Aspiring Designers to Tackle Stormwater Issues

31 May 2013

Future design experts will have a chance to help solve problems facing the Capital’s environment this long weekend at a special three-day Design Thinking Workshop organised by Wellington City Council and Wellington Schools Loop with support from Massey University.

Taking place at Te Ara Hihiko, Massey’s creative arts building, the workshop will see up to 30 design-savvy local high school students join small interdisciplinary teams to create design concepts to educate the public about our stormwater system and help prevent its contamination. This is a major problem for local ecosystems including our harbour. 

The students will work side-by-side with professional designers to develop their concepts before pitching them to a panel of creative, business, and political professionals looking to invest in the future of the city.

Mayor Celia Wade-Brown says she’s excited by the prospect of talented young Wellingtonians getting together to brainstorm design solutions for important everyday challenges facing the Capital.

“This initiative takes our Smart Capital from strategy to action. I’m delighted the Council’s teamed up with both Massey University and our local design community to make this happen.

“Our Capital’s organisations collaborate exceptionally well together. Frugal and innovative approaches to solving urban issues are increasingly important as the world’s population moves to cities.”

The workshop will be led by US design expert Christian Long – who is also in New Zealand to speak at an education conference. He will be supported by Wellington’s Empathy Design and local digital media event organiser, DK.

Christian is Vice President / Education for Canon Design. He founded Be Playful – a Chicago-based design agency focused on the intersection between school planning/design, emerging technology, professional development and future trending. He also founded Prototype, an American design programme empowering young people to solve problems in their communities.

Massey College of Creative Arts Pro Vice-Chancellor Professor Claire Robinson says hosting the Design Thinking Workshop is a perfect fit for the University.

“Our world-class facilities are a tremendous Wellington resource, and we’re looking forward to seeing them hum with activity over the long weekend. These young people could become leaders in fields we haven’t even dreamed of. Whatever they do, we already know that design thinking is a powerful way to solve problems, and creativity will be at the core of success in a digital, globally-connected age.”