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Celebrating connecting people to place.

2020 SEGD Global Design Awards 

Thirty winning projects in the SEGD Global Design Awards were announced on 9 July during the live 2020 SEGD Global Design Awards virtual ceremony. SEGD (the Society for Experiential Graphic Design) is the multidisciplinary, global community of professionals who create experiences that connect people to place.

Isthmus received a Merit Award for Te Hauāuru Reserve and a Honour Award for the Hobsonville Point Habitat Markers.

“These markers are visually compelling, mixing forms and material beautifully, but it is the exploratory nature of them that I find so inspiring; They are inviting, open-ended, and wondrous, reminding us to be curious, to look closer, to touch—and to focus.”—Jury Comment

The winning projects spanned a range of topics, disciplines and verticals, from highlighting the role of technology in addressing injustice in communal workspaces, creating interactive experiences that unearth unconscious biases to material-driven, nature-inspired park placemaking totems. The award-winning designers represented diverse parts of the globe, but what was a common thread for many, was a commitment to use design for the betterment of society.

“The winning projects have a way of connecting with you. As the jurors moved through hundreds of project submissions, you could see when they came across a project that defined excellence. We were all extremely moved by the intention, care, and focus that was taken to bring these projects to life.” says Traci Sym, principal at Plus & Greater Than +&>, SEGD Board Member and 2020 SEGD Global Design Awards Jury Chair.

The jury evaluated projects in seven categories that represent the core of experiential graphic design practice: Digital Experience Content, Exhibition, Interactive Experiences, Placemaking and Identity, Public Installation, Strategy/Research/Planning and Wayfinding. 14 Honor Awards and 16 Merit Awards—spanning the full spectrum of experiential graphic design were chosen from among 340 submissions of experiential graphic design projects from around the world.

“These practice areas are distinct but layered. Great work is not made from a single pair of hands, it is collective and it is cumulative. The choreography of experience, the weaving of disciplines and story, this is what connects visitors to place. Experiential design is a temporal animal that remembers the human aspect of experience” says Sym.

Russell Museum. Te Whare Taonga o Kororāreka.

The proposal for the new Russell Museum Te Whare Taonga o Kororāreka is envisioned as a place to bring together the community, locals and tourists; a place that embodies manaakitanga, or hospitality. Bay of Islands-Whangaroa Community Board chairman Terry Greening says the museum will be “an economic asset not only for Russell but for tourism in the whole of the Bay and Far North”.

As project architects Isthmus was tasked with designing a new museum to replace the existing facilities. This involved significant remodelling of the existing museum building, adding community facilities and exhibition space to showcase nationally significant stories, artefacts and objects.

Museum curator Kate Martin commented on the importance of producing “an empathetic design that is true to the significant site the building occupies both historically and culturally.” The new design does just that, maintaining a strong connection to the maritime heritage and character of Russell, while offering alternative interpretations and possibilities to reflect the cultural histories of the place in a contemporary manner.

The Museum has been granted non-notified resource consent, and will move to Detailed Design once project funding has been secured.

Te Waipounamu. Introducing Isthmus South.

Isthmus are a national design practice. We always have been. While our physical studios are located where our people are concentrated (Auckland and Wellington), a number of us are a part of communities in other locations around Aotearoa. With our ‘One Studio’ approach, our people increasingly have the ability to live where they want, while being a fully-integrated part of the Isthmus whanau. This expansive approach has led us back to Te Waipounamu, where three of our experienced designers are now based.

Nik Kneale, Helen Kerr and Scott McKerrow bring a strongly inquisitive and collaborative approach to design, with overlapping core experience in Landscape Architecture, Urban Design and Architecture. Our presence in Ōtautahi Christchurch allows us to work at our best- with clients, communities and collaborators across Te Waipounamu, focusing on wellbeing, engaging with mātauranga māori and regenerative solutions. As an agile and nimble local team we are creatively invested in Te Waipounamu.

Ki te hoe!
To the paddle, let’s go!

Te Wānanga Under Construction.

Te Wānanga, Auckland’s new Downtown Public Space is currently under construction and slated for completion in late 2020. Stitching together the land and the sea, the design brings to life Te hā o Te Tangaroa, the breath of Tangaroa the sea god. This natural rhythm and space between high and low tides has driven the design.

For the last eleven months the Isthmus team has been on-site monitoring the construction progress. The sequences of images above were taken a week apart over a eleven-month period. They show how the construction of a suite of projects; the Downtown Public Space, Ferry Basin Redevelopment (also designed by Isthmus), Quay Street Enhancement, Sea Wall Strengthening and Lower Albert Street Interchange has unfolded.

A transformative project for Tāmaki, Te Wānanga represents an integrated approach to public space design. The project is set to become a vibrant public waterfront that weaves mātauranga Māori through its spaces and narratives offering a new invitation to the water’s edge.

A New Heart for Takapuna.

New concept design endorsed for Takapuna town square

The Devonport-Takapuna Local Board have endorsed Isthmus concept design for Takapuna Square. The design undertaken in partnership with mana whenua appointed representatives, Angell and Vern Rosier, references the underground springs flowing from Lake Pupuke to Takapuna Beach and builds upon the meaning of Takapuna—Taka; to collect, gather, assemble and Puna; spring, water, life

The town square will be a place where people can come together to meet and relax, children can play and celebrations can be held. The design is the result of local feedback and expert master-planning which will give Takapuna a new heart.

Aidan Bennett, Chair of the Devonport-Takapuna Local Board, says the design is fantastic and will further enhance the desire of locals to connect the town centre to the beach.

“It’s no secret I have been a big supporter of this type of progress for Takapuna, so it warms my heart to see plans such as this nearing fruition.”

Over June and July, Panuku Development Auckland in collaboration with the Devonport-Takapuna Local Board will undertake a public engagement process to seek views on whether the design meets the objectives that were identified through previous community engagement between 2017–2018. Following this, the plan will move into the final detailed design phase, with a target construction start date of early-mid 2021.

To find out more see Panuku Development Auckland

Welcome Return — Nik Kneale

We are really pleased to welcome Nik Kneale as a Principal Landscape Architect at Isthmus. Based in Ōtautahi Christchurch with a focus across Te Waipounamu Nik is a valuable addition to our design team.

Joining us at a time of global change and uncertainty Nik acknowledges it’s also a time of great opportunity: ‘Communities have never been more connected to each other and to their environments … Isthmus have a strong ethos of collaboration and teamwork, and actively blur the boundaries between traditional ‘disciplines’. This attitude, combined with the values of Curiosity, Creativity, Authenticity and Tenacity put us in great stead as we head into the unknown and I’m excited to be a part of it’.

Nik is a skilled and thoughtful designer — we are very happy that he has returned to Isthmus after a 12 year gap.

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