Future Ecology Designed

Sustainable design theory manifested in products, infrastructure, and graphic representation. A utopian glimpse of a future New Zealand where environmental considerations are of tantamount importance, and society is designed to accommodate the native ecosystem.

Combined Sustainability Exhibition

Initial Plan

Some thoughts on your writeup.. (CB)
In reply (NH) 5-12-2005

Overall Objectives
  1. To provide a multimedia exhibition of exceptionally high quality and audience appeal. Concepts of sustainability and an interest in the native New Zealand environment will be endorsed through visual arts and design.
  2. To provide a portfolio entry for contributors. Contributions will be indelibly linked within the project context, yet capable of standing alone for archival purposes.
  3. To provide networking opportunities for contributors, both through working with companies in the R&D phase, and exposure resulting from the exhibition and zine.
Yup, this all sounds good. The overal objective, I think we have established so far is focused around a public exhibit. Which is a good, consice and realistic objective to work to. The fact that it is for the general public will also give us a quality benchmark.
Each of us will probably also have several personal objectives that we like to achieve. (such as you expanding on your portfolio in regards to industrial design)


Sustainable design theory manifested in products, infrastructure, and graphic representation. A utopian glimpse of a future New Zealand where environmental considerations are of tantamount importance, and society is designed to accommodate the native ecosystem.

Individual submissions will identify further key themes to work with.

Ahh..the theme.. The word 'Sustainable' seems to come out as a strong contender. Exactly what the theme will encompass, I think will emerge and evolve as we work on it. Sustainable systems could be our starting block.

Yeah, I’m a bit wary of using the word ‘sustainable’- It doesn’t imply improvement or a revolution in terms of thinking about our place in the environment. To sustain is simply to continue in a manner that could be continued indefinitely- we want to actually positively improve. I also think we need to be careful of using words that are currently en vogue

As far as theme goes, I thought we could individually further refine our own approach. For example, I would like to view infrastructure as an eco-system in itself, using the same principles of order and supply. Bio-mimicry, if you will… This would encompass the work I have done on transport, energy supply etc. Thematically we would need to overlap, so the whole presentation had a feeling of unity. The outline you provide below covers most of what I had in mind, so we really just need to talk about the work itself.

Overal thematic ideas/fields:

- Living environments | Going from how people live (home) to the systems built up around them. (city/country?) Concentrating on the physical structures & systems mainly I think. Even though social and politcal etc. play a role they will not be the focus.

that would encompass, to pick a few:

- Urban devlopment |

- Transport / Logistic | your key area of expertese :-)

- Power systems | Production and supply and usage aswell. A key aspect of sustainability.

Ecology (natural environments) | With this I imagine exporing how they integrate and complement other systems.


NZ as a model | I tend to dislike the use of utopian, as implies by definition that it is of reach. If we do go with a 'this is what it could be approach', I believe its important it is not instantly dismissed as a ficticious, totaly out of reach presentation. But at the same time you need to exite people with the possibilities.

Yeah, striking a balance is important The projects I want to develop further here do however require some degree of social revolution- particularly where they have potential to run counter to a number of established interests- read de-centralised energy. Ummm, maybe if we just don’t mention utopia anywhere? We can’t let semantics define our work at this stage.

Design & its relevence | How the process and role of designers is relevent to developing and implementing these ideas. Design as an integral part of the process, not just as a dispossable luxery.
This seems to be emerging as a key theme, especialiy in NZ at the moment.
We might show and answer this just by doing what we are doing, but could be a thematic to explore.

Note on the narrative of the Exhibtion, or exibtis: (if such a thing exists)

Man.. ages since I did semiotics, but I agree we need to actually have some philosophical discussion about the role of this exhibition itself. We are almost looking at urban planning here- how can we place our position at a different level? How can we explain why we are doing this? (apart from getting to draw cool cars and planes and maybe solar powered killer robots and stuff, of course)

And I'm sure theres more. I think at this stage we just collect anything we might think could slot in, and then weed out what is irrelevent.
Its getting rather late once again so will just quickly skim through the major things...


Exhibitions, Auckland and Wellington

Yup, would be fantastic to do both metropolises

  1. Each participant presents work within a defined area of the exhibition space, leading to a layout which compiles individual portfolio work, yet shows a degree of group thinking. Separate spaces which reference each other philosophically are the aim.
  2. A multi-media approach is important to engage the audience. Impact will be greater with a number of different formats presented, these may include A3 explanatory boards on foam core, A2 posters, photography, video, interactive computer terminals, and 3D maquettes and models.
  3. The design process itself is to be considered an important aspect of the final work output. Visual diaries and other records of working progress are to be displayed with final work where applicable.
Not sure about #1. Although it would give whoever is involved a defined target when it come to the exhibtion space, there is the danger it will frament the show. (through inconsitencies, in quality or contribution for e.g.)

I like the idea of mixing different disciplines into one space, for example what we discussed a vehicle interior design with a conceptual interface incorporated into one experience/presentation.
Will think think about this..

I was being slightly selfish in wanting to have an easy transition to a personal portfolio. But it seems ridiculous to under-employ our respective areas of expertise. I guess this is something to work out by each case- We both need to define now what we are working towards, so we can find areas to overlap and create a more refined overall finish. Next step! This will need to be detailed, so I don’t expect us to have anything more than a very loose draft in a week or so

#2 - Most deffenetly. Anything to get the message accross. How and in what medium will, i think be dictated by our final pieces.

#3 - Absolutly. This would complement the 'relevence of design' theme quite well and engage the viewer into the thinking process a lot more.

It might also be worth to start considering, location whise were we envision something like this to run.
I had a thought that an actuall outside exhibit would be kinda cool, (just parts of it) but probably just poses too many problems. Anyway, worth starting to process some ideas on this.

Hadn’t thought much about this, kept seeing a deisgn-school type final exhibition. Possibilities are interesting- some sort of customized series of stands, even in a tent or something? (being fairly basic here). This is where I thought a grant from Massey might be a possibility


A small booklet/zine will be produced compiling the material from the exhibition, for wider distribution. Sales will start at the exhibition and continue at various retail outlets subsequently.

Format will consist of bound A4 printouts, forming an A3 booklet. The printing will be primarily black and white, with a number of colour pages- sustainable printing techniques will be followed where possible.

Sounds good to me :-) More than happy to oversee production of this. Depending on pricing we could even look actuall printing runs etc. But sustainable, environmental sound is the key here.

Bloody ripper

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