Toi Whakaari design competition for Y11-13s

Posted on May 7, 2021
We are proud to blast off with our 2021 Toi Whakaari Challenge as applications are now open for this national competition for your aspiring makers and designers in Years 11 – 13.

Toi Whakaari Challenge contestants are invited to imagine that they are working in the Art Department of a major new movie. Their challenge is to design imaginative costumes, settings or props for a fictional world. This year the setting is a future Martian colony in the year 2222.

There are four categories students can enter. Each reflects a particular area of practice within a profession film Art Department – Costume, Set & Props, Constructed Objects or Concept Drawing. These categories are also further subdivided by level. The levels are intended to align with NZQA standards.

Using the TWC brief, the competition requires the showing of work according to the competition categories – submitting either a created design (via images, workbooks) or proof of constructed objects (via images, video).

All systems are go, check out the creative briefs and encourage your students to join the Toi Whakaari Challenge!

We can’t wait to see what new worlds they create.

Toi Whakaari Challenge Overview
Judges & Prizes

Winning entrants will be eligible for a pool of prizes and receive valuable creative feedback from industry professionals such as Dorotka Sapinski (Costume Designer Black Panther, Wolverine), Sanit Klamchanuan (Spicy Thai Design / Weta Workshop Mulan, Thor: Ragnarok), Johnny Fraser-Allen (Weta Workshop Tintin, Chronicles of Narnia).Depending on group or individual entries the four prize options the winner/s can choose from are:

Individual Prize Pool – winner choses 1 option
1x place at a Toi Whakaari 2021 Summer Workshop or 2022 Winter Workshop – (Wellington Flights & Accommodation not included)
1x $150 Gordon Harris
1x $150 Mitre 10 Voucher

Group Prize Pool – winners chose 1 option 
1x $250 Resene Paint Voucher
1x $250 Gordon Harris
1x $250 Mitre 10 Voucher

2020 TWC Examples of Work 
2020 TWC example by Poppy Kirkham
First Speaker’s costume research 
2020 TWC example by Casey Roberts
Drex Ambassador’s costume design
Our soft launch of the Toi Whakaari Challenge last year allowed us to test the brief with select schools, encourage some amazing creatives and give prizes for some impressive work.

Toi Whakaari Set & Props HOD, Francis Gallop said: “As a first challenge the judges and I were blown away with the level of skill and creative thinking the 2020 entrants showcased.”

The Costume Design winner was Casey Roberts who designed a complex costume for the Drex Corporation’s Trade Ambassador. The judges loved her elegant design incorporating inspirations from China’s Qing Dynasty, an entire new language of tattoos inspires by electronic circuitry and the detailed and expressive make up and hair designs. Judge Dorotka Sapinski (Costume Designer Black Panther, Wolverine) noted Casey’s “natural ability to tell narrative through choices in the costume. There are a lot of ideas, the trick to a good costume sketch is to be able to distil them and you have done this.”

Runner up in the Costume Design category was Poppy Kirkham with her striking and imaginative design for the character of the “First Speaker of the Dreamers”. This is the costume worn by the First Speaker at the pōwhiri held for the Drex Corporation Ambassador, a critical moment in the film’s storyline. The design illustrates the mana of the wearer, the creative flair of the settlers working with limited material sources and their connection to both their new world and the old. Dorotka said “Your sketch shows a really great pose and so adds to the character. You are not scared to use color which is great to see.”

Emily Thompson won the Constructed Object category. Given the time pressures and complexities of 2020 her work never reached full physical completion but the judges were very impressed by the wide range of ideas explored, and how they were ingeniously synthesised within her design.

The brief was to create a Life Monitor and Communication Device worn by settlers of the NNZ Mars Colony:

“Known as an LMCD (or simply “Lem”), these are worn by every citizen of New New Zealand. They allow peer to peer conversation as well as sending a constant stream of life signs data to the settlement’s central hub, where the Papatūānuku System monitors their wellbeing.” Emily’s design also incorporates elegant features such as a display that shows the comparative orbits of Earth and Mars and the layout of key instrument lights in the pattern of the Southern Cross.

We hope these examples help inspire your creatives.

2020 TWC example by Emily Thompson
Life Monitor and Communication Device
Toi Whakaari Challenge applications open: 3 May
Toi Whakaari Challenge applications close: 1 October

Please feel free to get in touch with us if you have any TWC questions or require clarifications.