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Graphic Design Students on A Radio Wave

July 13, 2011

Amelia Haliday with her winning Gumboot Radio.

Tuned into Kiwi culture, EIT graphic design students shone in Radio New Zealand’s Sounds Like Us competition, sharing first place and claiming three of six commendations.

Twelve second-year Bachelor of Visual Arts and Design students entered the nationwide competition, designing model radios that capture the essence of the New Zealand way of life. 

 Amelia Haliday was chosen co-winner for her Gumboot Radio, which, she says, was inspired by her upbringing in Crownthorpe.

Having grown up on a wee country estate/arboretum, I definitely had the chance to experience what it is to be a down-to-earth Kiwi girl.  My whole life I have lived rurally, growing up surrounded with mud puddles, therefore going through my fair share of ‘Red Band’ gummies.”

The Red Band gumboot is a New Zealand icon, Amelia says – the first short boot ever, and it was atoledo developed in Aotearoa.

Highly commended were EIT students Aimee Pakoti with her Tent Radio, Kirk Lambert, who designed a bach-inspired model radio, and Jessica Kiel, whose Lollies Radio featured favourite New Zealand sweets, including pineapple lumps, milk bottles, jaffas and spearmint leaves.

The judges, who included Weta Workshop’s Richard Taylor, said Amelia’s design was quintessentially New Zealand, reflecting the down-to-earth, hard-working Kiwi.

“We are a nation who trudged through the mud to build a country on the back of agriculture.  And today, you can find a pair of humble gumboots on every Kiwi’s back doorstep.”

Radio New Zealand said the standard of entries was very high.  Communications manager John Barr made a special trip to EIT to meet Amelia and her model-making classmates, but students had no advance warning of their stunning success.

Weta Workshop technicians will be making the model radios for an exhibition at Auckland Art Gallery, and Amelia will be flown up for the opening on July 9.

This is the second year the competition has run, and the second year EIT has achieved a top placing.  Last year, Emma Clarkson and Wuqiong Shi were inspired by a beehive to co-design their Honey Radio.   It won the People’s Choice Award, chosen by popular vote.

EIT graphic design lecturer Anthony Chiappin has incorporated the competition into the programme curriculum, with students asked to make a model and also to provide illustrations for a poster.

The results, he said, had been simply fantastic.

“The competition provides the students with a real-life challenge and they really rise to this, producing amazing and inventive work.”