Students' pine creations light up Essenze

Bex West's lighting design for the Homegrown Essenze projectA raft of innovative lighting designs produced by AUT students for Essenze have been unleashed on the public, and you can vote for your favourite on Facebook or at its Parnell store.

As part of the Homegrown project, the second-year product design students were briefed by Essenze founder and GM Clare Mora to come up with a concept that reflected New Zealand, used pine as the main material (adding value to locally-grown pine plywood) and off-the-shelf electrical components. Products were required to be technically feasible and commercially viable.

In line with the Essenze aesthetic, the pendant, floor light, table light or wall light was to be elegant, lightweight, reflect the use of natural materials, simple and timeless, and reflect the designer’s aspiration to be internationally competitive.

"Part of New Zealand’s uniqueness is its isolation from the rest of the world and an abundance of a number of great materials and resources. These materials and resources, however, are often exported in their raw form as commodities. Design can transform these materials into high-value objects and products that add value to our country, supporting local industry and communities," Mora says.

The winner will get $500 from Essenze and help to develop their product.

Shannon Hill's Cloak concept was born out of some quality time spent in the bush through army training. While sleeping under a ponga tree, he found himself considering how shelter affects mood. "This was the drive for my design, trying to recreate the emotional response to shelter," he says.

Catherine Campbell, who considers product design the perfect combination of practical thinking and creative expression, says her pendant lights are inspired by the pattern of cabbage tree leaves and the way light shines through trees.

"I love how design can be applied to solve a range of problems, and that design can come from a human-centred perspective."

And Bex West's lighting design (above) is a clear homage to David Trubridge.

"The light bulb in my lamp represents New Zealand, and the shade that forms around the bulb would be the ‘protective layer’ a kind of metaphorical womb that protects the country as it continues to grow."

See the full list of designs below. 

Sam Margetts - Starlight Chloe Leung - Roost Myron Ruiz - The Cloud Gracia Galias - Sinar Andrew Earl-Peacock Benjamin Groen - Hive Rise James Field - Wall Hanging Sail Light Lauren Hyland - Torch Justine Keyworth - Waitamata Sandstone Shannon Hill - Cloak Ian Milligan - Maunga Wall Light Matty Byrne - Paiaka Rowan Baker Jason Putra - Flaxilamp Josh Smith - Sockette Jackson Living Nikolai Sorensen - Lamp Stand Darcy Carson-Keane - Radiate Bex West - Ngatahi Light Catherine Campbell - Merge

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