Second round of workshops in NYC and Samoa for Rethinking Home this spring!

by Jacklyn Lacey on


Rethinking Home Project Team Photo
Jenny, Mata'afa, Jacki, and Lumepa together in NYC after the first workshops drew to a close!

The theme of our second workshop is "Rebuilding Home."  We thought you might want to know a bit more about what Spring has in store for "Rethinking Home: Climate Change in New York and Samoa"...

In Samoa

This more practical workshop will center on buildings. In Samoa, several of the group from New York will travel to Apia for the workshop, in company of Jenny Newell and Jacki Lacey of the AMNH. It will be the first time that our workshop participants are meeting face to face, after having "met" during the video conference that was hosted by the US Embassy in Apia in November.  


Samoa Video Conference 2
Looking forward to meeting face to face rather than through the screen! Video Conference #1 in Apia, Samoa, November 2013
Samoan Video Conference 1

The focus of this exciting two days will be a visit to a village to learn about the techniques and customs surrounding the fale Samoa. Several of the participants will record the day in the village in photographs, videos, and orally recorded interviews.

The second day of the workshop will be based back at the MoS, reviewing the discussions and teachings of the previous day. Late morning, there will be a session of walking in the local area so participants can note and record modern versions of fale around them: the uses of corrugated iron, concrete, and other imported materials, more angular forms and closed-wall, western-style buildings. In the afternoon, an architect of sustainable buildings (either from the University of Samoa, or as part of the contingent from New York) will lead discussions, as the group will explore how the traditional fale might be re-thought, and potentially re-designed, in response to changing environments and increasing needs for ‘green’ approaches to building.

Two people working on a model of the Museum of Samoa. Currently it appears as a frame of wood poles on a wooden platform.
Master carpenter Laufale working on the educational model of the fale Samoa at Falemata'aga, the Museum of Samoa

In the last part of the afternoon, and later video conferences, the group will discuss the uses that the collected recordings, images and learning will be able to be put to. We learned a lot about oral history recording during the first round of workshops and we'll be able to put that to further use during our second round of workshops! 

danielle nyc recording
Danielle and Maria practicing oral history recording at the workshop in NYC, October 2013

In New York

In New York during the second workshop, designers of climate-change resilient buildings will work with the group to rethink traditional forms of home from a variety of cultural perspectives. This is an effective approach for promoting resilience: as a curator at MoMA wrote recently, ‘one of design’s most fundamental tasks is to help people respond to change.’[1]

ny workshop photo 1
From our first workshop in NYC, "Hurricanes and Homes" October 2013

A visit to a site of rebuilding after Hurricane Sandy will form the first day. This fieldtrip will be in the company of several people with sustainable architecture expertise, and the participants will also have opportunities to speak to people who are continuing the process of rebuilding their homes.

Jenny Samoa Vid Conference
Jenny Newell talking to the Samoan group about the impact of Hurricane Sandy on New York during our visit in November 2013

The second day will mirror discussions held in Samoa on the second workshop’s final day.


[1]  ‘Applied design’ exhibition rationale; site accessed 27 March 2013.

You can contact the me at [email protected]! In fact, I would be thrilled if you did!  

"Rethinking Home: Climate Change in New York and Samoa" is a Museum Connect Project sponsored by The U.S Department of State and The American Alliance of Museum.