Wellington now the home of great design

20:06, Oct 05 2012
john athfield
BIG WIN: Ian Athfield received the John Britten Black Pin Award for furthering New Zealand design here and abroad.

Wellingtonians have taken out the top spots at this year's Best Design Awards held in Auckland last night. The awards are organised by the Designers Institute of New Zealand to recognise graphic, interactive, product and spatial design.

Designworks chief executive Sven Baker won the Black Pin for Outstanding Achievement, awarded to an individual who has made a lasting and valuable contribution to the design profession and design culture in New Zealand.

He led a team of 100 staff in the capital, at Auckland and Sydney through projects including transforming the brand of meat exporter Silver Fern Farms, developing the Culture and Heritage Ministry's campaign telling Kiwis about the switch from analogue to digital television and designing the self check-in terminals for Air New Zealand. The agency was also recognised for its work on the Metservice 2011 annual report with a bronze award for corporate communications.

"It makes you feel really proud of the New Zealand design industry when you see how much great work there is. For us to be considered to be worthy of recognition is always great and I think it is good for the industry to be celebrating the best work," Baker said.

"It has been very busy for us, we have had three years of consecutive growth which . . . is a real achievement."

Wellington architect Ian Athfield was awarded the John Britten Black Pin Award for his contributions to furthering New Zealand design here and abroad. Athfield is best known for his own unique Khandallah home, and Wellington projects such as the central library surrounded in nikau sculptures and Victoria University's Adam Art Gallery.


ClickSuite was awarded gold in the Nga Aho category for reflecting Kiwi style or "Aotearoaness" using collaborative design. Its HIKO: Legends Carved In Light project projected digital light carvings on to the walls of a Maori meeting house with video mapping technology.

DNA won a gold pin for its ongoing work on Powershop's Same Power, Different Attitude campaigns.

Day's Bay's Paul Rolfe Architects was recognised with a gold pin in the spatial category for its work on residential property Cloudy Bay Shack at Blenheim.

Goodnature won for its product design work on the A4 Automatic Humane Rat and Stoat Trap made with the Conservation Department 's support. Student Nick Graham was recognised for his altitude sickness-combatting BackYak product.

The Dominion Post