some documents, pamphlets, publications, proposals, scrapbooks...

xin cheng at Hainamana

[2016-now] Xin Cheng archive at Hainamana - "Contemporary Asian New Zealand art and culture. HAINAMANA is a first linguistic encounter with Asia from an indigenous perspective."
Read xin's articles on Hainamana HERE

an encounter with Kyohei Sakaguchi

[2016] Transcript of an encounter with Japanese polymath and Prime Minister of the New Government Kyohei Sakaguchi on a river bank in Totsuka.
Download PDF HERE

Dumpster Diving for Small Dataspaces of Anarchy

[2013] Yuk Hui urges us to be archivists instead of users, and reminds us that care,reserving and giving, need to be key aspects of our archive culture. We agree, and further promote Dumpster Diving in our everincreasing flotsam archives and hardware trash...
Download PDF HERE

distracted-reader #1 Mixtures

[2013] Xin Cheng and Allan Smith, includes drawings, photographs and texts by Cheng, and drawings, photographs and texts by Smith. Published by split/fountain.
Download PDF from split/fountain website HERE

Design for Making Doing Park at James Watson Reserve

[2013] We were invited by Auckland City Council to work on concept designs for James Watson Reserve in South Auckland, New Zealand. We held some weird discussions, community mapping workshops and other interventions.
Download PDF HERE

Hand Made Tokyo

[2011] Document of the 3331 Arts CYD Tokyo mapping workshop. Includes collages from the workshop, nice quotes, and text from Jared Braiterman, Joan L Bailey, Jess Mantell and Chris Berthelsen.
Download PDF HERE

Doing stuff with stuff: designing for the everyday metamorphosis of collaborative work environments

[2014] Paper for STS Italia Conference: A Matter of Design: Making Society through Science and Technology (with Charles Walker

"This paper unpicks a thread in the everyday logic of the novelty-seeking motives of emerging collaborative environments. Through a discussion of metamorphosis and mess, and boundaries of stuff we propose an understanding of the dynamic view of knowledge and the in-formation of design (viewed as the ambiguous and inarticulate 'doing stuff with stuff' ) as 'everyday metamorphosis'..."

Download PDF HERE

Art-Based Approach for Developing Disaster Improvisation Capabilities

[2016] Notes from a research trip to Japan and a call for interested parties. Originally published in Community Network (May 2016) - The official newsletter of the Auckland District Council of Social Services.

Download PDF HERE

worksheets for oblique innovation models

[2015] Worksheets for oblique-ing innovation process models. Produced on occasion of Stimulus Terrain for Innovation Processes at MOTAT

Download PDF HERE

what might happen when we build together?

[2016] Reflections on and images from the 3-day workshop for improvising shelter in disaster times at Corban Estate Arts Centre.

Download PDF HERE

Human(e) Aspects of Tokyo: Creative climate, small places of anarchy, stigmergy

[2011] Notes and a few projects for a guest lecture at Dr. Christian Dimmer's Public/Private Seminar, Waseda University (Nov. 16, 2011)

Download PDF HERE

Building for Creativity

[2012] A discussion document about building for creativity. Produced in programming stages for an innovation center in Sendai, Japan. For Van Der Architects

Download PDF HERE

fragments of a diary of savouring, to the kindergarten

[2016] A pamphlet about observations on frugal play with dirt and other stuff in Tokyo alternative kindergarten over a long period

Download PDF HERE

depression as a high-powered lens for art (w/Kyohei Sakaguchi)

[2016] Kyohei Sakaguchi is a Japanese polymath, mainly known as an artist, writer, and Founder and Prime Minister of Japan's New Government. He has authored over 13 books, including Zero-Yen House, Kyohei Sakaguchi's Diary of Manic-Depression, and Theory for Escaping Reality.

This presents a an early translation by Corey Turpin and Kaz Egashira of Chapter 3 from the English version of his best-selling book Build Your Own Independent Nation as a jump-off point for talking about depression and creativity. Also includes commentary by Sakaguchi on his works to date, translated by Chris Berthelsen. Produced for Summer Art, Not-School 2016.

Download PDF HERE

music, gods, and suburban art centres (talking w/Balamohan Shingade)

[2017] On a field trip to Howick to learn about what and how suburban art centres could be Chris Berthelsen was very happy to spend a hypnotic mid-morning with Balamohan Shingade, who was manager and curator at Malcolm Smith Gallery, Uxbridge Arts and Culture and is now at ST PAUL ST Gallery, AUT.

Their off-the-cuff talk included and weaved nets of understanding through musical aspects of the West and India, boundary-ignoring gods, and weirdos who dwell in public schools, at least, in the pursuit of ways of thinking about how suburban art centres might function in the 'dynamic' Auckland environment. Produced during Summer Open Workshop 2017.

Download PDF HERE

Junk Yoga

[2017] a sketchbook of noticings about the interactions and playings of bodies and stuff during Summer Open Workshop 2017 after meeting with Jo Eng.

Download PDF HERE

Rainy Day Treasures / Child Scale City

[2010] A small study on the child's perception of the street. This document traces the everyday treasures of a rainy day walk to the local sento in suburban Tokyo.

It is part of a broader and slightly wonky research and practice agenda on the hand made, everyday creativity, play, and usable environments.

Download PDF HERE

Mairangi Bedtime Stories

[2016] Some of the weird real estate myths of Mairangi Bay, written by Chris Berthelsen, based on the research of Kyohei Sakaguchi. Created as part of Summer Art, Not-School 2016 as an imagination on shelter and life in Auckland and Tokyo.

Download PDF HERE

what am I making?

[2013] A document of play and loose parts at a suburban Tokyo kindergarten.

Download PDF HERE

Some Aspects of a Volcano Walk

[2013] A document of how primary school children interact with their environment on a beach walk along a volcanic shoreline in Auckland, New Zealand.

Download PDF HERE

Tokyo Fruit Layers

[2012] "Understanding fruit layers can help make urban life more social, resilient and delicious" - A short text prepared for the LIMNO Collabora on stratification, nature, and landscapes (with Jared Braiterman and Jess Mantell).

Download PDF HERE


small workshop

a mixture of workshops, often together, by Xin Cheng and Chris Berthelsen.

While based in Auckland suburbs, we have the resources of the Super City at our doorstep, harbours, beaches, mountains and rivers in our backyard, and diverse collaborators throughout the country and around the world.

based on research and experiments in New Zealand, Japan, Cambodia and the EU by making-doing, xin cheng, a-small-lab and companions

contact: chris@a-small-lab.com