Helping First Light shine even brighter
Designworks chips in

Designworks is adding its creative spark to a team of Wellington architecture students showcasing Kiwi environmental design against the best in the world.

First Light is a sustainable energy design initiative from the Victoria University School of Architecture and has been selected as the first-ever entry from the southern hemisphere in the finals of the Solar Decathlon 2011.

The First Light team has created a solar powered Kiwi bach design that is one of 20 finalists to be built alongside each other in Washington DC’s National Mall in late 2011.

The biennial Solar Decathlon competition, run by the US Department of Energy, challenges university teams to demonstrate inventive clean-energy solutions by building cheap, energy efficient solar-powered houses.

Designworks were impressed with the calibre and initiative displayed by the First List team, and felt it important to help them take it to the next level internationally.

As lead design partner for the project, Designworks is donating its creative team and ongoing advice to the impressive mix of sponsors and supporters behind First Light.

Lead designer Paul Johnson and designer Tim Denee teamed up with strategist Chris Meade to bolster the First Light team's design concept with a design system and brand story – positioning the house as a connection to New Zealand's way of life, with technology playing a very low-key role in the background.

Chris says the project is about much more than just showing off a house, with the whole story behind how the design came to be and the ten individual components that will be judged in 2011 a vital part of the message.

“To me, it is about creating a successful, enduring brand that will serve the team well beyond the Washington event.”

Nick Officer from First Light says Designworks’ support has formed the foundation brand and strategy for pitching the New Zealand entry into the Solar Decathlon 2011.

“We are grateful for their creativity so far and are looking forward to working with them up to the Washington event.”

The First Light house will begin construction in December 2010, and go on display in Wellington from March 2011 for two to three months before heading to the USA for its ultimate exposure.