Audacious Top 40 Awards

Award Ceremonies always have such wonderful mood lighting!

Award Ceremonies always have such wonderful mood lighting!

Thursday night was the 9th annual Audacious Top 40 Awards, having participated in the competition last year I volunteered myself to go help set up the event and help out the wonderful audacious team. Setting up was fun, I got to move some really cool furniture around, have a good natter to my friends, and better still I got to have a look round the newly renovated Sargood Centre.

Before the Sargood Centre, as it is now named, the buildings original purpose was as an Art Gallery for the New Zealand & South Seas International Exhibition that Dunedin held in 1925. After the exhibit closed, the building was purchased by Mr and Mrs P R Sargood (the inspiration for the buldings new name), who bestowed it to the city, it was then the cities Art Gallery until a new one was later built nearer the city centre, and until 2011 was home to the New Zealand Academy of Sport. It’s current incarnation as the Sargood Centre makes it a hub for the Otago Polytechnic Institute of Sport and Adventure and Sport Otago.

So with that little history lesson, I’ll get back to the main event, Audacious. The Audacious Awards is a student entrepreneurship competition, open to Otago Polytechnic and Otago University students and is sponsored by Upstart, WHK and the Dunedin City Council. Running across both semesters,  the Top 40 Awards mark the end of stage one of the competition, only competitors awarded a Top 40 place can continue on into stage two of the competition.

Now, I’m quite fond of this competition, I actually competed last year and won a special category award! However my former glory is not the reason I am so fond of it, it’s the sense of community I got from the other competitors, the audacious team, and the people who devote their time and energy into helping out with the competition. I made some great friends last year, and I also got to know that I could achieve so much more that I had ever expected of myself. That award was the first thing I had ever won in my life. I was 21 and I had just realised I had the potential and ability to make something of my life. It was fantastic, but it would not have been possible without all the time, effort and help from the people I met through Audacious.

Now while Audacious is a business competition, it’s about innovative ideas. You can’t have an innovative business idea without a large dollop of creativity, and from the brief descriptions of the winners last night, there were some really creative ideas and businesses out there.

Full house inside the Sargood Centre

Full house inside the Sargood Centre

I thoroughly enjoyed myself on Thursday night, I wish all the Top 40 winners luck in the next stage of the competition, I truly hope you have as much fun as I did last year.

And just for laughs, here on page 7, is the Critic article on last years stage two award ceremony.

 

 

Public Screenings

I really love e-tickets, I think it's the personalisation.

I really love e-tickets, I think it’s the personalisation.

So this evening I went along to the Otago Museum with my friend, and we watched this rather wonderful little film. Coming in at around 90 minutes long it’s not by any standards a short film, and despite being about design it was not an art house film, rather a snappy modern documentary.

Before the film started there was a brief introduction to it by Matthew Ellingsen of Empathy where we learned how the film was funded by a Kickstarter campaign and made for $18,000! Which when I consider how slick the film seemed, it is honestly remarkable.

So, Design & Thinking, during Matthew’s introduction he talked about how everyone takes something different away from the film. Personally, I found the film gave validation to how I find my work process as a designer, all the frustrations I have when trying to interact with others who have a preconceived notion of designers, and putting names to faces of all the literature I have been perusing over the course of my degree.

I enjoyed how divergent the people interviewed were, it reinforced how the methodologies I have been learning about, particularly strategic and participatory design, are applicable in so many areas, and coincidentally how useful and effective they were.

The screening itself was packed, over 150 people turned up to watch the film. I don’t know why I am always surprised by how busy these events are. I suppose when I am working on a project I tend to be alone or working within a small group or community, I never get to interact with the greater design community we have here in Dunedin, which is a huge shame. We are so lucky here to have a vibrant design community, I hope that the longer I am here the more I will get to work within that community!

So I guess what I took away was that design maybe a globally undervalued process, but it’s a vital tool in helping to shape our future. That instead of just accepting the preconceived ideas people have of design and the design process, we should be making a concerned effort to alter them.

If I have sparked an interest to go see Design & Thinking it is showing again in June, tickets can be bought here. (Although I have recently found Rialto’s website to be rather useless and would recommend ringing them if you do in fact wish to get tickets.) And I highly recommend going along to see it!

Also, further information on the film can be found on the Design & Thinking website.