Jamie Morton is the NZ Herald's science reporter.

Design award winners shine

The LightPath cycleway was also named among the supreme winners of the annual Best Design Awards. Picture / Supplied
The LightPath cycleway was also named among the supreme winners of the annual Best Design Awards. Picture / Supplied

The architects who transformed a drab unused off-ramp into the colourful star of Auckland's inner-city cycle network have won another major honour.

The LightPath cycleway - Te Ara I Whiti - was last night named among the supreme winners of the annual Best Design Awards, months after the project was recognised with a prestigious American architectural award.

Since opening in December, the pink-lit LightPath has been used more than 100,000 times, or 750 times each day.

Planners saw potential for it after a study suggested overhauling a disused section of motorway ramp to form the western route of an inner-city cycleway and complete Auckland's central cycle network.

The project, driven by Hamish Monk and Dean Mackenzie of Monk Mackenzie Architects, was conceived as a piece of urban art, given its functional urban design.

The former asphalt highway was made over with a vivid pink resin, aggregate surfacing and 300 LED custom light boxes that were placed along its eastern edge.

In awarding it the Spatial Purple Pin honour, judges described it as an "incredible addition to the city ... it was technologically resolved allowing the user to be totally immersed in the space".

In July, the Chicago Athenaeum Museum recognised the Canada St Bridge, forming part of the LightPath, in what's seen as the world's top awards programme for building, landscape architecture and urbanism.

Other supreme winners of this year's Best Design Awards, organised by the Designers Institute of New Zealand, meanwhile included a card game designed to encourage literacy among Kiwi kids, colourful woollen shoes, an automated pest trap, and a web application that measures usage of Maori language across New Zealand radio.

The Consumer Product Gold Pin went to Avanti, for a cutting-edge bike which Kiwi track cycling champion Sam Webster rode when he won silver at the Rio Olympics.

Its designers 3D-scanned Webster's hands and arms and then created computer simulations to understand how the aerodynamics of its handlebars could be improved.

"Our design studios keep pushing boundaries with their eye for craft, ideas and innovation," the design institute's chief executive, Cathy Veninga, said.

"Winners of the Best Design Awards become part of New Zealand's proud design history."

Avanti won the Consumer Product Gold Pin for a cutting-edge bike that Kiwi Sam Webster rode when he won silver at the Rio Olympics. Picture / Supplied
Avanti won the Consumer Product Gold Pin for a cutting-edge bike that Kiwi Sam Webster rode when he won silver at the Rio Olympics. Picture / Supplied

Supreme winners

Best Effect Award Purple Pin - A24 automatic trap and lure by Goodnature

Public Good Award - Purple Pin Game of Awesome by Chrometoaster

Graphics Purple Pin - POP Marble Run by Alt Group

nteractive Purple Pin - Kōkako Language tracking application by Salted Herring

Product Purple Pin - Allbirds Wool Runners by Jamie McLellan Ltd and Tim Brown

Moving image Purple Pin - The Innovator by Buck

Nga Aho Award Purple Pin - Te Oro by Archimedia

Spatial Purple Pin - #LightPathAKL by Monk Mackenzie Architects

The Designers Institute Black Pin - Ben Corban of Alt Group

- NZ Herald

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