About us

Gap Filler invites people to have ‘everyday’ encounters outside their everyday selves and habits, and in so doing imagine and experience a different possible world that is more fun, participatory, surprising, equitable and sociable. A world in which they might play a new part. We get strangers dancing on street corners, workmates making music together, and grandparents and grandkids jumping on giant video game controllers.


Gap Filler is a globally acclaimed, award-winning creative social enterprise that works with communities – and the public and private sectors – to design and deliver placemaking strategies and programmes that are the foundation for long-term community outcomes. We create installations, events and processes to make places more memorable, fun, participatory, surprising, equitable and sociable. 

Evolving from the 2010 and 2011 quakes in Christchurch Ōtautahi, Gap Filler has undertaken and facilitated more than 150 projects. From events, to installations, fully-consented pavilions to programmes, our skills are diverse and networks large. Check out our Portfolio to see some of our work and click on Products & Services to see what we can do for you.

New Zealand-based

Our testing ground is Ōtautahi Christchurch, where since 2010 our prolific and diverse output has invited people to experiment, engage in and reshape a place undergoing vast and rapid change. Our work has helped shift the identity of our conservative Garden City to “a city where anything is possible” (Christchurch City Council Strategic Framework, 2018). Drawing on this evolutionary experience, we deliver strategies, installations and support services all around Aotearoa New Zealand and the world.​


  • Ryan Reynolds, New Zealander of the Year nominee, Sanitarium New Zealand Innovator of the Year, 2019
  • Best Soft Power Activation, nominee, 2016, by Lord Culture (London)
  • City to City Barcelona FAD Award, 2016, for Eyes on the City as one of the top three global Learning Initiatives in the City
  • International Award for Public Art, finalist, for the Pallet Pavilion, 2015 (China/US)
  • New Zealand Innovator’s Awards, finalist, for Innovation in Media, Music and Entertainment, 2015
  • Coralie Winn, New Year’s Honour list, Queen’s Service Medal for Service to the Arts, 2015
  • Coralie Winn (Gap Filler Director and Co-Founder), Finalist for NEXT Woman of the Year (Arts) 2015
  • BEST Design Awards, Silver (Exhibitions and Temporary Installations category) for the Pallet Pavilion, 2013
  • Australasian Dulux Colour Award, for Manchester St Monopoloy, 2013
  • Tertiary Education Union Award of Excellence to co-founder Ryan Reynolds, 2012
  • SHAC (Sustainable Habitat Challenge) Award, 2012
  • Sustainable Business Network Social Innovation Awards, 2012
  • Resene Architectural Design Awards, Finalist for Dance-O-Mat, 2012
  • Civic Trust Award 2011
  • Mayor’s Earthquake Service Award, 2011

Gap Filler People

Gap Filler staff, Board members and the People behind the projects

In the Media

In the Media 2017
In the Media 2016
In the Media 2015
In the Media 2014
In the Media 2013
In the Media 2012
In the Media 2011
In the Media 2010

Our Values

We encourage and promote strong and flourishing communities, by giving people a chance to participate in creative projects that shape the places around them. Communities are strongest when members are working together.

We are leaders, expressing our values through fearless implementation. Whether blazing a new trail, keeping it in good order, motivating people to follow it, or telling stories along the way – we lead from the front, middle or back with clear purpose and intent.

Resourcefulness to us means a commitment to all R’s and full lifecycle thinking in everything we do. It also means valuing people’s time and energy (often beyond project budgets), and constantly searching for ways to develop community resources.

We value trying out new things and not repeating ourselves, taking calculated risks to lead by example. We challenge ourselves to keep stretching boundaries, and innovating in new ways to grow community in any context.

Collaboration unlocks creative potential. We believe in seeking out partners to implement ideas together, as well as cooperating to realise others’ ideas. We often act as ‘translator’ to bring disparate groups together, finding a common language and promoting shared understanding.

We esteem the spirit of innovation, exploring new ways of engaging, creating and realising ideas, honouring and promoting creative practice and process. Playfulness is our niche: we use surprise and delight in abundance, and try to merge optimism and critical thinking.

We strive to honour the Treaty of Waitangi/Te Tiriti in our projects, approach and relationships. We believe in honouring the stories and histories of our places – Ōtautahi Christchurch and Aotearoa New Zealand. We seek to always do better and understand that we still have much to learn.

We recognise the importance of mana whenua as kaitiaki of Aoteaora. We seek to practice kaitiaki tanga in our placemaking work to make our places and people healthier and better connected to one another. 

There are, these days, a lot of people interested in the area of placemaking. A vitally important part of what it needs to be, in order to be truly effective, is to know the why. Gap Filler have been a compass point for me since I started in this work – reminding me of the importance of humour, generosity, deep thinking and courage. Their ability to straddle strategic thinking and effective on-the-ground outputs, and everything in between, make them a unique and vital leader in this, ever expanding, field of trying to make places better for people.

Frith Walker

Head of Placemaking, Panuku Development Auckland