On Saturday afternoon I scooped up 5 of my girlfriends and hooked onto a special transport circuit sweeping around 11 central Auckland stops for the 2013 Urbis Designday. Following on from the sneak peek I got behind the scenes of the prep and set up of the Whitecliffe College of Arts and Design + Hewlett Packard installation, I thought Silo Park was the perfect spot to kick off our adventuring. We weren’t disappointed!
It was fantastic to see the completed work spanning across the hard core construction (Daphe’s bridge that got a ton of use) to lighting design, the use of reflection, bubbles and the ability for visitors build their own book. It was such a credit to all the students involved and for HP for again sponsoring an exhibition of creative student work.Next we headed to Parnell where there was a hot spot of activity around the cutting edge Geyser Building. Design Assembly had, in my opinion one of the most innovative and interactive installations of the day. They took the “info-graphic phenomenon” and pulled it up into 3D, guiding users on a trail to find what sort of “font” they were (if in fact humans could be fonts). Loved it.
With a quick trot around the corner we arrived at the collaborative effort of Gather & Hunt and Backhouse. While their space was on a much smaller scale than many of the others they were very engaged with visitors, gave us some fun decision making to do resulting in even more delicious rewards. Another of my favourites of the day.
The collaboration between Spazio Casa and Yvonne Bennetti wasn’t immediately obvious to me – there were some glamorous models stalking around a runway circuit when we arrived and then they went and assumed positions scattered around the double storied showroom. It wasn’t until passing a model in an amazing floor length slinky gown that I realised she was disappearing in the marble tiled background behind her….doh…got it. Every garment had been inspired by tiling that could be found at Spazio Casa. Unfortunately I found the photography a challenge in there, but there was no doubt a lot of consideration had gone in to this one!
One of the largest collabs of the day was the lofty warehouse installation between Mini and design studio Switch. It was fun to explore, witty, bold and paired with some downright delicious sammies for weary design lovers from Cool Food.
On arriving at ECC Furniture and Lighting we initially got tangled up in a dangerous web of lust for furniture that cost more than our cars. But on weaving through the temptation we made it to the second level to see one of the quirkiest and interesting installations of the day. Wellington creatives, Tape Art NZ were kitted out in Astronaut/Ghost Buster kit while creating an enormous mural depicting life on another planet…using tape. It was really impressive!
This was followed by some very welcome bubbles and wander around the Paterson showroom admiring their offering of luxe shower-heads and baths. Studio Frazerhurst had used lighting to great effect – unfortunately I could wrangle my camera to do it justice…
Our second to last stop was BLOC. It took the girls a solid half an hour to rip themselves away from the distractions of Citta, Douglas + Bec, Collected, World Beauty and Pencil Boutique before actually making it to the top floor to see BoConcept and their Styled by You event. They gave visitors the opportunity to style a model and direct a photoshoot – a great dip behind the scenes that most people would never get!
And finally, after a couple of bottles of wine in Mt Eden (tired and thirsty!!) we made it to K Road where the Resene and Matter team were just starting to tidy up their street side installation. While I am sure we can all agree that giant “test pots” filled with M&M’s are broadly appealing – it was the huge effort of setting up hundreds of “bikes” on a now deserted motorway on-ramp which really caught out attention . Viewed from the elevated position on an over bridge it was bright, graphic and totally unique.And then we were done! What an terrific day, and thanks to my team (all pictured minus one who had to desert us!) for waiting while I took a million photos!