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Exhibition Design Garners National Acclaim


Monday, 13 August 2018


Exhibition Design Garners National Acclaim


The Otago Museum has once again received national recognition for exceptional exhibition design at the 2018 Best Design Awards.

This year, Otago Museum has been recognised in two categories: Exhibition & Temporary Structures for Things Change: Martin Phillipps and The Chills, and Lighting Design for Tūhura Otago Community Trust Science Centre’s whakapapa ribbon.

Things Change: Martin Phillips and The Chills opened in the H D Skinner Annex, located on the Museum Reserve, in June this year. The Otago Museum team worked closely with Martin Phillipps, six students from Otago Polytechnic, their lecturer and ex-The Chills member Martin Kean, and Michael Findlay of Museograph, to create the retrospective exhibition. Featuring ephemera and memorabilia from Martin’s personal collection, the exhibition attracted nearly 2000 visitors in just three weeks.

The Tūhura Otago Community Trust Science Centre, which opened in late 2017, was developed with biculturalism at its core. A key component of the design is the whakapapa ribbon, which has earned the centre recognition as a finalist in the Lighting Design category.

“A Kāi Tahu cosmogenic whakapapa, or creation story, weaves through the centre, providing a framework based on both science and mātauraka Māori to interpret the interactives and explain the natural world from the two different knowledge bases,” says Museum Director Ian Griffin.

Otago Museum worked with Maui Studios and Miller Creative to display and illuminate the whakapapa, which meanders through the centre above the heads of visitors. The height of the whakapapa depicts the high-level narrative of the science centre and reinforces its mana and tapu. Ensuring tikaka is followed correctly, pou act to ground the tapu nature of the whakapapa, making it “safe” for visitors to engage with.

Established in the 1970s as the National Graphic Design Awards by the Designers Institute of New Zealand, the Best Design Awards recognise exceptional work by New Zealand designers across a range of categories, from graphic and interactive, to moving image and special awards.

Finalists have been selected by a team of judges from New Zealand and Australia, convened by Jef Wong of Designworks, a global creative consultancy based in California. Other Dunedin finalists include Firebrand – in the Public Good and User Experience / Empowering Categories, and Farra Engineering – in the Product/Non Consumer category.

Three Otago Polytechnic students have also been declared finalists; Erin Broughton in the Student Graphics category, and Ian McDowall and Tania Turei in the Student Product category, with Tania also a finalist for the Ngā Aho Award.

Winners will be announced at The Best Awards 2018 ceremony at the Viaduct Events Centre in Auckland on 22 September.

Otago Museum was a bronze recipient of the Ngā Aho Award for its work on Hākui: Women of Kāi Tahu at the 2016 Best Design Awards, and was a finalist in the Exhibitions and Temporary Structures category in 2015.


For more information

Craig Scott
Head of Exhibitions and Creative Services
Otago Museum
03 479 3273