Sneak peek: Students push natural materials to their limit (+pics)

Firewood: Pendant Lights by Shaun Van Riel. Materials: Pohutukawa.
Firewood: Pendant Lights by Shaun Van Riel. Materials: Pohutukawa.

Take natural materials and push them to their limits. Ignore their traditional uses and give them an artisan, bespoke treatment. Use your hands to create something with artistic visual appeal.

This was the brief that inspired AUT product design students in a new exhibition opening today.

Designer Rebecca Dowie from local high-end store, Douglas and Bec, mentored the students as their design concepts came in to fruition over the last seven weeks.

"I encouraged the designers to push their concepts and their materials further and further," Dowie said.

"Good design is not about complacency or competency. It is about going against the grain, pushing a concept beyond the bounds of reality. The beautiful and deceptively simple pieces in this exhibition are the result of imagination, experimentation and determination."

Check out the designs in the gallery below:

* Check out the Material Matter exhibition at the BLOC design store from July 18 to August 3.


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