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  • Using BIM to calculate accurate building material quantities for early design phase Life Cycle Assessment

    Berg, Brian (2014)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    This research simplifies the calculation of the Initial Embodied Energy (iEE) for commercial office buildings. The result is the improved integration of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) assessments of building materials into the early stages of the building design process (sketch design). This maximises the effectiveness of implementing design solutions to lower a building’s environmental impact. This thesis research proposes that building Information Models (BIM) will make calculating building material quantities easier, to simplify LCA calculations, all to improve their integration into existing sketch design phase practices, and building design decisions. This is achieved by developing a methodology for using BIM LCA tools to calculate highly detailed material quantities from a simple BIM model of sketch design phase building information. This is methodology is called an Initial Embodied Energy Building Information Model Life Cycle Assessment Building Performance Sketch (iEE BIM LCA BPS). Using this methodology calculates iEE results that are accurate, and represent a sufficient proportion (complete) of a building’s total iEE consumption, making them useful for iEE decision-making. iEE is one example of a LCA-based indicator that was used to test, and prove the feasibility of the iEE BIM LCA BPS methodology. Proving this, the research method tests the accuracy that a BIM model can calculate case study building’s building material quantities. This included developing; a methodology for how to use the BIM tool Revit to calculate iEE; a functional definition of an iEE BIM LCA BPS based on the environmental impact, and sketch design decisions effecting building materials, and elements; and an EE simulation calibration accuracy assessment methodology, complete with a function definition of the accuracy required of an iEE simulation to ensure it’s useful for sketch design decision-making. Two main tests were conducted as part of proving the iEE BIM LCA BPS’ feasibility. Test one assessed and proved that the iEE BIM LCA BPS model based on sketch design information does represent a sufficient proportion (complete) of a building’s total iEE consumption, so that are useful for iEE decision-making. This was tested by comparing the building material quantities from a SOQ (SOQ) produced to a sketch design level of detail (truth model 3), to an as-built level of detail, defined as current iEE best practices (truth model 1). Subsequent to proving that the iEE BIM LCA BPS is sufficiently complete, test two assessed if a BIM model and tool could calculate building material quantities accurately compared to truth model 3. The outcome was answering the research question of, how detailed does a BIM model need to be to calculate accurate building material quantities for a building material LCA (LCA) assessment? The inference of this thesis research is a methodology for using BIM models to calculate the iEE of New Zealand commercial office buildings in the early phases of the design process. The outcome was that a building design team’s current level of sketch design phase information is sufficiently detailed for sketch design phase iEE assessment. This means, that iEE and other LCA-based assessment indicators can be integrated into a design team’s existing design process, practices, and decisions, with no restructuring required.

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  • "I just find it awkward": Girls' negotiations of sexualised pop music media

    Goddard, Sarah (2016)

    Doctoral thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    This thesis examines girls’ relationship with and consumption of female pop stars’ music media. It is contextualised within a period of extensive academic and media debate about girls’ engagement with what has been termed the sexualisation of culture. Much of the alarm concerning girls’ premature sexualisation is underpinned by the presumption of girls as passive media consumers who are uniformly influenced by sexually saturated female pop music, particularly its ubiquitous representation of hyper (hetero) sexually desiring femininity. The notion of girls as precociously sexualised by hypersexual female pop music media has gained homogenous status within mainstream media and popular psychology texts. Girls’ pleasurable consumption and negotiation of a sexually laden media landscape is approached in this research as complicated by their contradictory positioning as savvy consumers within the postfeminist girlhood consumer market and simultaneously as victims within mainstream media and academic literature. Grounded in feminist poststructuralist understandings of girls’ subjectivity, the thesis explores the possibilities of self that representations within female pop music media enable and constrain for girls. Furthermore, the thesis explores ways in which girls make sense of these discourses while carefully managing their positioning as consumers. The research upon which this thesis is based has two parts. Part one of the research involved focus groups within which 30 pre-teen girls, identifying as ‘Kiwis’ or ‘New Zealanders’ discussed their engagement with female popular music media. The second part comprises a thematic discursive and semiotic analysis of girls’ self-recorded group video performances to a favourite pop song by a female artist. Discursive analysis of the professional music videos on which girls’ performances were based accompanied analyses of girls’ videos. The thesis contributes to a growing body of critical feminist research which responds to sexualisation claims that underpin hegemonic understandings of contemporary girlhood. The analyses presented in the research challenge moralistic notions of girls as uniformly influenced by pop music media by highlighting their navigation of this media as a contradictory process of appropriation and rejection. This complex negotiation, while seen in previous feminist literature, is uniquely captured within this thesis through the innovative employment of a performance method that extends feminist theorisations which problematise binary assumptions of girls’ engagement with sexualised media. This research identifies girls’ meaning making as a contradictory and plural process and provides novel insights about girls’ negotiation of postfeminist femininities in their own self-making in relation to self. Crucially, the thesis highlights the way in which girls’ navigation of sexualised media can be understood as occurring through both rejection and reproduction of postfeminist femininity ideals. Contextualised in New Zealand, the research extends knowledge about girls’ navigation of sexualised media beyond a US/UK social context. It also advances the small body of New Zealand literature about girls’ media engagement broadly and about the ways they experience sexualised media in particular.

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  • Investigating the modulation of methylphenidate’s effects on impulsivity by fluoxetine

    Chittenden, Rosemary (2015)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    The co-prescribing of methylphenidate (MPH) and a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor for patients presenting co-morbidly with both attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder and depression or anxiety is in some cases recommended. Little research has been conducted on the specific cognitive and behavioural outcomes of this. Studies with rats have shown that SSRI’s potentiate MPH-induced dopamine release in the pre-frontal cortex, hippocampus and nucleus accumbens, as well as enhancing MPH-induced hyper-locomotion (Borycz, Zapata, Quiroz, Volkow, & Ferré, 2008; Weikop, Yoshitake, & Kehr, 2007b). Impulsivity is a behavioural construct with dissociable sub-types, of which one, ‘action restraint’, has been consistently shown to be associated with increased dopamine activity in the mesolimbic system, including the nucleus accumbens. It was hypothesised that rats would make more ‘no-go’ errors in a Go/No-Go task, indicative of an increase in ‘action restraint’ type impulsivity, when co-administered fluoxetine (FLX) and MPH compared to either drug administered alone. Although this was not shown in the current study, tentative evidence was found to suggest that the combination of these drugs may negatively impact on attention, based on a decrease in ‘go’ accuracy. A second subtype of impulsivity, “action cancellation”, was tested using a new variant of the Stop-Signal Reaction Time (SSRT) task that we have developed for rats. Studies show that this subtype of impulsivity seems to be unaffected by changes in dopamine activity, but is improved by increases in norepinephrine. In the Weikop study mentioned above, the SSRI citalopram enhanced not only MPH-induced dopamine release, but also norepinephrine release in the nucleus accumbens. Thus it was hypothesised that FLX may potentiate MPH’s impulsivity-reducing effects as measured by stopping latency in the SSRT. We were not able to show this in the current study, however the demonstration that lower doses of MPH reduced stopping latency, consistent with previous versions of the SSRT, validated the new version developed for the current study. A final experiment revealed a rapid, short-term increase in locomotor activity when rats were co-administered FLX and MPH, an effect not present when either drug was administered singly. This synergistic effect replicates previous findings, and indicates a potentiation of dopamine release in the nucleus accumbens, as was found in previous studies. Although FLX was not found to moderate MPH’s effects on impulsivity in the current study, synergistic effects of the two drugs were effects were found on motor activity and potentially on attention also. This is an indication of the value of further research into specific behavioural and cognitive process that may be affected by co-administration of MPH and an SSRI.

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  • Seismic investigations of the lithosphere in an amagmatic back-arc region: North Island, New Zealand

    Dimech, Jesse-Lee (2016)

    Doctoral thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    New seismic constraints on crustal and upper mantle structures, kinematics, and lithospheric rheology are reported from an amagmatic back-arc region: the southwest North Island of New Zealand. Robust earthquake locations reveal a hypocentre 'downwarp' beneath the east-west trending Taranaki–Ruapehu Line. These earthquakes occur in the uppermost mantle, at depths of 30–50 km, and are distinct from shallower 8–25 km-deep earthquakes near Mt. Ruapehu in terms of focal mechanisms and principal stress directions. A receiver function CCP stack shows that the mantle earthquakes occur beneath a large change in crustal thickness, where the Moho 'steps' from 28 to 35 km-deep and the steepest part of that step has a 20–50° dip. The mantle earthquakes are dominated by strike-slip fault movement and have a maximum compressive stress direction of NE–SW. The existence of mantle earthquakes beneath a steeply-dipping Moho step implies some sort of dynamic modication is occurring in the mantle lithosphere. One possibility to explain these features is the convective removal of the mantle lithosphere due to a Rayleigh–Taylor-type instability. South of the Taranaki–Ruapehu Line, the Moho conversion weakens on both the receiver function CCP stack, and marine seismic reflection data under most of the Wanganui Basin (SAHKE02 and GD100 seismic lines). However, localised bright reflections at Moho depths can be seen in both near-vertical and wide-angle seismic data. Attribute analysis of near-vertical seismic reflections suggests that the rocks beneath the reflectivity are strongly-attenuating (Q ~20) with a negative velocity contrast relative to the lower crust. These observations are interpreted to be related to the presence of serpentinite (antigorite) and/or high pore fluid pressures in the mantle wedge. The links between hydration of amagmatic back-arcs, serpentinisation and/or high pore fluid pressures, rock viscosity, and mantle instabilities are documented here for the southwest North Island of New Zealand. These associations may be applicable to other amagmatic back-arcs around the world.

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  • The Two Faces of Ascorbate: Prooxidant Activity and Radio-Sensitisation

    Carson, Georgia (2016)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Although not recommended by mainstream oncologists, intravenous injections of pharmacological ascorbate are currently an alternative therapy option for cancer patients. Research has not yet determined whether high-dose ascorbate interacts favourably with radiation therapy to increase DNA damage, and therefore cell death in cancer. Some studies suggest that ascorbate can act as a prooxidant and increase the cytotoxic effect of irradiation in vitro. Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is a primary brain astrocytoma that is highly therapy resistant, so patients would be advantaged if ascorbate radiosensitised their cancer. In this investigation, flow cytometry and single cell gel electrophoresis (comet tail assay) were used to measure three indicators of DNA damage in GBM cells in response to ascorbate and irradiation, and were contrasted with immunofluorescence-revealed DNA damage from an intracranial mouse model of GBM. The pro-oxidant, radiosensitisation role of ascorbate was confirmed, as measured by H2AX, 8OHdG, and DSBs in vitro. With all three of these markers of DNA damage, combinations of irradiation and ascorbate had increased damage compared with individual treatments. However preliminary in vivo evidence indicates that increased DNA damage did not occur in an animal model of GBM, and in fact ascorbate may protect from DNA damage in an in vivo context. These findings complement previous results from our lab, and serve to fill in gaps in knowledge specifically around the DNA damaging effects of ascorbate. The unique nature of the brain environment, as enclosed by the blood brain barrier, prevents translation of data from other non-brain cancer studies, as such, this investigation also contributes to the exploration of a much needed avenue of research. Considering the context of ascorbate treatment as a potentially harmful currently used adjuvant, it is imperative to confirm or disprove its efficacy in a clinically relevant environment.

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  • Who knows what and who has the rights to know it?: Knowledge and reality construction in interaction

    Edmonds, David (2016)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Knowledge has been at the centre of philosophical and scientific enquiry for centuries. It remains a topic of central importance in psychology. The current thesis examined how knowledge was managed and treated as relevant by speakers in social interaction in situ. Complaint calls to a dispute resolution telephone helpline service were studied using discursive psychology and conversation analysis as theoretical and methodological frameworks. The thesis focused on how knowledge was implicated in the accomplishment of the institutional task of jointly establishing the facts of the complaint. In particular, the research examined how the issues of ‘who knows what’ and ‘who has the rights to know it’ were demonstrably relevant for speakers in these interactions. The empirical work focused on two types of question-answer sequences. In cases where some requested information was not forthcoming or not immediately provided, callers’ conduct displayed their orientations to a normative expectation that they knew what was asked for and that they had an obligation to provide it. A second set of cases was a collection of declarative requests for confirmation. The different types of responses to such questions were described. It was proposed that the responses could be placed along a continuum, by the extent to which they asserted a caller’s epistemic rights to knowledge about the relevant information. The thesis contributed to existing research by drawing together recent conversation analytic work on epistemics as a domain of organization in social interaction, and more established discursive psychological work on reality construction. The thesis highlighted the practical nature of knowledge, as it was relevant for accomplishing a key institutional task, and other actions, in telephone-mediated dispute resolution.

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  • Directing: A Mirror to Solo Performance Provocation, Collaboration and Proxy Audience

    Richards, Sally (2016)

    Doctoral thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Solo performance is a challenging, immediate and exhilarating form of theatre. Its popularity in the field of westernised contemporary theatre is evidenced in the increasing programming of solo performances at international festivals and in commercial theatres. However, whilst there is considerable analysis of the genre of solo performance there is little examination of the relationship between director and solo performer in the rehearsal room. Prior research has focused on the theoretical or on the practical, but rarely have the two approaches actively engaged with each other. This thesis contributes a much-needed analysis of directing practice in this area, and an integration of theory and practice that offers tangible approaches in the rehearsal room. In what ways can the director best serve the solo performer to create a theatrical experience that can hold the audience's attention, imagination and memory? Solo performance is characterised by a heightened presence in both performer and audience, incited by a minimalism that abandons the theatrical premise of artifice and turns to primary storytelling. The rehearsal room relationship between director and solo performer also shares these qualities, heightened and focused by the one-one engagements. Directing in this context contrasts from that of a multi-cast, with distinctly different dynamics arising from an artistic collaboration between two people, rather than with many. This thesis considers how the director is placed as a flexible paradigm as proxy audience and as a bidirectional-mirroring device in the rehearsal process – situating the director as an articulated reflection to the transforming solo performer. I analyse this unique partnership and focus primarily on strategies that directors use to create effective solo performance. This thesis is comprised of 80% critical writing and 20% for the creative/practice-based research project. I examine the particular qualities of solo performance as a genre; its theatrical origins, function and purpose, the scope of styles and forms and its potential for political and social meaning. However, my focus is on the rehearsal room processes, working predominantly with a director, rather than an analysis of the end product - the performance. I interview practitioners in the field about their rehearsal room experiences, across the spectrum of styles and forms of solo performance. My theoretical framework is centred on Practice as Research (PaR). In order to scrutinise the relationship between director and solo performer I have gained access to the rehearsal room as both director/practitioner and researcher. The PaR component of this thesis includes the analysis of the experimental rehearsal process and performance of PocaHAUNTus - a new autobiographical solo play. In addition I draw on a body of retrospective work – re-examining my direction of five solo performances that occurred prior to this thesis. Production journals, rehearsal and performance footage, interviews, communications and photographs evidence all components. My research question is not simply “Does a solo performer need a director?” Instead, my research pursues how the relationship between the two might be negotiated, asking: “In what ways can the director best serve the solo performer?” The research examines the fundamental challenges of the genre, namely: the delineation of multiple characters by a single performer, immediacy of the audience relationship to the lone performer, stage geography and scenographic choices. The research also identifies and refines practical strategies to accommodate the intensity of working one-on-one. At its best, the director-solo performer relationship is a vibrant and supportive partnership but because of its intimacy, it is often also a complex and challenging engagement. The contribution of this thesis and its originality is in a PaR model that utilises my past experience of directing solo performance, expands on this foundation through the collection of extensive interview material from a diverse range of significant directors and performers of solo work, and then pursues a new creative laboratory where I test key approaches to directing solo performance.

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  • Characterization of Groundwater with Complementary Age Tracers

    Beyer, Monique (2015)

    Doctoral thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Groundwater age or residence time is the time water has resided in the subsurface since recharge. Depending on the application, this definition may or may not include travel through the unsaturated zone. The determination of groundwater age can aid understanding and characterization of groundwater resources, because it can provide information on e.g. groundwater mixing and flow, and volumes of groundwater and recharge. Groundwater age can be inferred from environmental tracers, such as SF₆ and tritium, that have a known input to groundwater and/or undergo known alteration processes in groundwater. The currently used age tracers face limitations regarding their application range and reliability. For example, some age tracers have local sources that can lead to contamination of groundwater. This contamination can result in misleading estimates of age. Other tracers have ambiguous inputs to groundwater, which can result in ambiguous age estimations. To reduce these limitations, it is now recognized that multiple tracers should be applied complementarily. There is also a need for new groundwater age tracers and/or new groundwater dating techniques to supplement the existing ones. Cost-effective and easily applicable tracers/techniques are preferred, since most established groundwater dating techniques are very costly and/or complex. Commonly measured hydrochemistry parameters , such as the concentrations of major ions and pH, have been suggested as cost-effective and easily determinable potential age tracers. To date, the use of commonly measured hydrochemistry parameters as independent age tracer has only been demonstrated for water recharged weeks to months ago relying on seasonal changes. Other studies applied commonly measured hydrochemistry complementarily to established age tracers to better constrain groundwater age and/or better understand and predict anthropogenic effects on groundwater quality. Further study is needed to assess the extent to which commonly measured hydrochemistry can be used to reduce uncertainty in tracer-inferred age as well as the extent to which commonly measured hydrochemistry can be used to extrapolate tracer-inferred age. In addition to tracer specific limitations, quantification of uncertainty and ambiguity is not standard in age modelling. Although a few studies have attempted to quantify uncertainty in age modelling with the aid of probabilistic approaches, their methods are often relatively complex and not transferrable to the many cases with little available data. Uncertainties in the tracer’s recharge estimate and identification of appropriate model components, such as the objective function, have not been considered. Studies in other areas of hydrological modelling, where probabilistic approaches are more commonly used, have highlighted the need for careful identification of model components.

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  • Learning Feature Selection and Combination Strategies for Generic Salient Object Detection

    Naqvi, Syed (2016)

    Doctoral thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    For a diverse range of applications in machine vision from social media searches to robotic home care providers, it is important to replicate the mechanism by which the human brain selects the most important visual information, while suppressing the remaining non-usable information. Many computational methods attempt to model this process by following the traditional model of visual attention. The traditional model of attention involves feature extraction, conditioning and combination to capture this behaviour of human visual attention. Consequently, the model has inherent design choices at its various stages. These choices include selection of parameters related to the feature computation process, setting a conditioning approach, feature importance and setting a combination approach. Despite rapid research and substantial improvements in benchmark performance, the performance of many models depends upon tuning these design choices in an ad hoc fashion. Additionally, these design choices are heuristic in nature, thus resulting in good performance only in certain settings. Consequentially, many such models exhibit low robustness to difficult stimuli and the complexities of real-world imagery. Machine learning and optimisation technique have long been used to increase the generalisability of a system to unseen data. Surprisingly, artificial learning techniques have not been investigated to their full potential to improve generalisation of visual attention methods. The proposed thesis is that artificial learning can increase the generalisability of the traditional model of visual attention by effective selection and optimal combination of features. The following new techniques have been introduced at various stages of the traditional model of visual attention to improve its generalisation performance, specifically on challenging cases of saliency detection: 1. Joint optimisation of feature related parameters and feature importance weights is introduced for the first time to improve the generalisation of the traditional model of visual attention. To evaluate the joint learning hypothesis, a new method namely GAOVSM is introduced for the tasks of eye fixation prediction. By finding the relationships between feature related parameters and feature importance, the developed method improves the generalisation performance of baseline method (that employ human encoded parameters). 2. Spectral matting based figure-ground segregation is introduced to overcome the artifacts encountered by region-based salient object detection approaches. By suppressing the unwanted background information and assigning saliency to object parts in a uniform manner, the developed FGS approach overcomes the limitations of region based approaches. 3. Joint optimisation of feature computation parameters and feature importance weights is introduced for optimal combination of FGS with complementary features for the first time for salient object detection. By learning feature related parameters and their respective importance at multiple segmentation thresholds and by considering the performance gaps amongst features, the developed FGSopt method improves the object detection performance of the FGS technique also improving upon several state-of-the-art salient object detection models. 4. The introduction of multiple combination schemes/rules further extends the generalisability of the traditional attention model beyond that of joint optimisation based single rules. The introduction of feature composition based grouping of images, enables the developed IGA method to autonomously identify an appropriate combination strategy for an unseen image. The results of a pair-wise ranksum test confirm that the IGA method is significantly better than the deterministic and classification based benchmark methods on the 99% confidence interval level. Extending this line of research, a novel relative encoding approach enables the adapted XCSCA method to group images having similar saliency prediction ability. By keeping track of previous inputs, the introduced action part of the XCSCA approach enables learning of generalised feature importance rules. By more accurate grouping of images as compared with IGA, generalised learnt rules and appropriate application of feature importance rules, the XCSCA approach improves upon the generalisation performance of the IGA method. 5. The introduced uniform saliency assignment and segmentation quality cues enable label free evaluation of a feature/saliency map. By accurate ranking and effective clustering, the developed DFS method successfully solves the complex problem of finding appropriate features for combination (on an-image-by-image basis) for the first time in saliency detection. The DFS method enables ground truth free evaluation of saliency methods and advances the state-of-the-art in data driven saliency aggregation by detection and deselection of redundant information. The final contribution is that the developed methods are formed into a complete system where analysis shows the effects of their interactions on the system. Based on the saliency prediction accuracy versus computational time trade-off, specialised variants of the proposed methods are presented along with the recommendations for further use by other saliency detection systems. This research work has shown that artificial learning can increase the generalisation of the traditional model of attention by effective selection and optimal combination of features. Overall, this thesis has shown that it is the ability to autonomously segregate images based on their types and subsequent learning of appropriate combinations that aid generalisation on difficult unseen stimuli.

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  • Private finance and governance of REDD+ projects in Indonesia

    Dixon, Rowan (2016)

    Doctoral thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    This thesis explores the role of private finance within REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation) programmes in Indonesia. Since its debut in 2007 as a potential investment opportunity, enterprising and innovative private sector actors have moved to establish REDD+ projects within a voluntary carbon market, while the United Nations Convention on Climate Change continues negotiations to establish a comprehensive global mechanism. These profit-seeking actors have invested millions of dollars developing REDD+ projects within a rapidly evolving voluntary market that has emerged alongside the turmoil of global climate change negotiations. This dynamic market context brought about a wide variety of expressions of REDD+ in Indonesia, which this research seeks to untangle and illuminate. The thesis yields insights into the workings of market environmentalism, and complicates widespread notions of ‘private finance’ as a homogenous and predictable category of actor. In order to better understand the emergent REDD+ industry in Indonesia, and the role of private finance in shaping it, this research draws on the global value chain (GVC) framework to analyse processes of commodification and governance within REDD+ projects and ‘supply chains’. This approach identifies key private finance actors, and explores why they are involved across motivations for social, environmental and financial outcomes. It also reveals REDD+ projects as a produced commodity and provides insight into the multiple ways they are valued. The research thus highlights how private finance actors evaluate REDD+ commodities as they engage with them. These logics, and the profit-seeking rationale of private finance actors, are seen to have important governance implications in shaping the characteristics of REDD+ projects and the networks of actors involved in them. However, simultaneously, the malleable and selective characteristics of the REDD+ commodity itself shapes certain governing implications of private finance. This thesis contributes to debates concerning the commodification of nature within market environmentalism and the neoliberalisation of nature, providing insights into the nature and agency of private finance.

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  • Path to Accessibility: The current state of disability access in Aotearoa New Zealand museums

    King-Wall, Riah (2016)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    The New Museology posits museums and galleries as institutions entwined with issues of social justice and political responsibility. The relationship between museums and their communities is the founding aspect of this theoretical and practical framework. ‘Path to Accessibility’ explores the ways museums and galleries around Aotearoa New Zealand are engaging with communities of people with disabilities, consulting both with representatives from the disability sector and cultural organisations from around the country. This dissertation addresses a current gap in the literature available on how New Zealand museums are adapting to the needs of these audiences; a shift that is necessary given one in four New Zealanders identifies as having lived experience of disability. It also forges a valuable contribution to the field of museum studies by drawing on theory such as audience development and visitor research, and utilising emancipatory research frameworks from disability studies, as well as conducting original research on an under-examined topic. The research comprised a multi-method approach to ensure credibility. Focus group and interview stages collected the experiences and viewpoints of existing museum visitors with disabilities. This provided a foundation on which to create a nationwide survey of 41 museums and galleries. The survey explored multiple aspects of disability access, including physical ingress, inclusive exhibition design, tailored public programming, digital accessibility, and levels of disability representation in staff and management positions. The findings of this research project reveal that museums and galleries in Aotearoa New Zealand are for the most part considering disability access in some way. However, actioning related initiatives is often limited to achieving minimum legislative requirements rather than approaching it comprehensively as part of wider audience development strategies. The analysis of data gathered puts forward a number of suggestions around improving practice in New Zealand museums, central to which is establishing relationships with communities of people with disabilities and their advocacy groups to ensure long-term sustainability. These recommendations have global applicability for museum practice as comparative overseas studies demonstrate strong similarities to the New Zealand context.

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  • Leaving a Trail - Revealing heritage in a rural landscape

    Rodgers, Maria (2016)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    ‘Leaving a Trail – revealing heritage in a rural landscape’ investigates how landscape architecture can reveal heritage and connect Māori and Pākehā to the land and to the past in rural Aotearoa New Zealand. Our rural landscapes contain rich and varied stories, which, if interpreted and made stronger by being linked together, have the potential to create cultural and recreational assets as well as tourist drawcards. A starting point for this research based in South Wairarapa was the six sites identified by the Wairarapa Moana Management Team as sites for development. The first design ‘hunch’ remained the touchstone of the project. With the six Wairarapa Moana Wetlands Park sites forming an ‘inner necklace’ the aim of this project became creating an ‘outer necklace’ of revealed heritage sites, a heritage trail. This thesis was inspired by the depth of Māori connection to the land. Māori consider the natural world is able to ‘speak’ to humans. The method chosen for this design research is based on landscape architect Christophe Girot’s ‘Four Trace Concepts in Landscape Architecture’. Girot is interested in methods and techniques that expand landscape projects beyond the amelioration of sites towards the reactivation of the cultural dimensions of sites. As part of this research is to enable connection with the cultural dimensions of sites, or to ‘hear the site speak’, his method was chosen as a starting point. It was adapted and shaped by previous experience and the experience of this research to form a new method, ‘Four Listening Acts in Landscape Architecture’. Through such methods landscape architects can grow their relationship with the land and so better design with the land and for the landscape and its people. After research, the sites were chosen and grouped into four major routes, Māori, Pākehā settlement, natural system and military, so as to appeal to people with a variety of interests. Of the twenty six trail sites most are already marked and eleven are unmarked. Research into how to reveal these unmarked sites saw three different approaches used. Sites with spaces had their essence intensified to become places. Other sites had objects designed for them directly related to the landscape. The significance of the rest is shown with numbered markers. These three different methods of revealing a site’s significance are threaded together into a series, a necklace, creating a trail that contributes a cultural, recreational and tourist resource to South Wairarapa.

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  • Retrofitting Memory: Retrofitting a Non-Physical Architecture

    Low, Soon Yie (2016)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    This project looks at how destroyed architecture, although physically lost, fundamentally continues to exist within human memories as a non-physical entity. The site chosen is Avonside Girls’ High School in Christchurch, New Zealand, a school heavily damaged during the February 22nd earthquake in 2011. The project focuses on the Main Block, a 1930s masonry building which had always been a symbol for the school and its alumni. The key theories relevant to this are studies on non-material architecture and memory as these subjects investigate the relationship between conceptual idea and the triggering of it. This research aims to study how to fortify a thought-based architecture against neglect, similar to the retrofitting of physical structures. In doing so, the importance of the emotive realm of architecture and the idea behind a building (as opposed to the built component itself) is further validated, promoting more broadminded stances regarding the significance of the idea over the object. A new method for disaster recovery and addressing trauma from lost architecture is also acquired. Factors regarding advanced structural systems and programmes are not covered within the scope of this research because the project instead explores issues regarding the boundaries between the immaterial and material. The project methodology involves communicating a narrative derived from the memories alumni and staff members have of the old school block. The approach for portraying the narrative is based on a list of strategies obtained from case studies. The final product of the research is a new design for the high school, conveyed through a set of atmospheric drawings that cross-examines the boundaries between the physical and non-physical realms by representing the version of the school that exists solely within memories.

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  • How does a music therapy student work to facilitate reminiscence and memory in dementia patients

    Sun, I-Chen (2016)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    This study was prompted in response to increased interest in, and demand for, music therapy provision in improving quality of care for dementia patients. It is an exploration of the strategies to facilitate memory and reminiscence in persons with dementia, and considers the need for those preparing for end of life to recall identities, connect with family and others, and express feelings. This research is a qualitative study involving secondary analysis of clinical data from my clinical practice and identifies the strategies, techniques and procedures that I applied in my clinical work to stimulate preserved memory ‘islands’. The findings show that familiarity is central in enabling a remembering process, and music can have unique ways of accessing memory in people with limited cognitive and social abilities. Eight core categories of music therapy strategies were found to be helpful in enabling memory and reminiscence. This study includes examples of both individual and group music therapy. The objective of this study was to examine my music therapy practice, and potentially provide some beneficial ideas and insights to other music therapists working on memory and reminiscence with dementia patients.

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  • Architecture as a Catalyst for Activity

    Tungatt, Rory (2016)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Many of New Zealand’s smaller town centres struggle to remain viable. A common issue for these declining public realms is the hollowing out of their city centres. Numerous factors may contribute to this problem. Issues such as a lack of access, connectivity and identity within the urban fabric, or instances of privatisation, where forums that were once public have now shifted to a digital interface. One of the challenges facing cities is the diminishing number of “civic” buildings and activity located in the town centre. The Indoor Community Sports Centre (ICSC) offers a partial remedy for this problem. Even with the merging and downsizing of Council’s and their funding, Territorial Authorities continue to invest in ICSCs. This thesis investigates whether these buildings can make a positive contribution to the public domain of town centres. New Zealand ICSC’s, more often than not, are simple shed-like buildings on the periphery of cities or town centres, predominantly occupying or adjacent to large park areas, sports fields or schools. This thesis examines whether the building type can be adapted to become an “urban” building, where it will have the opportunity contribute to a revitalised town centre. A design case study based on Upper Hutt identifies three key design criteria established from initial research of Sports Centres and best-practice Urban Design. These three criteria – breaking up mass, active edges from the outside and creating a dynamic connection – allow the ICSC to become part of the civic realm. The research concludes that an ICSC can be successfully integrated into an “urban” context. In the Upper Hutt case study, success depends on two broader design strategies. First, the ICSC should be located in an area where walkability, functionality and visual and physical connectivity will benefit the public domain. Second, the ICSC should be part of a mixed-use development, which exploits the building type’s inherent flexibility. This is achieved through combining a transport hub, another essential civic amenity, as well as other commercial programmes that provide occupancy during periods of disuse. The thesis shows how a carefully adapted ICSC can turn a somewhat disconnected, hollowed out town into a functional, integrated and walkable one. The redesigned facility does so by linking existing amenities, feeding city-fringe activity back into the city centre and projecting a consciousness of place.

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  • Data for Surf's Sake - Illustrating a subculture through interactive data visualisation and action sports trackers

    Everitt, Matthew (2016)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Over the last two years action sports trackers have emerged for those seeking thrills in risk-taking sports (Mitchell, 2014). The data generated by these trackers is creating digitised representations of communities participating in action sports such as surfing. The surfing database comprises of activity all over the globe, and due to its size and complexity it can be categorised as big data. Understanding this complex database requires specific data visualisation methods which visually map relationships and patterns. This research asked: can an interactive data visualisation illustrate hierarchical, nomadic, and experiential aspects of the surfing subculture? This thesis is based on ethnographic research which focuses on exploring qualitative visualisations of the quantitative databases generated by action sports trackers for surfing. The research focused on the design of data visualisations which explored contemporary methods and principles of data visualisation and their applicability to communicate aspects of the surfing subculture. This manifested in the design of an interactive web application, Gone Surfing, which focused on global, local, and personal views which communicate Stranger’s (2011) substructure model of the surfing subculture. The hierarchical, nomadic, and experiential aspects of the surfing subculture are only known from long term immersion in the subculture itself. This design made these aspects explicit through the visualisation of the database. For example, pilgrimage’s to revered surfing locations and hierarchy within local communities, and a surfer’s relationship with the waves are forms of implicit knowledge which were made explicit. The final creative output, Gone Surfing, visualises these aspects in an interactive web application consisting of global, local, and personal views to each communicate an aspect effectively. The interactive visualisation allows non-surfers to explore the subculture while enhancing a surfer’s understanding of their position within the surfing nation.

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  • Improving Clustering Methods By Exploiting Richness Of Text Data

    Wahid, Abdul (2016)

    Doctoral thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Clustering is an unsupervised machine learning technique, which involves discovering different clusters (groups) of similar objects in unlabeled data and is generally considered to be a NP hard problem. Clustering methods are widely used in a verity of disciplines for analyzing different types of data, and a small improvement in clustering method can cause a ripple effect in advancing research of multiple fields. Clustering any type of data is challenging and there are many open research questions. The clustering problem is exacerbated in the case of text data because of the additional challenges such as issues in capturing semantics of a document, handling rich features of text data and dealing with the well known problem of the curse of dimensionality. In this thesis, we investigate the limitations of existing text clustering methods and address these limitations by providing five new text clustering methods--Query Sense Clustering (QSC), Dirichlet Weighted K-means (DWKM), Multi-View Multi-Objective Evolutionary Algorithm (MMOEA), Multi-objective Document Clustering (MDC) and Multi-Objective Multi-View Ensemble Clustering (MOMVEC). These five new clustering methods showed that the use of rich features in text clustering methods could outperform the existing state-of-the-art text clustering methods. The first new text clustering method QSC exploits user queries (one of the rich features in text data) to generate better quality clusters and cluster labels. The second text clustering method DWKM uses probability based weighting scheme to formulate a semantically weighted distance measure to improve the clustering results. The third text clustering method MMOEA is based on a multi-objective evolutionary algorithm. MMOEA exploits rich features to generate a diverse set of candidate clustering solutions, and forms a better clustering solution using a cluster-oriented approach. The fourth and the fifth text clustering method MDC and MOMVEC address the limitations of MMOEA. MDC and MOMVEC differ in terms of the implementation of their multi-objective evolutionary approaches. All five methods are compared with existing state-of-the-art methods. The results of the comparisons show that the newly developed text clustering methods out-perform existing methods by achieving up to 16\% improvement for some comparisons. In general, almost all newly developed clustering algorithms showed statistically significant improvements over other existing methods. The key ideas of the thesis highlight that exploiting user queries improves Search Result Clustering(SRC); utilizing rich features in weighting schemes and distance measures improves soft subspace clustering; utilizing multiple views and a multi-objective cluster oriented method improves clustering ensemble methods; and better evolutionary operators and objective functions improve multi-objective evolutionary clustering ensemble methods. The new text clustering methods introduced in this thesis can be widely applied in various domains that involve analysis of text data. The contributions of this thesis which include five new text clustering methods, will not only help researchers in the data mining field but also to help a wide range of researchers in other fields.

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  • Communicating a Culture of Peace in Aotearoa New Zealand: The vision of Peace through Unity

    Paterson, Meredith (2016)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Narrative politics reframes how we cultivate knowledge in the academy, foregrounding the voices of research subjects and their relationships with researchers to re-embed scholars in the social world. Narrative affects the reader’s emotional capacities and fosters empathic understanding, encouraging a more human engagement with figures that have been made threatening, as Elizabeth Dauphinée explores in The Politics of Exile and Richard Jackson in Confessions of a Terrorist. Narrative politics is concerned with the question of how academics respond to the violence of war and whether the analytical tools of the social sciences are an adequate response to the human horror of war. The narratives of peace people are particularly compelling in the way they challenge the assertions of the dominant culture of wider society and the discipline of IR. Aotearoa New Zealand has a rich history of grassroots peace movements and activities that have influenced wider society. However, their stories are not well recorded in the dominant narrative of state institutions or academia. Peace Activist Elsie Locke published Peace People, a broad historical survey of peace activism from pre-European Maori to 1975. Maire Leadbeater brings the account up to 2013 in Peace, Power and Politics. All accounts emphasise that ordinary people were at the heart of activities, organisations and movements for peace. One of these ‘ordinary’ people left out of Locke and Leadbeater’s accounts is Gita Brooke, co-founder of the Whanganui-based charitable trust, Peace through Unity [PTU]. As a self-identified ‘peace person,’ Brooke has written much about their work and been involved in peace activities in Aotearoa NZ since the 1980s. Narrative politics provides a lens in IR to explore the story of Gita Brooke as co-founder of PTU. I show the contribution PTU has made and continues to make to a culture of peace in Aotearoa New Zealand and as a worldwide network, explored through the themes of education for global citizenship, transformation through thought-work, and responsibility for local action. It examines how PTU’s vision of a culture of peace has been communicated through the organisation’s newsletter, Many to Many, through its involvement with the United Nations as an accredited NGO, and through its local activities. Using archival sources, data from interviews and a content analysis of the newsletter, and complemented by the lens of and insights from the discourse of narrative politics, this study suggests that PTU provides a space for critical self-reflection in the pursuit of peace that challenges the thought/action binary of institutionalised NGOs. The deterritorialised publication, Many to Many, connects peace people through a networked area of mutual agreement that is inclusive, educative and transformative.

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  • Costing the cold: Connecting fuel poverty & supplier switching in Wellington, New Zealand

    McLean, Sam (2016)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Fuel poverty describes the inability of households to afford adequate energy services, such as space heating. In New Zealand, where 25% of households are estimated to be ‘fuel poor’, high electricity prices in a restructured electricity market have an important influence on fuel poverty. However, the ability of the New Zealand Government to regulate these high electricity prices is constrained. Consequently, there is a strong reliance on consumers to switch energy suppliers, which promotes competitive prices and in turn regulates the price of electricity. In contrast to energy efficiency improvements, switching offers fuel poor households a low-cost opportunity to improve the short-term affordability of energy services. Yet, switching is suggested to not benefit fuel poor households who are in most need of affordable energy. This thesis explored the relationship between fuel poverty and supplier switching in Wellington, New Zealand through a geographic lens. First, a new approach to identifying fuel poverty in New Zealand was applied. Using geographic information systems (GIS), a fuel poverty index was calculated to identify fuel poverty in Wellington at meshblock level. Spatial analysis of the index revealed the complexity of identifying fuel poverty and the extent to which the spatial distribution of fuel poverty in Wellington is shaped by the city’s colonial history. The index was then used to identify survey participants through which a survey was conducted exploring Wellington households’ switching behaviours. In a competitive market, consumers are expected to switch according to economically rational behaviours. However, switching behaviours in the survey sample were influenced by factors other than these economically rational behaviours. Integrating the findings of this thesis supports suggestions that switching is not benefiting the fuel poor. Finally, this thesis sheds light on the extent to which an understanding of the geography of fuel poverty can be applied towards improving the effectiveness of policy and equitable outcomes for fuel poor households.

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  • See you on Wall St. Sept 17. Bring Tent: Occupy Wall Street, Framing, and Mobilisation

    Bigwood, Sam (2016)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    The phenomenon of Occupy Wall Street (OWS) has been widely discussed in the academic and popular discourse. Of its many contributions, the language of the Occupy Movement has had a profound influence on contemporary discussions about inequality – contrasting the ‘99%’ with the ‘1%’ is now a permanent part of the conversation. However, despite this discursive shift, the literature has yet to seriously consider how the ideational elements of OWS influenced its mobilisation. While changing the dominant discourse is an important achievement, mobilising collective action around a cause remains an essential task for social movements. To explain social movement mobilisation, this thesis utilises the framing perspective, which seeks to understand why and how certain ideas are able to inspire or inhibit collective action. By using qualitative analysis of movement texts over time, this thesis has constructed the key frames articulated in selected OWS documents over the course of its serious efforts to mobilise. More specifically, it has examined whether changes in the movement’s use of diagnostic, prognostic, motivational, and identity frames can explain the trajectory of mobilisation. The central argument is that the framing perspective can offer a plausible explanation for the mobilisation of OWS; a correlation between changes in framing and expected changes in mobilisation can be observed. However, while the findings of this thesis fill one important part of the puzzle, in order to corroborate the arguments put forward here future research must consider the way the frames proffered by OWS were actually received and acted (or not acted) upon by potential participants. By doing so, we can not only gain a more perceptive insight into this topical phenomenon, but also improve our understanding of the nature and dynamics of contemporary social movements.

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