Introduction

Students are being asked to come up with new ways to get urban dwellers to experience nature in an inaugural design competition run by the Design for Conservation Research Network and Department of Conservation.

Date:  02 October 2013

Students are being asked to come up with new ways to get urban dwellers to experience nature in an inaugural design competition run by the Design for Conservation Research Network and Department of Conservation.

The Design Challenge 2013, ‘Conservation in the City’, asks participants to come up with creative solutions to get people to connect with the natural environment in the places they live, work, study and play. 

It is open to all New Zealand tertiary students, in any discipline, including architecture, landscape and product design, communication and virtual technologies etc. 

The reason students should take part is that we need them, says Dr Mick Abbott, Associate Professor, Design and Innovation, at Lincoln University.

“We need the insights and ideas from young people about how to inspire their flatmates and peers because it’s these people who need to be involved in conservation in the future.”

The Design Challenge allows DOC to support young, creative people to come up with ideas of how to inject a bit of wildness and nature into our cities and make it relevant to people, says DOC Partnership Ranger Phillipa Gardner. 

“A third of New Zealand is conservation land but for most of us, our first experience of nature is in and around the cities where we live.  So we are looking for new ways for people to connect with conservation closer to home.”

For students, it’s an opportunity to have a voice and potentially influence the future of our cities and city living, she adds.

Participants have a choice of designing for the rebuild or reimagining of Christchurch or any other urban centre in the country. 

Entries close on 29 October and prizes will be awarded on 6 November during the Design for Conservation Conference at Lincoln University (6-7 November). 

Singing boardwalk design.
Singing boardwalk design (University of Otago DESI 313 Environmental Design) 

Background information

The Design for Conservation Research Network is a collective of researchers and educators from universities and polytechnics across New Zealand, including Auckland University, AUT University, Unitec, Victoria University, Lincoln University, University of Otago and Otago Polytechnic.  DOC is a partner in the network.

Design Challenge 2013, ‘Conservation in the City’, offers prizes in three categories, including a first prize of $1000:

  1. Site/Landscape/Architecture
  2. Product/Artefact/System
  3. Virtual/Mobile/Communication

Contact

Fiona Oliphant or Lizzy Sutcliffe
DOC Media Advisors
+64 3 371 3743 or +64 27 470 1378 

Mick Abbott
Associate Professor Design and Innovation
+64 3 423 0469

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