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British High Commission and iCentre launch 'aMaZeUs’ competition

The British High Commission and iCentre launched their ‘aMaZeUs’ competition to redesign the High Commission’s hybrid Prius car.

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The current design of the British High Commission's hybrid Prius car
The current design of the British High Commission's hybrid Prius car reflecting the theme 'Heart of Borneo'

On Wednesday 27 March, the British High Commission in collaboration with the iCentre launched their ‘aMaZeUs’ competition, inviting Brunei’s many talented and creative individuals to redesign the artwork on the High Commission’s hybrid Prius car.

'Design our Prius' competition flyer
'Design our Prius' competition flyer

British High Commissioner to Brunei H.E. Rob Fenn said

We were one of the first organisations in Brunei to run a vehicle with hybrid, low-emissions technology, on the grounds that we should practise what we preached about the perils of global warming. Since the car was green on the inside, we thought it should be green on the outside too; hence its vivid, rainforest livery – designed by students at ISB. This year we are changing the artwork, partly because our website address is changing from the one which currently appears on the car. But we also wanted to pay tribute to the work of the iCentre and BEDB to strengthen the design industry in Brunei.

The competition to design new artwork for our car contains the “funding dilemma” faced by governments all round the world when they seek to support and inspire researchers and designers, and to harness and focus their talents, without constricting them. At the British High Commission we have our own ideas, and a requirement that the winning design should provide a fitting “frame” for the address of our new website At the same time, we have great respect for the creative powers of Bruneians, and we want to keep the parameters of our competition wide enough to include all the domestic talent out there. Anyone who has seen how the car looks now will know that we are an open-minded organisation. So give it your best shot: aMaZeUs!

Through this competition, the British High Commission and iCentre aim to promote creative industries here in Brunei by encouraging individuals of all ages to take part. The over-arching theme is Innovation and Research.

H.E Rob Fenn said:

We want our car to be read as a tribute to Brunei’s growing Knowledge Economy, and to remind everyone who sees it that, in Britain, the Sultanate has an expert travelling companion. Though home to less than one per cent of the world’s population, the UK has a vibrant creative sector, producing films, music, design and literature that connect with people all round the world.

The UK has won 76 Nobel Prizes for science and technology (second in the world). Many of the most life-changing innovations over the last 25 years have had key parts made, designed or developed in the UK – from the World Wide Web to the cell phone with GSM services, General Packet Radio Services (GPRS) and dual-mode 3G. Every part of a Formula One car has some input from the UK, from design through to assembly and manufacture. 19 per cent of the world’s top-selling medicines were developed in the UK and we attract almost 10 per cent of the world’s pharmaceutical R&D funding. With world-leading innovation in life sciences, from DNA to MRI to IVF, we have the largest life sciences sector in Europe with over 750 medical biotechnology companies and 2,750 medical technology firms.

The British High Commissioner presented the iCentre with a book called “Making” by British designer Thomas Heatherwick. He said:

As a token of appreciation to the iCentre for hosting this competition for us, it gives me great pleasure to present them with this marvellous book, “Making”, by Thomas Heatherwick – whose studio brought us the UK Pavilion at the Shanghai Expo, which we all know as “The Seed Cathedral”; and who even redesigned the iconic, London double-decker bus. I’m not trying to say that our Prius needs a second storey; or that it should sprout prickles, like a hedgehog. But I do hope this book will help inspire the designers who use the fabulous new facilities here at the I-Centre.

British designer Thomas Heatherwick has been heralded as one of the most original creative talents for many decades despite being just two decades into his career. He has produced everything from sculptural chairs forged from the world’s largest aluminium extruder, to a bridge that rolls open and closed and an exuberant seed bank, ‘hairy’ with fibre-optic lights (the award-winning UK Pavilion at the 2010 Shanghai Expo). This book is the first to present an exhaustive survey of his studio’s output to date: over 140 projects. Long in development, it offers a highly personal, in-depth and behind-the-scenes look at all aspects of Heatherwick’s creative, design and manufacturing processes. Projects are organized chronologically and bookended by an introduction setting out the studio’s philosophy and a project credits section. Each project is fully illustrated and accompanied by a text explaining, in Heatherwick’s own words, the particular design challenge it posed and the creative and practical processes used to address it.

H.E Rob Fenn presenting Jeremy, Manager for the iCentre, with Thomas Heatherwick's book "Making"
H.E Rob Fenn presenting Jeremy, Manager for the iCentre, with Thomas Heatherwick's book "Making"

Click here for more photographs from the launching.

Participants stand a chance to win an iPad Mini (1st prize), an iPod shuffle (2nd prize), and iPod Nano (3rd prize). There are also 5 consolations prizes up for grabs!

For further information about the competition, visit the iMMerse website.

Good luck to all those competing!

Published 28 March 2013