There are beer bottles shaped like reptiles, luxury kayaks, compact campervans and state-of-the-art paintball guns among the finalists of this year’s Best Design Awards.
The finalists of the awards, organised by the Designers Institute of New Zealand, were chosen from a list of 778 entries and represent the country’s best graphic, interactive, spatial and product designs from the past year.
According to Cathy Veninga, CEO of the Designers Institute, “designers this year exhibited their skills in refining and improving technical and industrial designs, creating products that contribute to economic growth”.
Other designs that made the cut this year include a handheld electronic animal identification reader for farmers, a nasal breathing device that enables people undergoing CPAP therapy to sleep soundly, and a fleet of modern trains designed for New Zealand’s challenging tracks. There is also a swathe of stunning lights and cleverly crafted chairs, a streamlined bike, a safer rugby helmet and a high tech trampoline.
In the spatial category, hospitality and retail entries were on the rise, with standout spaces including Britomart’s White’s & Co, Black Estate in the Waipara Valley, and banking retail spaces from BNZ, ASB and Westpac.
“The influx in commercial spatial entries reflects the growing understanding that beautifully designed spaces can draw people back in urban and retail environments,” says Veninga.
As far as graphic design entries go, they were characterised by simplicity this year, according to Peter Roband, convenor of the graphics judging panel. “We saw pieces of work across a diverse series of media, from creative self-promotion design to some seriously beautiful books. There was a marriage of exceptionally fresh designs that promoted good causes and competed against big commercial players.”
The interactive category is led by media publications, including apps from TVNZ, time-based graphics from the New Zealand Herald, Shortland Street and Seven Sharp. The websites from New Zealand Opera, the 5th Auckland Triennial, Christchurch Arts Festival and World Buskers Festival also earned a finalist’s nod for their design.
The winners of the Best Design Awards 2013 will be announced at a ceremony at the Viaduct Events Centre in Auckland on Friday, 11 October.