Alt Group wins Pinnacle at Australian Design Awards

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Auckland-based design company Alt Group has taken home a top category honour at the AGDA Awards in Adelaide. The AGDA Awards recognise and document the best communication design work happening in Australia and New Zealand at any given time.

Alt Group won the coveted Pinnacle Award (equivalent to Gold) in spatial design for POP Marble Run, a temporary, pop-up installation that allows people to engage with the work. It also won over judge Linda Jukic in the Judges Choice category.

POP Marble Run is an interactive installation – an eight-metre long double-sided steel wall, activated through a toolkit of magnetic parts, which make each marble run a customisable happening.

The wall is programmed with a spectrum of unique sounds, which are activated through an inbuilt speaker system as the marble drops from one section to the next. The result is a large participatory musical instrument activated by passers-by using gravity and play to compose their own experience.

The project was commissioned by the Waitemata Local Board as part of the POP, a series of public art activation projects across Auckland.

Alt Group Creative Director Dean Poole said the beauty of POP Marble Run is its way of incorporating art into everyday life by making people play and engage with it.

“When you’re playing with the marbles, it makes this sound which acts as the reward in itself,” he said. “It’s a musical instrument that you don’t know how to play but once you do it becomes quite rewarding.”

Music by SJD
The musical sounds it emits were developed by SJD (Sean James Donnelly), an Auckland-based musician known for his fusion of electronica, pop-rock and soul.

The temporary nature of the work allows it to be portable, transforming the mood and atmosphere of the environment. “It’s art that goes to the people. It disrupts your daily routine – a bit like when the circus comes to town,” says Poole.

A New Zealand creative company punching well above its weight, Alt Group have a collection of more than 450 awards to date. They have won more AGDA Pinnacles than other firm in Australasia.

Alt Group was also awarded Distinction (Silver) for their design on Habits Form Habitats, for Tennent Brown Architects, and awarded with a second Judge’s Choice for Silo Theatre 2016 Photography.

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