Homegrown - A collaboration with AUT

HOMEGROWN talent lights up design store window

Essenze is proud to be collaborating with the product design department at AUT University (AUT) on a project titled Homegrown. Students were asked by AUT lecturer Shane Inder to design and develop a light specifically for Essenze target customers. Regular visits to AUT by Essenze founder, Clare Mora, as well as a class visit to see product in situ helped students get a feel for Essenze core values aesthetics. Products were required to be technically feasible and commercially viable.

The project brief focused on adding value to New Zealand grown pine plywood in addition to one other material. The brief also required the students to research lighting options, such as LED or fluorescent, and select wisely with sustainability and performance in mind. In line with the Essenze aesthetic; the pendant, floor light, table light or wall light was to be elegant to the eye, light in weight and reflect the use of natural materials. It was to be simple and timeless in design and reflect the designer’s aspiration to be internationally competitive.

Of the project Clare Mora says:

"Unlike famous design cultures such as Italy, Germany or Scandinavia, which have developed over hundreds of years, New Zealand is a relatively young, unique country with an identity and design culture (story) that is only now emerging. Part of New Zealand’s uniqueness is its isolation from the rest of the world and an abundance of a number of great materials and resources. These materials and resources, however, are often exported in their raw form as commodities. Design can transform these materials into high-value objects and products that add value to our country, supporting local industry and communities.

In this sense we believe that the story of New Zealand design has yet to be fully written, and as emerging designers you will play an important role in what this story will be."

Head of product design at AUT, Andrew Withell, says:

"It’s very important that education partners work closely with industry, as it ensures that students develop learning in a real world context which prepares them for their future careers.  I’m very pleased that AUT’s product design department has been able to develop such a close relationship with Essenze, the home of New Zealand Art, Craft and Design.  

Both Clare and I have been impressed with how the students have responded to the challenge producing a stunning range of lighting concepts, all of which are currently on show at Essenze showroom in Parnell."


To view all of the designs, visit our facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/essenzedesign and support the students by 'Liking' your favorite designs!