The Five Best bits of Best Awards

Escea was a finalist for two products (AF700 gas fireplace & FS730 gas fireplace) at the 2015 Best Design Awards, and although we came away with no awards this time it was a fantastic New Zealand event to attend. In 2013, Escea was a finalist for the DL Series and in 2012 Escea came away with a Bronze Award for the DX Series.

Alex Hodge, Escea’s Lead Designer, attended the awards and wanted to share the unique experience that was the 2015 Best Design Awards. This is the Five Best Bits of the Best Awards.

The Venue

Lights, camera, action was definitely the feel of the night, and with the beautifully extravagant Auckland Viaduct Events Centre as the location it couldn’t feel more Hollywood. It had been a stunningly hot day in Auckland which had carried on into the night, and when Alex arrived, the harbour was reflecting the setting sun. There were taxis everywhere filled with guests dressed in their dapper suits and graceful gowns. A giant inflatable pin (the symbol of the Best Awards trophy) was placed at the entrance to greet everyone on arrival.

“In general, the welcoming atmosphere was incredible. The place was buzzing!”

The large dining area where the awards were hosted just added to the lavish tone of the evening. Alex states that it enhanced the experience of the whole night and “made us, as guests and entrants, feel truly celebrated.”

Smirnoff Concrete Mixer

Maybe the wackier bit of the Best Awards but still one of the best bits by far. This giant concrete mixer was painted red to match the big, bold statement that it was, and funnelled vodka mix out the back. The drink mix landed into a big trough-like structure which the bartenders scooped into the guest's cups.

“It was unexpected, fun and creative – everything the Best Design competition is about!”

The Company

At Alex’s table was a whole bunch of South Island business representatives. He said that it was a really great idea to be able to meet other people involved in innovative and creative businesses down South. It made Alex realise just how many interesting people are down here doing amazing things. Alex gives a special mention to the guys at Bison – also located in Dunedin – who offered great company and fascinating conversation and won a Gold Pin for their category.

Congratulations Bison!”

The Talent

In New Zealand, we’re pretty well known for our innovation, creativity and ingenuity, so it was no surprise that the talent featured at Best Design Awards was exceptional. However, Alex said that the student talent this year was beyond belief.

“It’s really great that we have such an awesome event which celebrates creativity, but also gives recognition to the individuals who haven’t made it into the business scene. The potential of the industry is so exciting after seeing what these students are producing now.”

These were some of Alex’s favourite student projects:

  • Massey University: Triple Skin BMX helmet
  • Auckland University of Technology, Infinitum: The Archtop Acoustic Reimagined
  • Massey University: Range Rover AVD – Adventure Vehicle Design

Inflatable pins at the after party.

Now this was fun! Small inflatable pins were scattered all over the dance floor at the after party. People were picking them up, bopping each other on the head and using them for props, it just created a completely different atmosphere to what we had experienced earlier in the night. It was a perfect transition between the glamorous gala and the let-you-hair-down affair. Everyone was laughing, smiling and dancing – which lasted all through the night.

“It was so different. You didn’t know what to expect next throughout the whole night. It was exciting and kept the whole night interesting. They did a fantastic job at creating the best experience.”

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