Best Design Awards 2016 finalists: Ngā Aho award for Aotearoaness

The Best Design Awards 2016 finalists have been announced. We take a look at those in the running to bring home the proverbial bacon for the Ngā Aho Award.

CELT – Puanga Tangata Whenua Portraits

The photos of whanau for Puanga Whanganui by contributor Steve Boniface and creative/design director Charlie Ward are fierce, fascinating, haunting, human, bold and beautiful all at the same time. With such subject matter, they also have a timeless quality to them.

NV Interactive – Private Rikihana Carkeek Digital Biography | Gallipoli: The scale of our war

Created for Te Papa, this digital biography – from contributors Matt Pickering, Tim Medcalf, Te Waari Carkeek and Prue Donald and creative/design director Charlie Ward – is a unique way to experience one of the most important events in Aotearoa’s history, or at least to get a taste of what things were like back then.

Insight Creative – Ngati Whatua Orakei Annual Reports x3

Creative director Brian Slade, design director David Storey, design team member Natalie Moinfar, and contributors Steven Giannoulis, Monique Peters, and Joanne Otto came up with a unique way to display the annual reports for Ngati Whatua Orakei. The design is simple, yet straightforward. No-nonsense is the operative term.

Otago Museum and Hākui Steering Kōmiti – Hākui: Women of Kāi Tahu

A massive team – creative director Craig Scott, design team member Shanaya Allan, and contributors Hākui Steering Kōmiti, Otago Museum Māori Advisory Committee, Hokonui Rūnanga, Kāti Huirapa ki Puketeraki, Te Rūnanga o Moeraki, Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Waewae, Te Rūnanga o Ōtākou, Kate Barron, Kimberley Beckett, Caroline Cook, Rachel Cooper, Rebecca Keenan, Vicki Lenihan, Jamie Metzger, Nyssa Mildwaters, Robert Morris, Scott Reeves, Annah Taggart, Jason Taylor, Mary Watson, Tom Csima, Garry Gibson, Lisa Yeats, Ngā Taonga Sound and Vision, workspace and Joe Gallagher Videography – created this stunning exhibition for the Otago Museum. The exhibit is immersive, informative, and oh-so-interesting.

Archimedia – Te Oro

Lindsay Mackie, Bernard Makoare, Martin Leung-Wai , Petelo Esekielu, David Thomas, David Fullbrook, Debbie Tikao, Karl Dawe, Russell Pinel, John Pollard, TIES, Glen Innes Community, Tamati Patuwai, Ruapotaka Marae, Mana Whenua, Alt Group, Ecubed Building Workshop, BGT Structures, Hawkins Construction, and Rider Levett Bucknall are the forces behind Te Oro, created for the Maungakiekie Tamaki Local Board. The wood-heavy design is nothing if not eye-catching.

Isthmus Group – Kopupaka Reserve

Grant Bailey, Danbi Park, Karen Ehlers, David Gregory, Nada Stanish, Robin Rawstorne, Grace He and Rebecca Jerram created an interesting park design for Isthmus Group Ltd, which melds natural and human-created elements. It’s certainly one of the greenest finalists – literally.

Ihi Design Studio – Aukati Kaipaipa

Cecelia Kumeroa and Adrian Campbell created these strong anti-smoking adverts for the Te Oranganui Iwi Health Authority. They’re as striking as they are shocking – and hopefully will do their job in convincing pregnant women not to smoke.

ThinkPlace and Te Tumu Paeroa – Toikura

Created for Te Tumu Paeroa, Leslie Tergas, Mondy Jera, Rose Wu and Nick McKissack’s creations certainly make one think. Then again, that’s the goal.

Jasmax and Auckland War Memorial Museum – Kōrero Mai, Kōrero Atu

Another striking museum exhibition, Rameka Alexander, Jonathon Goss, Marianne Riley, Yirao Lee, Janneen Love, Damian Skinner, Simon Gamble , Peter Hayward , Wayne Ferguson, Liam Brown , Areta Wilkinson, Mark Adams, Te Rongo Kirkwood  Matt Smith, Toby Mills, Tanya Wilkinson, Kelly Bewley, Neil Martin and Rau Hoskins’ “Kōrero Mai, Kōrero Atu” also captivates visitors to the Auckland War Memorial Museum with its immersiveness. Well done.

Alt Group – Matariki Festival

Dean Poole, Tyrone Ohia, Ben Corban, Dean Murray, Aaron Edwards, Janson Chau, Kris Lane, Toaki Okano, Ngāti Paoa, Puhi Thompson, Chris Bailey and Te Waka Angamua helped put together a stunning Matariki Festival for Auckland Council Arts & Culture. Festival-goers certainly had a chance to experience their work.


The Best Design Awards 2016 will be handed out on Friday, 14 October at the Viaduct Events Centre in Auckland. Tickets can be ordered online.

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