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Unitec School of Architecture Students Named Dulux Colour Awards finalists

  • Dulux colour awards
    Joyful Fury By Abigail Spence

30 April 2024

The finalists for the 38th annual Dulux Colour Awards have been announced by this year’s judging panel. A stunning 83 projects were chosen from a record 527 entries, as judged by five design industry professionals from New Zealand and Australia, and two Unitec Bachelor of Architecture students, Henry Newberry, Abigail Spence are among the New Zealand finalists.


As one of the region’s most prestigious awards programmes, recognising the exceptional and innovative use of colour in the built environment, the Dulux Colour Awards attract an array of extraordinary projects.

“Overall, the judges were impressed by the deeply considered, intelligent design pervading this year’s suite of finalists: hospitality venues and retail stores enticing customers through an understanding of colour psychology; primary schools with classrooms distinguished by colour to aid learning and navigation; and human-focused offices with masterful mood setting palettes.

“This year, the New Zealand finalists have embraced colour in a variety of unique and considered ways to create some exceptional spaces. It’s also wonderful to see such a high calibre of student projects coming through.” says Harper.

Students enter awards like the Dulux Colour Awards to test themselves against other top students and to put their work into the professional sphere. To be selected as a finalist in such awards means being selected out of hundreds of entries and is a significant recognition in itself.

The awards event itself is a further opportunity to engage with the wider professional industry to see what the best work looks like and to make personal connections with other students and with industry professionals.

Entering awards is a way to show your engagement with the industry at large and to stand out from your peers. Professional recognition of your work is always rewarding and is something we hope students and graduates from the school will continue to strive for in their professional careers, says School of Architecture Lecturer Hayley Hirschfield.

Abigail Spence:

Abigail’s work has focused on investigating how architecture can leave the environment better off, physically and socially, with a specific emphasis on how tauiwi practitioners can act as allies in their architectural practice with their Māori peers. Her work emphasises whanaungatanga (relationships) as a core element of a (co)design process, and embedding Māori culturual values to develop a culturally responsive site planning and vertical housing proposal.

Whenu by Henry Newberry

Henry Newberry:

Henry’s interior design concepts for his Hospitality Interior Design Project: a vegan restaurant and bar located in Ponsonby, was informed and guided by his research into the Te Aranga Principles and the Core Maori Values. The vegan restaurant aims to honour the whenua and the kai that is produced from the land, and to uphold and champion the principles of care and respect for the land and all of it’s beings. This ethical design approach guided Henry’s design proposals for the interiors, in particular the spatial planning and the selection of all the interior finishes. Henry proposed a restrained earthy palette of colours and textures in the materiality and his desire was to create an inviting, intimate, contemporary restaurant and bar with a calming but welcoming ambience.

The 38th Dulux Colour Awards winners will be announced at an exclusive event at Sydney Opera House Bennelong, during Vivid Sydney on Wednesday 29 May.

View the student entries here

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