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April 4, 2011 | by  | in News |
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Design Led Futures

Last week, Victoria’s School of Design launched ‘Design LED Futures—City 2040’, a project which involves fifty final-year Industrial Design and Digital Media Design students working collaboratively to develop propositions for Wellington’s future.

Wellington Mayor Celia Wade-Brown launched the project, which is being sponsored by the Wellington City Council as part of its ‘Wellington 2040’ project.
‘Wellington 2040’ is aimed at considering future generations and developing strategies that go beyond traditional city planning by adopting a more holistic approach. It will create a long-term vision that will shape the development of the city over the next 30 years and will provide continuing communication between Wellingtonians and the government in achieving this vision.

“So far the students have undertaken design experiments as diverse as counting the number of smiles in various parts of the city (initial results suggest Lambton Quay needs more comedians), growing buildings on 3D biological printers and dehydrating food to understand the importance of fresh water to the city,” Ross Stevens, senior lecturer and course coordinator for Design Led Futures, said.

He praised the project as the best way forward for Wellington. “The students get to show the world how they think it should be… Victoria University gets to take a leading role in creating a vibrant and visionary project about its home city. Wellington City gets design ideas from the very people it wants to keep long term, digitally savy entrepreneurs of the future.”

Mayor Wade-Brown said that the students’ contributions were a perfect fit to this project.

“Design LED Futures is intended to develop innovative and unexpected outcomes that people both need and use, but can also be valued and enjoyed. The project is more about creating a broader public debate about what could and should be made.”

The students’ work will be presented to the Council and any interested members of the public on June 20. It will then be posted online at This website currently holds work from over 200 students undertaken for national and international companies since 2004.

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