Director and Co-founder
Ryan is one of the key figures shaping the global placemaking movement. He has given keynotes, public talks and runs workshops on placemaking in nine countries. He is one of a select 100 Regional Placemaking Leaders worldwide chosen by PlacemakingX and is involved throughout Aotearoa developing the theory and practice of placemaking here.
Ryan is one of the founders of Gap Filler and has played many different roles since its inception in 2011, as board Chair, Director, Project Lead, Designer, Strategic Director and Commercial Director, helping Gap Filler influence permanent developments to have better social outcomes. He is the founder of Life in Vacant Spaces and a founding member of Ohu Foundation, a community-minded property development agency. He holds a PhD from Canterbury University, and has had teaching and research roles at Canterbury University, Lincoln University, University of Technology Sydney and Copenhagen University in Theatre & Film Studies, Environmental Management, Design, and Landscape Architecture. Ryan is also a certified Regenerative Practitioner.
Ryan’s favourite thing about Gap Filler has been discovering how unexpectedly profound absurdity can be. Simple acts like dancing on street corners can learn, reveal and achieve far more than you might expect. Ryan’s favourite example was Eyes on the City where Gap Filler parked a portable grandstand around the city – replete with commentary box, commentator, and scoreboard – and spectated and commentated upon building demolitions, traffic intersections, stalled construction projects and more.