Year 13 DVC students get creative

29 Nov 2021

From a glamping pod to a cricket pavilion, from a PC case to designing a shoe – the possibilities were limited only by imagination for the Year 13 DVC class this year.

Given the freedom of designing whatever they wanted, they had the whole year to complete the stages of their project, from ideation to planning, to building and producing a model. Every step was graded for their external and internal credits and in the final weeks of the year, the exhibits were on show around College for everyone to admire.

Reis Azlan, who plans to become an architect, was inspired by New Zealand artist and furniture maker David Trubridge’s unusual lights displayed in the redwoods in Rotorua.

“Rather than just make a conventional building, I wanted to challenge myself and to go with a more organic approach, which made it a lot harder.”

He settled on The Carapace Retreat, a glamping pod replicating the shell of a turtle or crustacean and spent the bulk of the year with pen and paper, working out his ideas, creating a concept, and developing the form to the point it became a sustainable structure. The exercise called for a lot of Mathematics and Physics.

“I wanted it to look like nature, so I had copper sheets wrapped around it – similar to the shell of a turtle.”

Another student, Rory Doull, opted for a different approach, heavily engaging in online programmes in the design of his project, specially to complete the 3-D renders for his Performing Arts Centre.

A guitarist and musician who also plans to study architecture in Auckland next year, he said the many shapes and structures of musical instruments, particularly the guitar and violin, clearly inspired his model, with its big wrapping curved facade.

His interest and experience in photography also proved beneficial.

However, making the model was “technically quite hard”, he said.

He’s been very pleased with the positive reactions to his design from both students and staff, and is pleased with the excellence grade the work has received.

The Design & Visual Communication class is taught by Monique Ellis-Martin, who says, while she offers help, the students are largely operating in an individual context, with each project offering its own challenges.

She has been highly impressed by the diversity and complexity of the work completed by her students this year, and says their talent and hard work will stand them in good stead for the future.