That’s easy. Because we walk the talk. We have a strong track record of delivering 150+ public projects that have our values at their heart. We can do anything across the spectrum of placemaking from early-stage Place Analysis through to Place Activation and Management. Engagement. Strategy. Programming. Design/Build. Maintenance and Operations. Social Supply Chain Development. Mentoring and Teaching. This breadth of experience and skills, coupled with our creative, playful and sincere approach to our work makes working with us a smart choice.

Gap Filler helped put placemaking on the map in Aotearoa New Zealand and demonstrated the importance of the discipline. We offer the full range of placemaking services, and bring with us a rich and diverse network of talented designers, artists, fabricators, electronics wizards, engineers and more. We regularly work with local and regional councils, community groups, developers and development agencies, arts and community trusts and funding agencies. We have done significant work across Aotearoa and Australia, and undertaken place analysis, strategy, design and mentoring work in Asia, Europe and North America. If you’d like to talk to us about an idea, contact fillthegap@gapfiller.org.nz.



We are a social enterprise and all the profits we make from our Products and Services go back into supporting the work we do in communities around Aotearoa. Our point of difference is our values-based approach. Whenever and wherever we work, we spend time engaging authentically with the place in question, its people, its histories and its geography – and understanding how we can make a genuine contribution to the place. We simply won’t do work that doesn’t align with our values or deliver positive social impact.



1. Placemaking Strategy & Programme Design

We can design a placemaking strategy and/or programme to suit any area, timeframe, budget or other constraints. We will always incorporate local stakeholder engagement and knowledge. And whatever we do will be original, exciting and specific to YOUR context. Our processes are very scalable to suit the needs of the place or development. We can also oversee implementation of a strategy or programme in part or in full.

Case study: Auranga
Gap Filler was contracted to develop a 2-year placemaking strategy for the Auranga development in Drury, south of Auckland. This is a 167 hectare greenfield development that will comprise around 2700 homes when completed.


2. Place Activation & Management

We can oversee the activation of a place and the day-to-day management and coordination of assets and people to achieve community connection, vibrancy and a sense of place.

a. Delivery of programmes

b. Maintenance and operations

c. Supply chain creation & management (local/social procurement

Case Study: Placemaking at One Central
Since May 2017, we have been delivering a major ongoing programme of installations, community amenities and events for Fletcher Living’s One Central neighbourhood in central Christchurch, a six-block inner-city residential precinct undergoing design and construction of around 940 homes. This enormous programme has included one-off events from free kids’ football workshops during the school holidays, to month-long carnivals and circuses, to major events like a Fatboy Slim concert; we’ve created a wide range of installations including a Hammock Forest, Detour, the 150m-long asphalt pump track, 6m-high spray can sculptures, a living willow shelter, a dedicated Slacklining Park, and more; and a range of ongoing community businesses such as a Tool Lendery, Youth Hub, Food Truck Collective and Heritage Mini Golf course.


3. Installation and Event Design & Delivery

Working to your aims and aspirations for your place and space, we can conceptualise, design and deliver an installation or event specifically for you. We like working closely with clients, creating a range of concepts that could achieve your aims, and developing the designs to suit your changing needs.

Case study: Christchurch Airport

Christchurch International Airport engaged us to propose some site-specific installations for the airport forecourt area to activate a dead space, engage visitors and solidify the relationship between the airport and the city and South Island that it serves.


4. Place Analysis

Use our skills, international knowledge and years of experience to undertake an independent audit of your place so that you can more confidently make decisions and plans for change.

a. Creative/targeted stakeholder engagement

b. Urban space quality assessment

c. Place & potential mapping

d. Quick win concepts

Case study: Our Place Tauranga

Gap Filler was engaged by Tauranga City Council to undertake an Urban Space Quality Assessment of the temporary shipping container mall and events venue, Our Place, that occupies a vacant plot of inner-city Council-owned land – and to report to the full elected Council to inform future decision making about the project and site. Included in the assessment was a wider analysis of placemaking initiatives and potentials within Tauranga. Our work involved independent analysis and made use of our wide and varied fluency in grassroots initiatives, council processes and pressures, public realm and economic realities.


5. Development (Response) Services

There’s a lot we can do to help developments that are currently being designed or constructed, from low-cost short-term tactical urbanism experiments to inform the design; to interventions, events and out-of-the-box ideas to help keep local businesses open and people happy throughout the construction period; to proactive activations to grow positive association with the development and/or brand.

a. Disruption mitigation

b.Tactical urbanism

c. Design team liaison – translating community wants & needs into the development design

d. PR-in-action

Case Study: Federal Street Stage 3 & 4 Concept Design

We led an early engagement process with local businesses, residents and other key stakeholders on this inner-city Auckland streetscape upgrade, to help the street function better for its neighbourhood and to preempt any potential negativity. This led to us creating some tactical urbanism concepts and working with the main contractor and design team to identify spaces and a methodology for our tactical experiments to inform the future design.


6. Keynotes, Workshops & Mentorship

We enjoy sharing our work and learning more about yours. We are able to translate our experience into many disciplinary frameworks, with keynotes and workshops on Architecture, Art, Collaboration, Creative Process, Design, Education, Engineering, Landscape Architecture, Leadership, Public Health, Mental Health and Wellbeing, Philosophy, Placemaking, Planning, Political Science, Resource Management, Sociology, Sociometry, Performing Arts and more.

We have given keynotes in eight countries, and are skilled at adapting the language and presentation to suit academic, corporate, community, government or other contexts.

We run placemaking workshops for and with local governments, development agencies, community groups and business associations. We mentor community groups, artists and startup placemaking groups (both government-led and independent).

Case Study: Sunshine Coast Place2Play

Sunshine Coast Council initiated a new creative placemaking programme with a project called Place2Play. They selected a dozen artists to deliver public placemaking works in the town of Caloundra, many of whom had never previously worked in the public realm or with communities. Gap Filler ran an initial (online) 4-hour workshop with the artists, and had one-on-one follow up sessions with each artist throughout the development process.


7. Products

Some of our past Gap Filler projects have been turned into products so that you too can enjoy the fun they bring to a community. Some are objects you can buy, some are the designs only so you can then make them yourself. Our products come with technical support for ensuring you have a positive experience.

Super Street Arcade. A human-scale controller featuring a giant joystick and two buttons that connects wirelessly with a computer and screen for giant outdoor arcade games. Can host any games suited to two buttons and a joystick. Bring life to an urban courtyard, square or street 24/7!

Controllers available for purchase, made to order.


Open City. Open City is a hacked parking meter that spits out tickets of sweet, free things to do in your city or town. Connected to an online database that is open to anyone in your town to contribute to, Open City is a great way to discover more about your place and share it with others.

Product under development (Parking meters & online database/website). Reach out if you’re interested!


Dance-O-Mat. Dance-O-Mat is a coin-operated dance floor for a public space. Courtesy of a repurposed ex-laundromat washing machine, Dance-O-Mat gives users 30 minutes of lighting and sound in exchange for a $2 coin simply by connecting their device! How cool is that? Dance-O-Mat is something for all sorts of people, young and old to enjoy and enables chance encounters, sweet moves and much laughter. Dance-O-Mat brings life, interaction and positive energy to your space.

Dance-O-Mat HOW-TO manual available for purchase. Contains technical drawings and specifications.


Grandstandium. A mobile Grandstand that seats 32 people and can be towed by most 4WDs or utes. Adds instant scale and a sense of an occasion to any event, sporting or not!

Design drawings available for purchase.