As a practitioner and educator, I am passionate about challenging normative urban planning and conservative politics for city development, by drawing on concealed (hi)stories and the existing agency of community and local urban fabric. My teaching employs agonistic practices for real and built projects with students, to productively critique the built environment within which their work is situated and to imagine alternate possible futures there. Recently I led Masters of Architecture students to design and build four structures in the earthquake damaged central business district of Christchurch, New Zealand. Our work contributed to a festival, while simultaneously delivering a critique of the premise that the sites were vacant and required activation. We chose instead to respond to the emerging architecture, indeterminate zones, and to engage with local activist community on themes of ecological and social sustainability. For example, one project worked with the fledgling Food Resilience Network: Otakaro Orchard. Under a disused city awning we provided a pop-up restaurant. We designed tables to create a social space for sharing meals and locally sourced food.