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Best Design Awards announces finalists

??A bicycle goes eco (more than expected), a VIP room for Heineken gets greenlit, and a New Zealand Opera poster shows flower power. These and more shortlisted as the best of this year’s design from down under.

Design by Dean Poole of Alt Group, finalist in the graphic category

The Best Design Awards finalists have been announced, with a bevy of great design from New Zealand and Australasia. The annual awards are organised by Designers Institute of New Zealand and names the very best in graphic, spatial, product and interactive design, awarding a coveted purple pin to the winner of each category. This year there was a strong involvement in getting Australian designers to enter, wanting to put a spotlight on Australasian design, and CEO of Designers Institute of NZ Cathy Veninga says standards have remained high. 

A scope of the finalists shows our design landscape is in very good hands. In the product category, making your lifestyle that much more stylish and comfortable was a common thread in many of the entries, from a comfy-looking head rest for economy class air travellers (sign me up!) to lightshades in every geometrical shape and size. Over in the interactive design shortlist: ever been caught in a downpour and wished someone would share their umbrella? Yep, there’s an app – and device – for that. Hospitality and retail environments once again lead the spatial nominations, as well as some jazzed up work spaces, and the graphic design section is a fountain of beautiful fonts, art direction and layout.

Winners will be announced Friday October 10 in Auckland at what will be, described by the organisers themselves, “one hell of a party”.

Umbrella Here by Pui Yan Patience Lee and students of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Surf, design, travel – these are the things that gets Leigh out of bed every morning (those, and a piping hot cup of milky tea). She holds qualifications in both fashion design and communications, and has written a bunch of fashion, beauty, food, travel and design stories.

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