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From pretentious art to the best tasting menu food and best use of nubile young models, we look at our highlights of Urbis Designday 2011 from the worthy to the downright wacky.
Over 50 creative practitioners from the worlds of art, fashion, design, multimedia and architecture created installations in 13 design showrooms, open to the public for a $30 admission ticket which included transportation around town in Mini Countryman cars.
This year, the creative brief which all partners have been challenged to interpret is ‘State of Transition.’
The "Best Food We May Have Ever Tasted" award goes to Natalia Schamroth and Carl Koppenhagen from The Engine Room in their collaboration with Fisher and Paykel at The Social Kitchen. The food was quite simply some of the most inventive but amazing tasting we have ever experience - the gingernut tea and Earl Grey biscuit combination was divine, as was dried apple dipped in caramel on a stick- a toffee apple lolly. Incredible.
The "We Don't Quite Understand It, Pretension" award for the day goes to Scrap Wall with his collaboration with ECC Lighting. Maybe we just aren't smart enough to get it - scultpures draped in cheap white fabric with a bit of neon art against a wall just didnt cut it for us. Some of the other installations were just so amazing that it made this one look bland in comparision. We loved his eyewear though! ECC got the "Best discount of the day" award with an across the store 20% off. Nice.
The "Best Use of Nubile Models" award has to go to Salasai with models draped around bathtubs and bathroom ware in the Kohler showroom. The clothes were stunning and it was a very good fit between the two companies. They certainly get the "Best Display of Sweets" award with gorgeous sink bowls full of lollies. They supplied you with a small trowel and a lolly bag to take your own. AND they had a chocolate fountain! Excellent. It certainly helped that Invivo wines were also there to help the proceedings...
The "Willy Whimsy Wonka" award for sheer happy craziness has to go to the kinetic display that ended with paintballs being shot at a blank white chair in a collaboration between Furniture Lab, Dulux paints and We Love Inc. The chairs were auctioned off at the end of the day with the proceeds going to Christchurch Red Cross Appeal. The display ran the length of the store and included tubes and syringes, wires, lasers, remote controlled cars and traveling ball bearings.
They also got the "Best Cocktail of the Day" award. We were blown away by the amazing array of alcohol on offer on the day.
The "Best Effort for the Big Day" award goes to design duo Sam Haughton and Hannah Brodie from IMD who designed the incredible long tables with unusual braced legs and metal stacking stools for the slick interior of The Social Kitchen. We were just blown away by the attention to detail. Perfect. Speaking of The Social Kitchen, Fisher and Paykel get the award for "Best Staff for the Day". They had attentive masses of staff - all polite and easy going. They really knew what they were doing.
The "Best Furniture/Fashion/Food" Award goes to the collaboration of Taylor Clothing, Antipodes Furniture and Luxaflex with their "Reveal" installation. There was beautiful furniture from Douglas and Bec (Workroom) and Jamie McLellan (an amazing knuckle jointed lumber stool), as well as Antipodes' own pieces. The models walked the room between the Luxaflex blinds dropping and raising automatically. The highlight of the Taylor clothing was the Nicki Gabriel handknits which were our best pick fashion wise for the whole day. NZ design at its best.
The "Best New Design Career" Award goes to Boh Runga for her collaboration with Designer Rugs with her beautiful round rug based on a collage and called Monarch. We loved its colour and organic feel. Divine! We also loved Kate Sylvester's Cosmo and Zambesi's Crossroads.
The "Best Use of Vibrant Colour" Award goes to MOAD (Ministry of Art and Design) At Essenze Gallery in Parnell. The amazing art that happens when op shop finds collide with bright powder coating. It also gets my personal "Most Want to Take You Home" Award. One day.
All in all it was a grand day, beautiful weather, loads of lovely drinks and food and fashion and furniture to feed the mind. Long may it continue!
By Anya Brighouse 19 March 2011
Photography by Kevin Robinson.