Helping them shine even brighter

Designworks added its creative spark to a team of Wellington architecture students showcasing leading-edge Kiwi environmental design against the best in the world.

First Light was a sustainable energy design initiative from the Victoria University School of Architecture and was selected as the first-ever entry from the southern hemisphere in the finals of the US Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon 2011, the ‘Olympics of university sustainable architecture’. 

The First Light team created a solar powered Kiwi bach design that is one of 20 finalists built alongside each other in Washington DC’s National Mall in late 2011 – and ended up placing an amazing third!

Designworks were impressed with the calibre and initiative displayed by the First Light team, and helped bolster the team's design concept with a design system and brand story that positioned the house as a connection to New Zealand's way of life, with technology belding into the background, as well as advice on attracting other partner sponsors to join in for the ride.

Key for us was to create a successful, enduring brand that could serve the team well beyond the Washington event, which turned out to be the case. The core team have since successfully established First Light Studio, a practice focused on ‘Redesigning Our Living Future’, through making great sustainable living more accessible and flexible to suit contemporary living.

Victoria University
First Light