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Student’s Bright Idea Wins National Design Award

Student’s Bright Idea Wins National Design Award

EIT ideaschool student Hayden Maunsell has won the supreme award in this year’s ECC Student Craft/Design Awards by seducing the judges with an “exquisitely crafted” table lamp.

Entitled Dark, Hayden’s design outshone a record 100 entries in the nationwide competition. Together with the work of the two runners-up, it is now being exhibited at The Dowse gallery in Lower Hutt.

In the final year of a Bachelor of Visual Arts and Design at the Eastern Institute of Technology In Hawke’s Bay, Hayden was flown to Wellington for Friday’s prize-giving (16 August), where he was enthusiastically supported by family, friends and EIT staff. Head of School Suzette Major says everyone in ideaschool is on cloud nine.

“We've already warned Hayden that we'll be living off his success for years!”

His prize, a $3000 cheque, will cover travel and accommodation expenses for his current work experience with Tim Webber, an up-and-coming young furniture designer in Auckland.

Hayden is on track for a dazzling career in design.

Earlier this year, he travelled to Munich on Creative New Zealand funding to take part in Talente, a prestigious platform for young artists held annually as part of the International Trades Fair for Skilled Trades.

The 27-year-old was one of just four young New Zealand artists to accompany their work to the week-long exhibition. Creative New Zealand selected two of Hayden’s designs, lamps entitled Dawn and Dusk, which were the first in the same series as the supreme award-winning table lamp.

Combining timber and coloured perspex, they are distinguished by bulbs, provided by sponsor Lighting Plus, that create different mood lighting. Hayden crafted all three lamps as projects for his degree.

The ECC Student Craft/Design Awards judges said they were impressed by the wide range of entries and found the standard incredibly high.

“We were seduced by Hayden’s exquisitely crafted lamp, which breaks this everyday item down into its component parts and creates in that way a beautiful, sculptural object.”

Encouraged to enter the competition by degree coordinator Nigel Roberts, Hayden was disappointed when he hadn’t heard back from the organisers on the day the results were due out.

“I felt I had done a quite nice job so thought that was a bit stink. Then I was phoned later that night and told I had won. It does give you a boost. It builds your confidence in what you are doing.”

Hayden isn’t much looking forward to leaving EIT’s ideaschool at the end of the year.

“I just love the community here and the opportunities you have to enter these competitions. You probably have more freedom as a student because you don’t have to compromise on anything, thinking about the cost of a design and how you’ll get that money back.”

Preparing for the transition, he intends to give himself a year to establish as a freelance furniture designer based in Hawke’s Bay.

“Yes, doing this on my own will be very scary but, with a website, I don’t see that I can’t do this here. I want to create designs with a Modernist feel, to design furniture that is material and process-driven, simple designs made to a high standard.”

His longer-term goal – to develop a business creating designs for an international market.


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