We cast a spotlight on some past winners, to find out what they are up to now, and to hear what they have to say about the awards.
You can also check out winning entries from the last few years in our gallery.
Eastern Institute of Technology
Winning the 2013 Supreme Award at The Dowse ECC Student Craft / Design Awards was a huge honour. Meeting new people at the awards ceremony made for a great night and I was so pleased to be a part of it!
After the ECC SCDA Awards I went on to complete a Master of Art and Design degree and Tertiary Education Teaching Certificate which led into part-time design tutoring at EIT. I have also continued to design and make my own work, and most recently worked on a collaborative coffee apparatus project that can be viewed at newtonespresso.co.nz.
We are very fortunate to have a student competition in New Zealand that is sponsored by such a high-profile company and hosted by The Dowse - a well-respected New Zealand Gallery. It is a great way to gain exposure, especially as a student designer/artist, and a great event to connect with other like-minded individuals.
After winning the Lighting Design award in 2016 I started my own design studio with the help of the award. I've since developed a small range of furniture (which you can see here) which I sell through both my web-store and a variety of select retailers. I'm currently working on and prototyping new exciting product which I hope to release to the market shortly. The award gave me the confidence and recognition required to start up Rowan Jackman Design Ltd as well as some funding which contributed towards the set-up costs.
I hope to continue the business and take on bespoke commission work, as well as establish a range of timeless high quality furniture.
During the year of 2014 I had started studying towards my Master of Design at Massey University in Wellington. My project was looking into the export of primary produce from NZ to China. My resulting design solution was a full concept system, titled ‘Rethinking Refrigerated Containment: a new vision of refrigerated exports’. I was fortunate enough to win the Gold pin at the Best Design awards in 2015 for my project.
The project can be viewed here: http://thingsbywill.com/things#/masters-project/
From there I took on the role as Head of Design at Action Manufacturing in Hamilton, designing everything from motorhomes and large commercial trucks to mobile medical units and St John’s Frontline Ambulances. I also did some lecturing in product design at AUT in Auckland and a few freelance marine boat design projects.
I have now moved to London! My partner and I have been traveling around Portugal and Spain the last few months while we look for career opportunities here in London.
The Student Craft & Design Awards was the start of many exciting things for me as a designer. It was recognition that my work and design thinking was valid not only in the education realm, but also in the commercial world. My recommendation to any students out there with a project is to work hard and get your work out there. There is nothing to lose, but everything to gain.
The ECC Student Craft / Design Awards was a significant moment for me. After the high of awards night, I presented my fourth-year collection at our graduate fashion show which explored religion and spirituality.
Once I finished this I was able to travel to Europe for six weeks exploring Ireland, Spain and Italy – it was incredible to be able to expose myself to new cultures and surroundings. It had always been a goal of mine to travel as soon as I completed my degree, so to be able to do this was something I will never forget. Coming back to New Zealand I felt refreshed and inspired and ready to go.
I have been working on my own clothing label with my friend Lavinia and we have been fortunate enough to have had multiple interviews, pop up shops and runway opportunities. I am now working as a freelance dressmaker working on a few projects that stretch across a few disciplines with a few exciting shows in the near future. From the project ‘Broke’ I have continued to up-cycle old fabrics into clothing and have focused more on old upholstery trying to make a conscious effort of where I source fabric. Combining my love for op shopping and sewing you’ll catch me wearing an old curtain more often than not.
The ECC Student Craft / Design Awards gave me the push I needed to source new inspiration, to become more aware of what I was designing and if it had any meaning and also who I want to be as a designer. If there are any students looking to be a part of this competition go for it! Make sure there is something strong that is driving your work, get passionate and knock it out – you seriously never know you might take out more than one award!!
I was very grateful to be awarded the 2015 Supreme Award at a time where I was trying to piece together a portfolio of work and achievements after finishing studying. The publicity and prize money that came alongside the title were extremely supportive in doing this.
The year following the awards I moved to New York where I worked for two New York based clothing designers, Creatures of Comfort and Andrea Jiapei Li. It was a fascinating experience and I was thrilled to learn about how both labels are able to utilise the local resources in Manhattan’s Garment District to support the New York clothing industry.
While overseas I was able to travel throughout the United States, London and France before returning to New Zealand last month. I am now based in Auckland where I am learning more about the NZ fashion industry and on-shore manufacturing, while also looking to start on a personal design research project.
I would recommend every student to submit an application. Thanks to ECC and Friends of the Dowse the awards were a great validation of my work, especially at a time when leaving the bubble of education can be very daunting.
I'm working in the lighting industry, as a lighting designer / consultant for Inlite.
My project / award had a huge influence in helping me move into the lighting industry. It demonstrated my passion for lighting and drive to engage and learn.
She also told us that it's always a highlight for her to see the incredible work that comes through the awards each year.