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Understorey: Rethinking the way we come together and thrive in Central ChCh

Wednesday, July 28, 2021   Posted in: Signatory Notice Board By: Administrator With tags: Community Groups

The Green Lab media release: 27th July 2021

A new type of space is being created in the heart of Ōtautahi Christchurch. Understorey is a bold new project from The Green Lab - a free to access, community, events, co-working, and collaboration space.

The stunning Arts Centre Gym will be transformed for six weeks from Wednesday 18th August into a social space where people can come together and just be in the central city, without having to purchase anything. In this first iteration of the project, Cantabrians will be invited to connect with change organisations, community groups, innovators, entrepreneurs, and creatives alike.

“The past couple of years have wrought big changes to the ways we work and connect with each other. This project brings a range of people together, tests ways of sharing space, and hopes to support a flourishing, wellbeing-focused economy”, says Programme Director of The Green Lab, Khye Hitchcock. The multi-function space will be fit out with creative furniture that supports connection and collaboration (including our Green Connection Pod which you may have already seen in Riverside Market), and of course, plenty of plants delivering all the wellbeing benefits that come from being surrounded by them.

“Plants thrive in a complex world by communicating, sharing resources and transforming their environments” (Montgomery, 2021) and humans are much the same. In a healthy forest ecosystem, the understory is the layer between the ground and the canopy. Home to rich biodiversity which nurtures new generations of saplings, the understory makes important contributions to the stability of the ecosystem. At The Green Lab, we see our role as tending to the community understorey in Ōtautahi Christchurch.

Understorey will be hosting events, conversations, and opportunities during the day and often into the evenings over the six week pop-up to join community groups, innovators and organisations as they share with us all what they love to do.

The Green Lab’s fit-out in this unique heritage space will be officially opened on 18th August 2021. You don’t have to wait until then to become part of the project though. We welcome you to connect with us as we co-create this new way of coming together in the central city - in line with our co-design approach.

Keep an eye on The Green Lab’s social media (@thegreenlabnz) as we share more details and reveal a packed programme of events.

Contact Programme Director Khye Hitchcock for more information (khye[at]thegreenlab.co.nz or 021 024 44118).

understorey is a pilot project. The Green Lab’s dream is to find a permanent home supported by a sustainable business model. The pilot is supported by the COVID Lotteries Response, Christchurch City Council, and The Arts Centre Te Matatiki Toi Ora.