Urbis Design Day

Events / News

The streets of Auckland were awash with creativity this weekend as Urbis Design Day opened it’s doors once again. If you are unfamiliar with this gem of an idea, then I shall bring you up to speed. The event essentially centers around perfect pairings, with two companies coming together to form a duo. For the past few months this handpicked selection of creative and commercial twosomes have been beavering away, pooling their knowledge and expertise to bring to the floor the fruits of their collaboration. And so, on Saturday, the results were unveiled.

Unfortunately, the absence of the revolutionary pairing for Alt and Fisher and Paykel, to create ‘The Social Kitchen‘ was notable with non of the installations reaching this rather high benchmark.

The day began for me on K Road with the Resene and Matter partnership. While I was a little unclear what was really going on here, my small ‘test pot’ of M&Ms did see me through the day.

Next came a hop, skip and a jump down to the Silo Towers, a great space to occupy. Hewlett Packard and Whitecliffe College of Art and Design took to the stage with some interesting student work on show, however the presence of the technology company seemed rather limited. My personal highlight was seeing the great work of Willem Ockhuysen being showcased, a recent graduate who’s typographic project explored the world of the partially sighted.

Next came a good old swoon at some of David Trubridge‘s finest offerings over at Backhouse in Parnell. Now you have to hand it to those Gather and Hunt girls, they show pulled in the hospitality goodies. The viewer was asked to select their favourite piece and trade it for a treat at the end—with a choice of 6 different goodies as I recall (special mention to my delicious Rye bread treat from Bread and Butter Letter). A simple concept that clearly kept the punters happy, worked with a tight space and let the pieces of work speak for themselves.

Next door we finally got to experience the glass enclosure that is the new Geyser building, and in collaboration with Design Assembly, they took us on a typographic journey of self discovery. A nice, engaging creative idea that saw the viewer make personal choices leading to them being assigned a type style based on their personality.

And last, but by certainly no means least, my highlight for the day was Mini and Switch. Head and shoulders above their counterparts these guys really delivered a cohesive experience that allowed the skills of Switch and the Mini product to sing in equal measures. This was a space you wanted to walk round more than once, with delicious, on theme, food and a clear, creative, well executed message. The highlight for me being the clever copywriting and storytelling. Each of the four mini models was matched to a personality type, with a story and accompanying visual elements that the viewer could really connect with and enjoy. Hey if I win Big Wednesday this week the Roadster will be mine!