Habitats for extreme environments



Are you interested in architecture, engineering, or helping the world?

The QuakeCraft challenge is to design and prototype a sustainable tiny house for extreme conditions and natural disasters, including earthquakes. Using 3D printing, laser cutting as well as Computer Aided Design teams will design their very own model house and test its structural integrity on a shake table. The Design Thinking approach encompasses resilient community building with reference to New Brighton, the South Pacific Islands and many other areas in high need of housing



This initiative wouldn't have happened without your support and the support of the Curious Minds fund.

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Science and Technology

QuakeCraft Event


Three days of
making & breaking


resilient design

QuakeCraft = design innovation. 

Developed by University of Canterbury's Quake Centre in partnership with Ara Institute of Canterbury and Fab Lab Chch, this event has been created to inspire our next generation of designers and engineers.

Design teams work together to problem solve complex structural issues – the fundamentals of physics, geometry, calculus, and material science have never been so exciting!!!

at your school?

Contact us if you want to run the QuakeCraft initiative at your school.

Name *


QuakeCraft is a three day special event designed and developed by Ara Institute of Canterbury, University of Canterbury, and Fab Lab Chch. Participants are hosted by expert designers and engineers and challenged to reimagine resilient habitats.

DURATION: 3 hours

Participants are introduced to the Pacific Island and coastal lying land areas we're building for and how this applies to designing for extreme environments. 

Special guests WikiHouse show how their traditional values of community building are being amplified by technology.

Teams work together on a rapid habitat design challenge and are briefed and prepped for day two's activities.

DURATION: 6 hours

Using digital fabrication technology, participants will work through a Design Thinking process to Ideate, Design, Prototype, and Test their habitats.

Throughout the day, structures will be tested on shake tables and rated by engineering experts. Engineering Design principles, such as loadings, frequencies and isolation are investigated through hands-on action.

DURATION: 3 hours

The final day is hosted at the University of Canterbury. QuakeCrafters will be shown UC's incredible Structural Engineering Laboratory. Using this facility we'll be testing our structures on the instruments the pros use.

To wrap the event up, participants will meet some of our countries best brains on the topic of extreme engineering and will be in to win awards!