The Um­brella Ex­per­i­ment

Idealog - - FRONT PAGE -

All the fi­nal­ists from our Blunt + Idea­log + Gen­er­a­tor um­brella de­sign com­pe­ti­tion

Back in Fe­bru­ary, we asked the Idea­log au­di­ence to sub­mit a de­sign that de­fined mod­ern New Zealand, with the win­ning ef­fort go­ing on to be­come a lim­ited-edi­tion Blunt um­brella. And the power of a dead­line to cre­ate ac­tion among de­sign­ers saw the en­tries flood­ing in at the last minute, with 239 in to­tal and 3,734 votes for the People’s Choice cat­e­gory.

As we’ve seen with pre­vi­ous crowd­sourced de­sign com­pe­ti­tions, there is al­ways a mix of high and low qual­ity. That’s half the fun of them. But some be­lieve that they de­value the craft of de­sign by ask­ing for some­thing for free. As such, we made sure the prize was worth the de­sign­ers’ time and ef­fort. And, with a six-month co-work­ing te­nancy at Gen­er­a­tor for up to four people val­ued at $28,000, an iPad Pro, a com­mis­sion from each um­brella sold, some of the fin­ished prodct, a credit on the pack­ag­ing and a pro­file in this mag­a­zine, we felt it was.

The judges from Idea­log, Blunt and Gen­er­a­tor asked a few ques­tions about the de­signs to choose the best: 1) did it fit the brief and show us a clever in­ter­pre­ta­tion of mod­ern New Zealand iden­tity? 2) Was it aes­thet­i­cally pleas­ing? 3) Would it work on an um­brella? And 4) Was it com­mer­cially vi­able? There were plenty that ticked all those boxes so the judges wielded their im­mense power and uni­lat­er­ally changed the rules by in­creas­ing the num­ber of fi­nal­ists, adding highly com­mended and mak­ing up a few new cat­e­gories to re­ward some of the more cre­ative en­tries. One of the fi­nal­ists’ de­signs will be made into an um­brella that will be sold at re­tail and the win­ner will be an­nounced at an event in May.

Thanks to all the en­trants. And con­grat­u­la­tions to those who made it through.

The Land We Are’, JY Hew: New Zealand’s land­scapes are both just as mar­vel­lous and di­verse as its people. Us­ing the land­scape as a medium, this de­sign rep­re­sents the cul­mi­na­tion of New Zealand’s dif­fer­ent people and cul­tures. The land is some­thing that binds us to Aotearoa. It has en­abled us to ac­com­plish won­ders far be­yond what oth­ers could en­vis­age as we con­stantly draw upon it for in­spi­ra­tion. We are for­tu­nate to live in a coun­try where we can gaze upon the stars, tra­verse across Mid­dle Earth and en­joy life’s sim­ple plea­sures in our own back­yard.”

‘Bloom­ing Brella’, Bon­nie Brown: “At first glance this might just look like a fun flo­ral print, but there are el­e­ments wo­ven into the piece that ref­er­ence the his­tory of Aotearoa. Much like New Zealand’s de­sign iden­tity the flow­ers in this print are grow­ing, chang­ing and be­ing in­flu­enced by both the past and the present. That and it looks like your grandma’s retro wall­pa­per, so that’s cool too.”

‘Te Wheke’, Joseph Nor­ris: “Long ago, when the sea was young, Kupe hunted a gi­ant wheke (oc­to­pus) across the ocean. Wheke were con­sid­ered to be no­to­ri­ously bad omens, and Kupe hunted this gi­ant through rough wa­ters to dis­cover a land dressed in a long white cloud. The fray lead Kupe down to the south­ern is­land where he took the wheke's life and re­turned vic­to­ri­ous to Hawaiki. This de­sign is a mod­ern­day take on that gi­ant oc­to­pus. It is im­bued with the spirit of New Zealand. Ta Moko is paired next to a colo­nial tat­too; jan­dals with gum­boots. Our di­ver­sity is matched only by our sense of unity. Can you per­son­ify mod­ern New Zealand? I think you can, and I think it is Kupe's gi­ant wheke.”

'Nga­here Pārūrū', Chris Hutchin­son: “An ar­ray of hy­bridised ferns, green­ery and creepy crit­ters coil into a hu­mid ar­range­ment of na­tive South Pa­cific flora and fauna. The dense tex­ture and pat­tern draw­ing your peer­ing spheres for­ward to see what new fronds they might dis­cover amongst the un­der­growth. Lift the for­est sky­ward and let the rain­wa­ter nour­ish new growth.”

‘The Winds of Tāwhir­imātea’, John­son Wite­hira: “In con­sid­er­ing a bi-cul­tural/Māori ap­proach to this project I con­sid­ered who might be rel­e­vant in terms of the kau­papa. Con­sid­er­ing that an um­brella is about the weather I thought it might be ap­pro­pri­ate to fea­ture one with Tāwhir­imātea, the Māori god of the skies. In this play­ful de­sign Tāwhir­imātea can be seen wield­ing light­ning bolts. The de­sign looks to com­bine Māori ideas and con­tent with Western ideas around gods, the heav­ens and here, Zeus.”

'Wild Canopy', Kate Bax­ter: 'Wild Canopy' cel­e­brates the beauty and or­ganic forms found in New Zealand flora and fauna.”

‘Cross-pol­li­na­tion’, Matt Black­more: “Uniquely ours, to­gether. A small, yet ubiq­ui­tous sym­bol from our lit­tle ten cent coin, crossed with the buzzing lit­tle crit­ters that fea­ture mem­o­rably in our child­hood and which now hold great im­por­tance for our lit­tle is­land nation. For me, the de­sign en­cap­su­lates some­thing I love about New Zealand: cross-pol­li­na­tion. Ideas, cul­tures, people. And, like the bee, although tiny, New Zealand is an im­por­tant part of the global ecosys­tem.”

‘Te Reo of Flow­ers’, Chris­tine van Hof­fen: “As New Zealan­ders, our con­nec­tion with the land is un­de­ni­able. More than just a source of sus­te­nance and shel­ter, our re­la­tion­ship with na­ture is wo­ven deep through­out Māori mythol­ogy and sto­ry­telling. When the Bri­tish ar­rived to colonise the coun­try in the Vic­to­rian Era, they brought with them other non-na­tive plants, as well as a pen­chant to as­cribe sym­bolic mean­ing to each - this is re­ferred to as the "Vic­to­rian Lan­guage of Flow­ers". Each plant rep­re­sented in this de­sign has been hand-picked (pun fully in­tended) for its sym­bolic mean­ing in ei­ther Maori cul­ture/sto­ry­telling, or for its Vic­to­rian Flower Lan­guage mean­ing. They were se­lected based on the char­ac­ter­is­tics I per­son­ally use to de­scribe New Zealand, along with those I be­lieve the rest of the world would ap­ply to our coun­try. Out­stretched hands have been in­cor­po­rated to il­lus­trate the act of give and take that con­stantly oc­curs when mul­ti­ple cul­tures com­bine to cre­ate a mod­ern so­ci­ety.”

‘Mov­ing land­scape’, Steven Huish: “A clean rep­re­sen­ta­tion of the flow­ing New Zealand Land­scape and our con­nec­tions between the moun­tains and the sea.”

‘Marama’, Michael Smythe: “Blue sky - sun­shine – to­geth­er­ness. What more do you need un­der your Blunt brolly?”

‘Raw NZ’, Ge­orgina Hoby: “Graphic ref­er­ences to Māori cul­ture, na­tive flora and fauna, land, sea and road­ways in­di­cat­ing jour­neys and progress. Bold and ba­sic mark-mak­ing to re­flect the un­de­vel­oped essence of Aotearoa.”

‘Geo­met­ric NZ’, Laura Ci­bilich: “In­spired by tra­di­tional Māori and Pa­cific pat­terns, brought to­gether in a mod­ern way, this de­sign also fea­tures a lot of black, link­ing to our affin­ity with the colour.”

Sandy Kiwi Dog­gos, Daniel Ido: “My de­sign in­cor­po­rates a bunch of dogs in New Zealand, wear­ing some new icons, some old clas­sics, and some meme-wor­thy items. And there's also a cat. The um­brella colour is a take-on of old Ja­panese um­brel­las, yet takes on a nice sandy colour which is rem­i­nis­cent of some­thing we all want... with a pas­sion... in the wet, cold, in­suf­fer­able dread of win­ter; hope­fully in­spir­ing a lit­tle bit of nos­tal­gia and a re­minder of what's to come when you’re drip­ping wet in one of Auck­land's spon­ta­neous rain show­ers.”

‘Pop Tiki’, Leonard Lim: “A coura­geous tiki im­mersed in a serene yet con­fi­dent dis­played back­drop de­sign. There is no bet­ter way to ex­hibit New Zealand pride.”

‘Shel­ter’, Alice Berry: “This was painted by me and is an ab­stract about find­ing shel­ter from the storm – fig­u­ra­tively and lit­er­ally.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.