Better by Design Conference Signage

Merit Award

Better by Design grew out of the Design Taskforce strategy, which promotes the use of design as a differentiator for products and services in export markets. The challenge was engaging New Zealand business at a leadership level, and changing the preconceptions of design being associated with aesthetics and output, rather than a fundamental business driver. This demanded a different approach, as images of design would only reinforce the status quo. The solution was to make voice visible. Three-dimensional speech bubbles were created, complete with provocative questions around the value of design.

Each speech bubble was connected via two magnets. Five ceiling panels each supported a grid of fifty cables per panel. The cables incorporated custom machined housings with press-fitted magnets. The partner magnet was welded into the vinyl speech bubbles for fast installation. At the appropriate moment, conference delegates could remove these bubbles to take their favorite design provocations or questions with them. The magnets allowed the delegates to install the bubbles in other environments, continue the interaction, and spark further discussion.

Jury Comments: 

"What a great way to inspire conversation about design and business to a group of non-designers! I especially like the ability for the attendees to easily remove a question or "bubble" to initiate a conversation with a colleague. The repetitive black shape with the same typeface is just loud enough to be seen but doesn't dominate the space. A lot of bang for the buck."

Design Firm: 

Alt Group Limited


New Zealand Trade & Enterprise

Location City: 

Auckland, New Zealand

Project Area: 


Open Date: 


Project Budget: 


Photo Credits: 

Duncan Cole

Design Team: 

Dean Poole (Principal in Charge), Aaron Edwards




DeFrance Productions, Lexicon Systems Limited, Alt

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