New online exhibition - Learning By Design

24 April 2013

The University of Canterbury has long held a special place in the life of Christchurch, and nowhere is this more obvious than in the original buildings of Canterbury College. The new online exhibition Learning by Design gives a visual history of the town site, which is now home to the Christchurch Arts Centre.

Through a wealth of architectural drawings, photographs, books and archives drawn from UC’s Library collections, the exhibition shares the story of the buildings, and the people who lived and worked in them.

Starting with the University’s humble beginnings in 1873 as Canterbury College, Learning by Design traces the evolution of the institution through to 1973 when the University’s move to Ilam was complete and the site was gifted to the people of Christchurch. Learning by Design celebrates the formidable union between the University, architects, staff, students, and the wider Christchurch community that led to the creation of Canterbury College.

The exhibition shows that the buildings are more than just bricks and mortar – they form the foundations of UC and the exhibition showcases not only the early physical fabric of the University but also aspects of campus life.

View the exhibitition at