The Piki Project is a small social enterprise that harnesses the creative skills of the wider homeless community and the technology of the Unitec Institute of Technology to create piki. Piki are feather-like adornments. The word describes a feather plume worn in the hair or means to ascend or climb or to support and succeed.
Each Piki design is a part of a limited collection, designed and sold by someone with a lived experience of homelessness.
They provide a unique avenue for people to supplement their income in a flexible way and to develop meaningful social connections. Piki will be sold by vendors, who are also often the artists, in the Auckland City Centre over the next month. This project creates a unique avenue for vendors to gain entrepreneurial experience with the hope of establishing long-term businesses in the future.
How do I use piki?
Piki are beautiful pieces of art on their own.
They can also be functional pieces:
- Worn in the hair
- On a hat or button
- Used as a bookmark
- Any way you like!
To understand the experiences of people begging/hustling on Queen Street, a co-design process was used to develop the Piki Project. This work was led by Lifewise and a small team of people with lived experiences of homelessness. It is captured in the Inside the Cup report.
The Piki Project is supported by Lifewise, Unitec, Auckland Council and Heart of the City.