Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Visiting: URBIS Design Day 2013

Urbis Design Day is done.  

 It was colourful, thought provoking, fascinating, curious, funny, social, capricious, interactive and mostly designery.

I loved it.  It is a chance for me to meet some of the faces I blog about or only speak with via the nets.  It's a chance to catch-up on design goss.  It's a chance to be inspired and to think bigger.  It's a chance to 'go big city' for a sec.

My graphic designer friend, Kelly Lawson and I (or Laverne and Shirley we were known after the MINI/Switch stop) started at the Bo Concept/Styledbyyou stop.  We hit the ground running as we were immediately lead into an area where there were models, clothing, accessories and cameras.  The idea was to choose an outfit that represented you, then the model had to 'work' it in front of a photographer, with props from Bo Concept.  Surprise! I went bright, mixing plains with stripes.  It was a gas.
Other highlights included the hyper-cool George FM DJ's, fly danish furniture from Bo Concept and an impressive art collection supplied but the Mobile Art Gallery.

Next stop was Paterson/Studio Frazerhurst.  Yummy mocktails and an intriguing entrance was a super start for this collaboration.  Clever plays on light, art forms and sexy bathroom wear joined seamlessly to give a sense of play-time into plumbing.  I also bumped in Kirsten Matthews, the Editor for URBIS magazine.  Although extremely busy, herself having to interview all the installations, she still had time to catch up with us.  Such an mega mount of organisation goes into a day like this so thank you to the team behind it all.  Especially Zara Tempest who co-ordinated tickets and all the rest!  Kirsten said the biggest thrill of the day was the fact that they had no idea before the day what the actual installations would look like.  

Next stop was ECC Lighting and Furniture/Tape Art NZ.  I have a wee confession to make...  I didn't get to see the Art installation as we only stayed downstairs.  It was not until afterwards when I said to Kelly, "Where was the Tape Art?", that we realised our mistake.  Whoops.  We were loving seeing all the lighting - they were my star of the show.  I have a real thing for lights.  Apologies to Tape Art - I heard it was impressive!

Next stop was Resene/Matter on K' Rd.  Starting the route with coffee, cupcakes and M and M's and worked off all that sugar by walking down the road passing an incredible installation that was situated below the K' Rd over bridge on an unused section of the motorway.  Very clever and very cool.  Other highlights included painting part of a mural and making a paper dart to get in a bucket.  I was not a champ and my origami skills were rusty.

Next stop was the Hewlett Packard/Whitecliffe Art School collab.  They were based INSIDE the silo's at the Silo Park.  It was a pleasure to walk around the arty-youth projects with a Nice-block in hand and look n' learn.

Next stop was Backhouse and the team from Gather and Hunt.  I loved their set-up with clever concepts linking to the whole theme.  Very nature inspired which complemented the furniture they were showing.  It was also interactive with your favourite furniture pieces relating to a food/beverage.  Fun team and a very brilliant installation.  I really appreciated the space - small but well formed.  All elements covered.  

Next stop was a three n' one with a combo of installs based in the stunning Geyser building.  Design Assembly created a personality decipher system that lead you too find your personality 'A'.  I decided I was a mixture of them all.  It was a clever layout that lead you through a font infested discovery of self.  The pineapple shorts worn by the host was a high light and don't think they were part of the install - maybe next year!  

Through the atrium and into the Yeoman's Capsule and Simon Devitt Photography collab.  Smart, stylish and clever.  Both product and artist.  

Next to them was the team from URBIS.  A place check out the newest colour infused issue and take a breather before the last of the day.  Nice to catch up with Micheal Barrett from Interior Magazine.  One stylish geezer.

Two more stops and then done.  Massive que here at Geyser - I guess that the three n' one deal caught up with the friendly complimentary taxi shuttles.  No mind.  Kels and I decided to beat the street and walked up Parnell Rise (which was our old stomping ground many moons ago).  As luck would have it I also stopped to buy a blow up Marlin (that matches my blow up Moose head) BUT THAT'S A DIFFERENT STORY.

By the time we reached Spazio Casa we were coming down from our sugar high and needed sustenance.  Spaz came to the party with a delizioso spread of Italian Antipasto goodness.  Once feed and watered we were off, finding well turned out models, hiding in bathware, dressed by fashionista, Yvonne Bennetti.  Life imitating art with fabrics that reseembled tiles, marble and all manner of bathroom glitz.  

Last, but by no means least was the MINI/Switch combo.  Brilliant.  I loved.  It had all the elements for me.  Cool cars, cool food, cool staff, cool badges, cool competitions, cool coolie cools.  Now just to win that Mini for a week...

All in all - it was fantastic. A huge thank you to all those who took part - the level of thought and the amount of effort put in was super evident and very inspiring.  This day is a credit to the talented good buggers and the URBIS staff.  Three design cheers for you all.  See you next year.


  1. Wowsers this event looks amazing! I didn't realise that New Zealand did this sort of event! I thought these shenanigans were based solely in the big island of Australia! I guess I was wrong! Looks like loads of fun, but I think I would've been drooling along the way with so many gorgeous designs to lust after!!!

    :) Hazel

    1. Thanks Hazel - yes it was a fantatsic event and great to see the design community on show!