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The Best Of The Best IN NZ Design

August 28, 2006

The Best Of The Best IN NZ Design

The interior design for the NZX building in Wellington; a book which describes a model for Maori sustainable development; a solar panel to remotely operate electric fences and a stylish marine navigation device, were among the major winners at the Designers’ Institute of New Zealand’s 2006 BeST Design Awards.

The awards, which were presented at the Aotea Centre on Friday, August 25, are judged in three disciplines: product, spatial (interiors) and graphics. This year there were 535 entries, slightly increased from last year, and Cathy Veninga, Executive Director of the Designers’ Institute of New Zealand (DINZ) said that the graphics entries were of the highest standard since the BeST awards began in 1988.

Two Stringers (the major achievement for outstanding achievement) were awarded to the New Zealand Stock Exchange building for spatial design; and in graphic design to Let’s Settle This, a 112 page book which focuses on a long term vision for Maori sustainability.

The institute also presented former Fisher & Paykel managing director, Gary Paykel, with the John Britten Award, the highest achievement given by DINZ to reward leadership, vision and achievement in the design industry in New Zealand. DINZ also presenting an outstanding achievement award to Grant Alexander, founding director of Studio Alexander, for his longtime support of the New Zealand design industry.

Spatial Design Stringer – NZX

The Stringer in Spatial Design was won by Tim Hooson, of JASMAX Ltd, Auckland, for the design of the NZX Centre, which is situated in the newly refurbished Odlins Building in Cable Street, Wellington.

Tim Hooson from JASMAX said that the main objective of the design was to position the NZX as innovative and forward thinking and to reflect how the NZX see themselves and their future.

The company’s desire to work in a non-hierarchical structure and the creation of a feeling of inclusiveness was an important element of the design. A number of breakout spaces for a variety of activities were essential elements of the design. With staff very committed to their jobs and working very long and intense hours, it was important that the work environment was designed in such a way that it would support, not hinder them.

The judges described the design as a “mature and thoroughly resolved result” which used the characteristics of the refurbished building and location to its advantage.

Graphic Design Stringer – Let’s Settle This

The Stringer winner for Graphics, Let's Settle This, was produced by DesignWorks Enterprise IG, of Wellington, with Sven Baker, the design director.

The New Zealand Business Council for Sustainable Development and Westpac joined forces to bring together an Enterprise model for Maori 15 months ago. The outcome: Let’s Settle This, is a 112 page book that outlines the key issues that will be faced on the journey to successful outcomes. It focuses on sustainability, with a long term vision of Maori economic self sufficiency and prosperity for future generations.

The book has been designed to be both provocative and accessible. The issues are illustrated by large quotes and by specially commissioned drawings by emerging Maori artist, Wayne Youle. Wayne is known for his edgy and ironic take on Maori/ Pakeha relationships to each other, Government and the land. The judges said that his drawings were “confronting and highly unique – making for a refreshing, distinctive publication that pulls no punches.”

Said the judges: “It's particularly pleasing to see a project which would be considered a traditional reflection of the graphic designer’s hand, shining out as a clear winner. Communicating the complex issues around opportunities to develop sustainable enterprise for Maori communities based around the settlement of the Treaty of Waitangi, are assisted by delightful illustrations from Wayne Youle.

“The strong confident use of the red and black colour palette through the design and typography of the book is engaging and appropriate. The beautifully realised result is a worthy recipient of the Stringer.”

Product Design – Best of Category

In the product design section the Best of Category, non consumer, was a Solar Electric Fence Energizer, designed by Tony Parker, of Massey University, for Gallagher Animal Management Systems.

The judges said: “Instead of using a number eight wire approach, the designers have taken aesthetics into everyday life. Farmers are now well past their gumboots and tractor image as farming has become a specialised business.

“Farmers are exposed to the same technological and design influences as the rest of us, so this has been given an interesting and exciting look. It looks like a small stylish television, rather than a plain solar panel.”

The Best of Category, consumer product, was won by Andrew Bissett of Formworks Product Design for his multifunction marine display unit for Navman New Zealand.

Designed for serious fishermen and boaters, The Navman 8120, is a sleek 12-inch navigation device that integrates GPS, sonar, fuel management and video functionality into a daylight viewable high-resolution screen.

The judges said the product was a “very effective, competent piece of design”.

Said the judges: “We thought the product demonstrated clean, uncluttered design. It was well manufactured with good attention to detail so that it could survive outdoors and in wet weather. It has a large, user friendly screen, which has a split screen function so that sailors can watch camera and video shots at the same time. This product stands up well in the international market.”

By October, 2006, the Navman 8120 navigational unit will be radar ready.

Other Best of Category Award winners included:

 Architect Malcolm Taylor’s “Prince’s Wharf Apartment Refurbishment,” which the judges said was an “elegantly planned and detailed design which belies its initial impact as a minimal interior, unfolding as a series of well composed and inviting spaces;”

- Conscious Design Ltd’s Tio Chair, a settee chair made from South Island pine and featuring its own interchangeable wardrobe designed by WORLD, Zambesi and Andrea Moore. The judges said the Tio Chair was an “elegant product that has sustainable design well integrated into the core concept;”

- Alt Group’s Tranoi Fashion Week lookbook, colloquially known as the Pink Book, which was designed to showcase the designs and profile five New Zealand Fashion Houses – Zambesi, Sabatini, Nom*D, WORLD and Ng, at the prestigious Tranoi Paris designers trade show, during Paris Fashion Week from October 6-9 2005.

An exhibition of the finalists work is currently on display in Auckland at AUT’s St Paul St Gallery. The Dulux BeST Design Awards exhibition will also be touring to Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin.

The BeST Design Awards originated in 1988 and have been held annually since 1996.


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