. (2010). Timely changes: Connecting traditional systems for building with contemporary sustainable architectural education for children. In C. Murphy, S. J. Wake, D. turner, G. McConchie & D. Rhodes (Eds.), On the edge: Cross-disciplinary & intra-disciplinary connections in architectural science. 44th Annual Conference of the Australian and New Zealand Architectural Science Association, 24-26 November. CD-Rom.
Wake, S. J., and Eames, C. (2010). Building learning in children: 'Authentic' sustainability education through building an co-classroom. In S. Lehman, H. Al Waer, J. Al-Qawasmi. (Eds), Sustainable Architecture & Urban Development. Proceedings of "SAUD 2010", The Seventh International Conference of the Center for the Study of Architecture in the Arab Region, 12-14 July (Vol. Vol III).
Wake, S. J. (2010). Building EfS: Children's experiences of co-designing an eco-classroom. NZAEE Biennial Conference 'Taking the Next Steps - Te Ahu Whakamua', Hastings, Hawke's Bay, New Zealand, 19-22 January.
Murphy, C., Wake, S. J., Turner, D., McConchie, G., and Rhodes, D. (2010). (Eds.) On the edge: Cross-disciplinary & intra-disciplinary connections in architectural science. Conference Proceedings (Book/CD-Rom) of the 44th Annual Conference of the Australian and New Zealand Architectural Science Association, 24-26 November. Departments of Architecture & Landscape Architecture, Unitec: Auckland, New Zealand. ISBN 978-0-473-18000-3.
Wake, S. (2009). Power of participation: children's learning about sustainable design through co-desiging an eco-classroom. Proceedings of 43rd Annual ANZAScA ConferencePerformative ecologies across the built environment: Sustaninability research across disciplinesElectronic.
Wake, S., and Adam, J. (2009). Digging the dirt: Cultural discord and the architecture of gardening. Cultural Crossroads: Proceedings of the 26th International SAHANZ ConferenceCultural Crossroads Conference.
Wake, S. (2006). The geography of children's gardens: Fulfilling adult agendas or children's 'wildest' dreams? Second International Children's Geographies Conference 'Advancing interdisciplinary understandings of younger peoples lives'.
Wake, S. (2006). Children's gardens: Blending nature, play and learning for city kids. Royal Geographical Society Institute of British Geographers (RGB/IBG) Annual International Conference 2006, London, United Kingdom, 30 August-1 September.
Wake, S. (2005). Winston Churchill Fellow, Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Board.
Wake, S. (2005). Learning-informed design of childrens' gardens - A New Zealand experience. Presented to the 2005 National Children and Youth Garden Symposium, 27-30 July, Atlanta, USA.
Wake, S. (2005). Childrens' gardens: New typology or flash-in-the-pan? Presented to the Landscape Architecture Seminar Series, 13 October, Auckland.
Wake, S. (2005). Designed for learning. Presented to the New Zealand Association of Environmental Education (Auckland branch) Annual General Meeting, 29 November, Auckland.
Wake, S. (2005). The potential of children's gardens in the South Pacific: Education at the sustainable edge, Proceedings 2005 Conference of South Pacific Professional Engineering Excellence (SPPEEx) Wananga 2005 'Education for sustainability in the South Pacific' (web ed.). Auckland: South Pacific Professional Engineering Excellence. Paper presented at the SPPEEx 2005 Conference 'Education for sustainability in the South Pacific', 24 September.
Wake, S. (2005). Patriotism and play: Examples of early 20th century design of parks for children. In M. Abbot (Ed.), Looking forward to heritage landscapes: Proceedings of the New Zealand Institute of Landscape Architects 2005 Conference (CD Rom ed., pp. 448-457). Dunedin: NZILA. Paper presented at the New Zealand Institute of Landscape Architects Conference 'Looking forward to heritage landscapes', 28-30 April, Dunedin.
Wake, S. (2004). Think global, act local - A model for learning - Informed design of children's gardens. Presented to the Conference of the Council of Educators in Landscape and Architecture (CELA 2004) 'Here or there? Interconnections between the global and the local', 24-29 June, Lincoln, Canterbury.
Wake, S. (2004). Gardens of Cornwall: Eden and Heligan. Presented to the Garden Club, 10 June, Auckland, New Zealand.
Wake, S. (2004). Learning: Informed design of children's gardens. Presented to the New Zealand Association for Environmental Education Workshop: Establishing school gardens, 18 March, Auckland, New Zealand.
Wake, S. (2004). The end of an era. The Orchardist, December 2004, 20-25.
Wake, S. (2004). Think global, act local - A model for learning: informed design of children's gardens. Landscape Review, 9 (1), 222-225.
Wake, S. (2003). Garden Festivals of Westonbirt and Chaumont-sur-Loire. Presented to the Garden Design Society of New Zealand, 15 October, Auckland, New Zealand.
Wake, S. (2003). The garden point. Presented to the Landscape Architecture Seminar Series, 9 October, Auckland.
Wake, S. (2002). Designing with New Zealand Native Plants. Presented to the participants in Auckland Regional Botanic Gardens 'Gardening Discovery Programme'. 1 September, Auckland, New Zealand.
Wake, S. (2002). Nature versus torture. Landscape New Zealand (Jul/Aug), 15-16.
Wake, S. (2002). Children's garden: Engaging kids with plants and their environment. Presented to the New Zealand Association for Environmental Education conference, 17-19 January, Hamilton.
Haines, L., Wake, S., Lockett, C., Clendon, D., Emmitt, T., & Ngatai, M. (2002). Report on native bush component of Greytown Soldiers' Memorial Park (Report to Greytown Friends of the Park). Auckland: UNITEC.
Wake, S. (2001). Children's Gardens - Learning By Doing. Landscape New Zealand (November/ December), 8-10.
Wake, S. (2001). Off the garden path - some USA gardens with a difference Presented to the Landscape Architecture Seminar Series, 11 October, Auckland.
Wake, S. (2000). New York to Mexico - landscapes and gardens here, there and in between. Presented to the Landscape Architecture Seminar Series, 12 October, Auckland.
Wake, S. (2000). Growing trials: Verbenas (Report to Consumer's Institute (Consumer Home and Garden, Issue 59, Sept - Oct 2000)). Wellington, New Zealand: Consumers Institute.