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Innovative exhibition furniture design wins comp

The Blumhardt Foundation Media Release 16 August 2006

Innovative exhibition furniture design wins national competition.

New Zealand’s new premier decorative arts and design gallery, the Blumhardt Galley, will be designed by Wellington’s Kebbell Daish with industrial designers Robbie Greig and Bernd Benninghoff, the winners of a national competition to design the interior.

A partnership between the Blumhardt Foundation and The Dowse in Lower Hutt, the gallery is scheduled to open in February as part of The Dowse’s major redevelopment designed by Athfield Architects.

The Blumhardt Foundation was established in 2004 by acclaimed potter Dr Doreen Blumhardt, to collect and display the best examples of applied arts and design and promote educational opportunities for young and established artists and designers.

The Foundation invited designers to register their interest in designing the exhibition furniture and joinery earlier in the year. Concept design proposals were evaluated by a panel of assessors, including Justine Olsen, The Blumhardt Foundation; Claire Regnault and Aaron Te One The Dowse; John Hardwick Smith of Athfield Architects and Douglas Lloyd Jenkins, design commentator.

“The Gallery needs to be flexible, exhibiting a range of diverse material from motorcycles to jewellery, fashion to glass and as such requires clever display and storage solutions,” said Dennis McKinlay, Chairperson, Blumhardt Foundation.

“Kebbell Daish’s innovative modular concept is conceptually very exciting, original in its design and very thoughtful in terms of a gallery for decorative arts. We have no doubt the Blumhardt Gallery will be an outstanding example of New Zealand design which is what the Blumhardt Foundation is all about.”

Kebbell Daish, a small research and design partnership between John Daish and Sam Kebbell has produced a number of commercial and residential interiors.

“We are delighted to be designing the Blumhardt Gallery,” said John Daish.

“We are absolutely thrilled there will be a gallery dedicated to design and the decorative arts and the shift in culture that will inevitably come from that. We are doubly excited about contributing to this.”

The Dowse Director, Tim Walker, said the partnership with the Blumhardt Foundation will result in an unparalleled decorative arts and design exhibition facility offering opportunities for artists and designers unequalled throughout New Zealand.


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