Te Papa is open. Visiting Te Papa during Alert Level 1
Kei te tuwhera a Te Papa. Te toronga mai ki Te Papa i raro i te Pae Mataara 1


In this programme, we will consider how we can design our spaces through the lens of happiness, equality and sustainability.

  • Learning areas and strands Art, History, English
  • Education type Education visit
  • Duration 60 or 120 mins
  • Suitable for Years 3–10
  • Next available Sat 22 August
  • Cost $6.50 per student (teachers and parent helpers go free)
Book now

This new learning programme runs alongside our new exhibition Modern Living opening 22 August.

Students will sketch their way through the exhibition with the longer programme containing more creative hands on and digital responses.

Prompts for educators

To get you and your class thinking about some of the ideas within Modern Living, have a look at the prompts below.

Try them out with your class and send us some, or all, of the resulting writing or drawing and we can display them in the exhibition and on here. On top of this, we will also give you a free Modern Living learning programme!

How can you design a home for happiness and wellbeing? Write about or draw the structure that you would like to live in.

Architects and designers of the 1950s used local materials as much as possible. Today, the need for local, sustainable materials is more urgent than ever. Describe or draw your ideal environmentally friendly house. What is it made of – straw, clay, seaweed, flax, recycled materials, wool?

Black and white photo of two children playing on the floor in a big room with a view of other houses and the harbour.


Sparrow Industrial Pictures, Catley House interior, about 1953, black and white photograph. Penman Family Collection