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October 3rd, 2017
Best of the Best Design Awards

Every year the Designers Institute of New Zealand runs the Best Design Awards, the most prestigious and sought-after award for Kiwi designers, and a slight obsession for Escea’s own resident design geek, Alex Hodge, who got a taste for it by winning Gold in 2013 and entering every year since.

There’s no better place to get a snapshot of how creative our small country is when the Best Awards Finalists are announced each year, and this year was no exception with some truly inspiring entries.

Since we’ll need to wait until the winners are announced to know who is really the best of the best, in the meantime Alex has picked his favourite finalists from the Product Design category to showcase.


JWB Armchair, by Backhouse

A contemporary chair with strong mid-century design influences, the JWB armchair does a beautiful job of combining hard edges with large radius corners to create a striking aesthetic from every angle.

Creative Director: Gary Backhouse
Design Director: John Dinsdale

Award Entry: https://bestawards.co.nz/product/furniture/backhouse/backhouse/

Company site: http://backhousenz.com/

DS1400 - Double Sided Logs 03 lo res

DS1400 Gas Fireplace, by Escea

Obviously our favourite finalist, the DS1400 gas fireplace combines a perfectly frameless fire with the ability to flue up, downwards, and sideways, to give you the freedom to create your ideal living space.

Design Director: Ken Molloy
Team Members: Dave Olsen, Alex Hodge, Troy Jolly, Aaron Porter, Cory King

Award Entry: https://bestawards.co.nz/product/furniture/backhouse/backhouse/

Company site: http://backhousenz.com/


Circus Light, by Resident

An elegantly beautiful design, the Circus light creates a playfully dynamic sculpture by interlinking between 2 to 6 rings. Proof that often the simplest idea is the best.

Creative Director: Simon James
Design Director: Scott Bridgens
Team Members: Francesca Cutfield, Venuka Amarakoon. Contributor: Matt Young

Award Entry: https://bestawards.co.nz/product/lighting/resident-1/circus-light/

Company site: https://resident.co.nz/

Best Awards Nominee

Blunt Umbrella x Dick Frizzell, by Motion Sickness Studio

World famous umbrella company Blunt teams up with artist Dick Frizzell to create the “weather bomb” umbrella, with $40 of every sale going to Oxfam NZ.

Creative Director: Sam Stuchbury
Team members: Alex McManus, Liv De Koning, Jake Munro
Contributors: Dick Frizzell, Josh Page, Scott Kington,
Client: Blunt Umbrellas

Award Entry: https://bestawards.co.nz/public-good-award/public-good-award/motion-sickness-1/blunt-x-dick-frizzell-x-oxfam/

Company Site: https://www.bluntumbrellas.com/

Best Awards Nominee

Stitchbird – Kitset Dinghy

A sustainably-sourced plywood boat you can build with your children, without any tools at all. What better way to spend the weekend than building something your family can all enjoy.

Creative Director: Charlie North
Team Member: Annabel Jenkins

Award Entry: https://bestawards.co.nz/product/consumer/stitchbird/stitchbird-kitset-dinghy/

Company site: http://www.stitchbird.nz/


 Emersons Brewery, by Beca Architects and Ignite Architects

A stunning new brewery / restaurant, and the Escea staff’s local spot to unwind in front of the DS1400 gas fireplace.

Creative Director: Mark Green
Design Director: Graham Crust
Contributors: Grant Armstrong, Campbell Craig, Liam Spinks, Andy Barnett

Award entry: https://bestawards.co.nz/spatial/built-environment/beca-architects-2/emersons-brewery/

Company site: https://emersons.co.nz/


Bloom Pendant, by Resident

Inspired by paper lanterns, these pendant lights use a creative, contrasting material combination of mesh and frosted glass, to give a soft ambience and calming aesthetic.

Creative Director / Designer Director: Tim Rundle
Contributors: Scott Bridgens, Simon James

Award entry: https://bestawards.co.nz/product/lighting/resident-1/bloom-pendant/

Company site: https://resident.co.nz/



MEO, by Procreate Limited

A collaboration between Karen Walker and Procreate, the MEO anti-pollution mask comes with 4 interchangeable cover designs, to make looking after your health fashionable.

Creative Director: Graham Brewster
Design Director: Leon Oliver
Team members: Henry Caird, Lincoln Hill, Andrew Jenkins
Contributors: Karen Walker, Lanaco, Kenneth Leong, David Gao

Award entry: https://bestawards.co.nz/product/consumer/procreate-limited-4/meo/

Company site: https://www.meoair.com/



The Hideaway Chair, by Think & Shift

A chair designed for children after noticing they prefer to sit any way but upright, the Hideaway Chair also gives kids a calm place to take a break, by serving as a shelter from noisy environments.

Creative Director: James McNab
Designer Director: James McNab, Sam Griffin
Team Members: Daniel Kamp, Matt Cooke, Chloe Pratt
Contributors: New Shoots, Starex Manufacturing, Toby Mannis

Award entry: https://bestawards.co.nz/product/furniture/think-shift/the-hideaway-chair/

Company site: https://thinkandshift.co.nz/


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