best of urbis designday 2013

I love Urbis Designday.  I love it every year because it seems to re-invent itself each time so it features different companies, different designers, and entirely different points of view. This year was definitely no exception and instead of going into a long in-depth post – I am going to post my Best Of for the day…

Best Hosting for the Day  Award easily goes to Backhouse/Gather & Hunt partnership in Parnell. Everyone was personally greeted and shown around the showroom and then given food to match their furniture choices. We were fortunate enough to start there and it was lovely to see Michelle, Gary & Oliver Backhouse, with Michelle Weir backing them up when we arrived. Loved the RESENE coloured wooden tree in the centre of the room. Simply beautiful pieces of furniture dotted the room with each person getting the chance to choose their favorite piece, and have it matched to one of five delicious food choices curated by Gather & Hunt. Perfect. The picnic blanket complete with Kartell Gnomes out the front was a whimsical little touch too.

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Best Interactive Fashion Installation Award goes to Styled by You and  BoConcepts at the BLOC in Mt Eden. Imogene Pyne and her fabulous team (including Thistle Brown) worked with Stephen Marr hair stylists, M.A.C make-up artists and many fabulous NZ and Australian labels to offer a chance for the public to be a stylist for the day. The Daughter had a fabulous time putting things together and watching her model be shot. She got to take home a shot of her model, and I found a couple of great BoConcept pieces that I think must come home some time soon. There were also some fantastic pieces of colourful art on the walls of the showroom supplied by Mobile Art Gallery, and Rosie who was with me was scheming ways to smuggle one of the Hope Gibbons artworks out the door in her handbag…

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Best Use of Lego Award goes to MINI and SWITCH with their perfect 1:34 ratio model of a Lego tree. We spent quite a long time trying to convince the Guys from SWITCH to let us buy the tree but they were having none of it. But we did go home with some ideas on how to make one of our own though.After converting a warehouse space in the heart of Newmarket into a showcase for the MINI complete with fabulous quotes, gorgeous colours and of course MINIs – I left with the hope that one day I could convince my Husband that a MINI Countryman would be a perfect vehicle for me… I am ever hopeful…

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The Best Use of a Motorway Award must go to RESENE and architects MATTER who managed to combine paint, chocolate, paper planes and sculptures on an used part of the motorway. It was just brilliant.  I loved that we bought something special right into the heart of the city. Fantastic. This was also one of the most ambitious projects of the day.

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The Best Photography of the Day Award goes to Simon Devitt and Youmans Capsule who tricked out a completely empty shell of a new space with just corrugated cardboard and his photographs that he has taken for URBIS over the last 10 years. Stylish.

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Best Use of a Font goes to GEYSER & ASSEMBLY who used graphics to help find your perfect font/personality type.

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The Most Imaginative Use of A Concrete Silo Award goes to Whitecliffe Art School and Hewlett Packard.  Most of us would have just been grateful to actually just be inside these massive structures but the installations put on by students from Whitecliffe turned the space into one massive art gallery.

The Nightclub During The Day Award goes to Paterson and Kate & Mark Frazerhurst from Studio Frazerhurst. They took the Paterson bathroom showroom, blacked it out the windows and with clever use of light, shadow, music and champagne turned it into a nightclub (or at least it felt that way…).

The Best Use of Tape Award goes to ECC Lighting and TAPE ART NZ.  Erica Duthie and Struan Ashby  spent 15 hours taping and drawing on the walls at ECC, turning it into an alien maternity ward! Using the ECC lights as inspiration, the installation continued to evolve all day.  I think this possibly could have been my favourite from the day.

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Seriously – I love that each year you get to see the inspiration and creative process of a series of different designers that each get you out into our fair city. Long Live Urbis Design Day…


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