2009 News

Read past news stories from the School of Design's 2009 news archive.

Winning with the WOW factor

winning with the wow factor

A childhood fascination with automotive radiator copper has resulted in a $5,000 win at Montana WOW for final year Industrial Design student Emma Whiteside.

Emma won the Shell Sustainability Award at the 2009 Montana WOW Awards Show for her creation ‘Queen Adelaide’, a regal gown made of radiator copper from cars, a material her parents used to manufacture.

“I used to play with the material as a kid and in my second year at design school I made lamps out of it, so already knew it would look good under lights,” says Emma.

Emma spent about 250 hours putting the copper pieces together and about 40 hours on the structure, in between studying for three major papers. “Some Design students pull all-nighters on Thursdays—I do them on Mondays as well,” says Emma. “I believe if you really want to do something you can make the time.”

The gown wouldn’t fit through her door at home, so Emma put it together at the School of Design.

The structure took a bit of experimentation, with Emma originally trying boning, then settling on rolled up aluminium hoops to hold it all together. “I’m not much of a sewer, so I should have started with that from the beginning,” laughs Emma. “I’m much more comfortable with hard sculptural materials.”

Emma spent some time researching royalty, to find an inspirational character for the sparkly, jewel-like material of the radiator copper. Queen Adelaide, after a German queen born in the 18th Century seemed to fit the bill.

“Queen Adelaide was resourceful and didn’t like spending public money. The dress looks regal, but is made from recycled material, which she would have approved of.”

Emma won the award out of 165 other entries. “I didn't even think I would get into the competition because the dress is so hard to look after,” says Emma. “The sustainability award was one of the last awards announced, so by the time we got to it I thought I had missed out. It wasn't until they put the spotlight on me that I actually knew I had won!”

Since her win, prospective employers have already come knocking and Emma had her first commission—designing an exhibition for conservation organisation WWF.

Table takes the prize

table takes the prize

A fourth-year industrial design student from Victoria has won a national craft/design award, with a table carved out of a solid piece of MDF.

Juliette Wanty was one of two Runner Up Merit Award Winners in the 2009 New Zealand Student Craft/Design Awards for her entry ‘Table/Cloth’, which featured an innovative interpretation of a classically designed hall table.

“I designed the table with a sculptured surface, so that it looked as though a discarded table cloth was fused as part of the table,” says Juliette.

She designed the computer file which was then carved out of a solid piece of hard MDF.

Judges described the entry as being “imaginatively conceived and exquisitely realised” and said they were particularly impressed with the way in which Juliette had “captured moment in time”.

Juliette won $500 and along with the Supreme Award Winner and her fellow runner-up, had her work displayed at Lower Hutt’s NewDowse Gallery from 21 October.

The awards are supported by the NewDowse Friends, and are aimed at encouraging innovation and creativity in the areas of design and craft. The awards are open to full or part-time students. In 2009 there were more than 50 entrants.

Upcoming multi-media performance in france

Kairo – The Network, a multidisciplinary event combining music, dance, video and theatre, premiered at Le Phénix – Scène Nationale de Valenciennes in France on December 11th 2009. Produced by Art Zoyd, Kairo involved an international team of artists, including Victoria University's School of Design Senior Lecturer Anne Niemetz, who served as video director for the production. Based on Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s novel, Kairo evolved around the topic of emotional isolation in our technological world and the impossibility of true communication despite the proliferation of mass communication tools, in particular the internet. A collaboration of international practitioners, this production introduced new interpretations of multimedia opera, while exploring vital topics contemporaneous to our society.

Live broadcast on perth media screen

live broadcast

On October 29th, members from Victoria University's School of Design and Curtin University of Technology Australia held a live teleconference, marking the grand opening of the Northbridge Piazza. The teleconference was broadcast on a large urban LED media screen in the center of Northbridge Piazza. The panel discussion addressed the role of such media screen in urban regeneration projects and the potential of urban media screens and the future of 21st century urban design and planning. The teleconference commenced the festive opening of Northbridge Piazza, a new major commercial, cultural and creative hub, which it is hoped, will act as a destination for families and passers by as well as a venue for large scale cultural events. Teleconference participants included Margaret Maile Petty, Deputy Head of School, Senior Lecturer - Culture+Context and Dr. Leon Gurevitch, Senior Lecturer - Culture+Context both from School of Design; from Curtin University of Technology, Associate Professor Garry Middle, Head of Department of Urban and Regional Planning, Associate Professor Marina Lommers, and Dianne Smith Programme Director Interior Architecture.

Victoria’s digital media design presents at DiGRA

Programme Director Douglas Easterly and Digital Media Masters student Kah Chan both had work accepted at this year’s DiGRA (Digital Games Research Association) conference, which was hosted at the esteemed Brunel University in London. Chan’s masters research, “Understanding Empathy in Children” was presented at the conference and Easterly presented his initial PhD research in a paper entitled “Evolution and Digital Game Studies.”

Digital media staff featured in solo exhibition

Digital Media Design Programme Director Douglas Easterly and collaborator Matthew Kenyon, as the collective SWAMP, were featured in a solo exhibition at the MIC in Auckland in July and August 2009. The SWAMP Collective, originally formed in the United States in 1999, has exhibited extensively over the past decade, most recently at Exit Art in New York City, ISEA2008 in Singapore and Videotage, Hong Kong. At the MIC in Auckland, SWAMP featured eight works spanning a variety of media and offering a critique of contemporary values through a medley of interventions and interdisciplinary enquiries.

School of Design hosts the ADA digital arts symposium

In June 2009, the School of Design hosted the prestigious Aotearoa Digital Arts Symposium. Entitled, “Critical-Digital-Matter: The 6th Aotearoa Digital Arts Symposium” examined the critical intersections between digital materials and art practice through a variety of keynote presentations, discussions, artist presentations, workshops, and a screening programme and exhibition.

Highlights of the symposium included a keynote presentation by internationally renowned sound and media artist Phil Dadson, and a multi-location international teleconference with London-based media theorist Matthew Fuller via De Balie, from The Centre for Culture and Politics in Amsterdam, and the attendees of the ADA symposium at the School of Design.

Conference sessions included: materiality in digital art; developing critical discourse in a small digital arts community; and forging connections beyond art. The symposium was attended by a wide range of artists and researchers from Wellington and across New Zealand.