Gap Filler is a creative social enterprise that designs and delivers public placemaking installations, and offers a range of services to help others achieve strong community outcomes in and alongside public and private developments – or while developments are still in their planning stages. They pursue any means to foster developments, towns and cities where people feel empowered to take creative action, and to experiment with fun ways of contributing to the wellbeing of the place.
Their passion is creating frameworks for participation: crafting a creative installation, or design competition, or financial incentive, or legal structure, or selection panel that’s tailored to get local people engaged. They are best known for our temporary installations, and are trying to get better at communicating and facilitating the holistic thinking and organisational systems that underpin those successful installations.
Gap Filler has played a wide range of roles on clients’ projects: providing a bit of inspiration, running some pointed workshops, developing a strategic framework or designing and running an entire programme of activity and organisational structure to house it. Our recent clients and funders include Christchurch City Council; Fletcher Living; Taipei Urban Regeneration Office (Taiwan); Kaikoura District Council; Christchurch International Airport Ltd; Lyttelton Port Company; Red Cross; Yarra Ranges Council (Australia); Siddhartha Arts Foundation (Nepal); Copenhagen University (Denmark); New Zealand Planning Institute; Wellington City Council; Panuku Development Auckland; Antarctica New Zealand; Leadership NZ; South Taranaki District Council; Grey District Council; and more.
Temporary, site-specific projects are still their core activity. But along the way they've realised that it’s the principles – especially of experimentation, adaptability and participation – that are most important. Doing temporary projects is one way of lowering the risk to enable those principles to shine, but they are pioneering all sorts of ways fostering more experimentation and meaningful participation in the city, whether that’s through education and work in schools, partnering on large-scale permanent developments, working with Council to create an enabling regulatory framework and incentives for property owners to be more community-minded with the use of their vacant sites and buildings, or anything else in line with our principles.