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Purple Pin winners

Purple Pin winners showcase the enduring social, cultural and economic importance of New Zealand’s world-class design

A sense of place, a sense of kindness, a sense of humour, an enriching experience and a lightness of touch. This year’s headline winners at the Southern Hemisphere’s biggest design awards collectively project the values we hold increasingly dear in New Zealand in 2019. And yes, one of the winners is Australian, but before you get too energised by this geographic detail, you can be reassured that their design lead is a Wellingtonian!

From over 1200 entries, the Institute has this year awarded 8 Purple Pins – its highest honour – to recognise truly outstanding work across 9 major categories of design. These have been awarded to:

Seachange – for Supertrash (Graphics)

Resn – for Stop The Spread (Interactive)

Buck – for Power to the Pro (Moving Image)

Designworks – for Pepeha (Nga Aho)

Designworks – for Tiaki (Public Good)

Sharesies – for Sharesies (User Experience)

Asdollah-Zadeh, Loo & Mulla – for Rainbow Machine (Spatial)

Woolkin – for Brave Dave (Product)

One of the overriding themes of this year’s finalists was not just that we are producing world class design, but that the designs and the vehicles for them reflected a positive shift to protecting our cultural, societal and environmental future, says DINZ CEO Cathy Veninga.

“As a nation, design is part of our DNA. The haka, tuku tuku, Tā moko … these are all means of important social communication expressed through art – and our designs today, whether of brands, packaging, architecture or interactive communication are a modern way to tell a bigger, layered story,” says Cathy.

“Our industry is not just flourishing by acknowledging our sense of place, it is playing an increasingly influential role in our economy and our society. And as we grapple with adapting to new social and environmental norms, positive choices are being both reflected and inspired by the work produced by our world-class design community.”


Supertrash by Seachange

Supertrash is a small, family-run collection service with a big purpose: to divert waste from landfill through circular solutions to help the planet. Their brief to Seachange was simple; a bold, disruptive identity that captures their vision.

Seachange’s solution is category-breaking, harnessing bold patterns, fluoro pink and an iconic circular logo to position Supertrash as the energetic, innovative, sustainable planet-savers. Who else would you trust your trash with?

Judges comments: This is such a great example of a brave client and a brave design team taking a simple idea and truly changing the game in a tough category that really hasn’t changed over 50 years or more. Creating a brand that is this clever, different and simple is really hard. The term “less is more” is delivered here in more ways than one, a refreshing antidote to a world of complexity, overindulgence and waste. Absolutely brilliant!

Stop the Spread by Resn

The effects of breast cancer can spread through the wider community much like a disease. Resn designed a digital experience for Breast Cancer awareness Month that could be shared over social media, reminding people that a mammogram gives a better chance of survival.

The experience uses the visual metaphor of cell division to show how the effects can spread from person to person, paired with audio clips of interviews with families affected by breast cancer. The campaign reached 79% of the Population, leading to more women booking a mammogram than ever before during October Awareness Month.

Judges comments: This project leveraged audio, often overlooked on the web, combined with a clever visual metaphor to deliver a powerful storytelling experience that could save lives.

Power to the Pro by Buck

To advertise the processing power of their latest iMac Pro, Apple invited Buck (and other studios) to create a short film that would push the machine’s capabilities to its limit. What they got was a kaleidoscopic mashup of vignettes, each representing the personal style of one of the Buck artists, collectively exuding an explosion of possibilities.

Judges comments: A smorgasbord of animation techniques that, through the masterful use of transitions, all meld wonderfully together in this highly energetic piece of work.

Pepeha by Designworks

Pepeha is a not-for-profit collaborative initiative by Designworks, 3 Degrees Consultancy and Te Ara Poutama AUT that enables all New Zealanders to learn, create and share their own traditional form of Maori introduction, or Pepeha. An intuitive digital platform, featuring a bespoke typeface that enriches the connection to the meaning of every word, Pepeha provides a gateway for hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders to learn more about Te Reo and Te Ao Maori.

Judges comments: This highly crafted and well considered project makes pepeha accessible to all and in doing so, enhances our sense of identity as citizens of Aotearoa. The judges like the inclusive way ‘pepeha’ engages people in use of te reo Māori, not just as a set of words, but in a personally meaningful way that can be translated into beutifully crafted personal or family artefacts.

Tiaki by Designworks and partners

Tourism has put increasing pressure on Aotearoa’s environment, people and culture. To respond to this, Designworks was tasked with developing a campaign that would encourage both New Zealanders and visiting tourists to travel more safely and conscientiously through Aotearoa.

Working collaboratively with a broad range of stakeholders to establish a shared kaupapa, Designworks created a website and suite of assets for tourism operators that encourages all people to act as guardians for the country.

Judges comments: We felt that this project tackles a big problem in a big way— using the power of coalition and harnessing gorgeous design to create a platform for long-term change. The effort to align commercial, local government, central government to make change at scale should not be underestimated, and we believe that this cross-sector collaboration should be celebrated.

Sharesies by Sharesies

Sharesies is a contemporary example of empowering people through design, breaking down the barriers to investment through language, technology and iterative design.

With a purpose of creating the most financially empowered generation, Sharesies not only developed the platform for investment transactions, but built confidence and motivation through educational content and events. Surveys and behavioural data analysis have allowed the platform to be adapted to encourage more and more New Zealanders to understand and participate in investment to secure their financial future.

Judges comments: This is a very human experience that empowers Kiwis from all walks of life who may never have invested or seen themselves being able to invest before. By simplifying and humanising the investing experience, and lowering the barriers to entry financially, Sharesies have managed to empower a new generation of investors to get going and 'do it themselves'.

Rainbow Machine by Asdollah-Zadeh, Loo & Mulla

The designers responded to Auckland Council’s call for an interactive play space for children and families in the city with an immersive experience of natural light.

Combining design, art, science, engineering and innovation, Rainbow Machine invites the user to create rainbow patterns through the manipulation of a viewing cone. Positioned to prioritise child engagement, Rainbow machine provides an immersive learning environment for children that prompts interaction with the caregiver. Its vibrant yellow design not only references the sun but attracts attention from young and old alike.

Judges comments: So unexpected. It did not exist in the world until now. It is its own language and typology. This ray of sunshine injects joy into space, in fact it creates its own spatial dynamic wherever it goes. A curiosity for all ages. Impossible to fault.

Brave Dave by Woolkin

Putting out fires requires bravery. So too does competing in the toy market with a product made uniquely from renewable, sustainable sources. Brave Dave is made from naturally coloured wool and FSC certified New Zealand timber to create a loveable toy that not only stimulates child development but is 100% biocompatible, biodegradable and recyclable.

Judges comments: The judges were unanimous in their decision, believing the toy’s design novelty and innovation in a highly competitive international industry sector, combined with its sustainable credentials, demonstrated a significant achievement and rich potential for international commercial success.

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