Christchurch rebuild inspires competition win

04 Jul, 2016
 
Inspiration from the Christchurch rebuild helped a group of Colab students win a top French design competition.

Inspiration from the Christchurch rebuild helped a group of Colab students win a top French design competition.

Masters students Sarah Loggie, Jacques Foottit, Lisa Clist and Jenna Gavin travelled to Paris earlier this month for the European Street Design Challenge at the Futur –en-Seine Digital Festival in Paris.

They competed against nine other teams from India, Netherlands, UK, Austria, France and Italy.

The competition brief was to redesign an unused and neglected transitional space in Paris.

The COLAB students’ space was in les Ruffins in Haut Montreuil.

Student Jacques Foottit says their winning idea was to introduce a range of transitional spaces.

“Drawing inspiration from the city of Christchurch, and how locals there responded to losing the heart of the city by building temporary spaces, we developed a plan for an incremental approach to designing the space. It can begin immediately, with local artists and craftspeople constructing temporary objects for the space. These objects would be moveable, allowing the public to explore how they would like to use the space. More importantly, it begins to give the space an identity, and lets the locals know that something is happening and they can be involved.”

The students’ trip to France was funded by the France/New Zealand Friendship Fund (FNZFF) and AUT. Accommodation was organized by the Creative Cooperative, and sponsored by the Conseil Général de Seine-Saint-Denis, Cap Digital - Paris Region and the Futur en Seine festival.

Colab’s Co-director Frances Joseph also attended.

She says, “This was an exciting opportunity to foster contact and exchange between New Zealand and France, promoting information exchange and knowledge sharing about creative technologies and design for social innovation approaches in each country, for developing creative linkages and enhance deeper understanding of respective lifestyles, cultures, tastes and environments. Colab’s team includes students with expertise in programming, interaction design, social media and communication design, and social games development. They are all highly committed to digital creation that engages people and helps develop social linkages, so the project theme is well suited to their skills and interests. “