Tree to Chair Design a Best
When Michael Hambleton was given a plank of macrocarpa, he saw in the design challenge a piece of conceptual furniture
that would win him bronze at the Best Student Design Awards 2010.
The annual Best Award for exemplary New Zealand Design has been gaining momentum in the 22 years since its inception,
with a record number of entries – 603 designs this year. Best design categories include awards for graphic, interactive,
product and spatial design from both students and commercial kiwi creatives.
WelTec Bachelor of Design (Interior) Student, Michael Hambleton entered the annual Best Awards believing he wouldn’t
hear anything more, and was surprised to find he had won a Bronze for his student furniture/product design, Splay.
Splay pushes the boundaries between art and operation. The contemporary shape has sculptural characteristics that make
it as much a piece of visual art, as it is a piece of functional furniture.
The multidisciplinary approach to learning at WelTec helped Michael when it came to constructing his design. He was able
to utilize the Institute’s practical tuition and equipment and benefited from the one-to-one instruction in design
theory. “My tutor Tony De Goldi was amazing, he pushed me conceptually and guided me through the process as well as the
The talented young designer plans to continue to explore all aspects of design. Michael’s next step is to study fashion
design and sees himself eventually launching his own contemporary clothing line. According to Michael, a clear vision is
all you need to start.
Image caption: Student designer, Michael Hambleton’s Best Award Winning work.
Check out Michael’s work at the WelTec School of Creative Technologies Exhibition www.weltec.ac.nz/ctexhibition