A fresh look at the humble backcountry hut by Year 12 students at Rangiora High School has brought forward all kinds of new ideas and concepts for consideration.
Rangiora student Adam Mitchelmore chats to Jeff Dalley
Throughout 2013 DOC Ranger, Jeff Dalley, has been working with visual communications and design students in Rangiora to design a new hut for the St James Cycle Trail, a 64 kilometre track through stunning scenery of mountain peaks, crystal clear rivers, high-country lakes, alpine meadows, sub-alpine beech forest, and expansive grassy river flats.
A prescriptive Standard Operating Procedure for hut design in the backcountry means new ideas and designs are rarely considered, but the project at Rangiora High School was a great way to think of new and creative approaches to building these shelters.
Callum Bradbury shows Jeff his Computer-Aided Design drawing
The idea was the brainchild of teacher, Carey Prebble, who contacted DOC. Fortuitously a new hut was being considered and DOC staff were keen to collaborate.
The students were given a very specific and comprehensive design brief which would have been exactly what would have been provided to any architect.
The hut design, for 12 people and their bikes, and had to cater to various constraints, including cost, materials, weight and construction complexity.
One student’s final hut design poster
Many of the students had fond memories of staying in DOC huts and wanted to ensure their designs would be attractive and comfortable for future visitors.
DOC staff were impressed with the students’ work, they were truly creative and many of the innovations designed by the students could be immediately incorporated in any final design.
Every Friday Jobs at DOC will take you behind the scenes and into the jobs, the challenges, the highlights, and the personalities of the people who work at the Department of Conservation.
Today we profile Bronwyn Aalders, Team Lead Graphic Design…
Living in Canada for a few years made for many breathtaking moments
What kind of things do you do in your role?
I head up the design team that provides design and layout services for any DOC office around the country. We design a huge variety of different products including brochures, posters, banners, advertisements, interp, stickers… the list goes on! My job is to ensure DOC’s identity is strong, consistent, and recognisable. We also provide support and advice to staff.
The journey back home from Canada took me through Thailand where air conditioning isn’t really necessary when on the road
What is the best part about your job?
Working with all the wonderful imagery from around the country and actually being able to use the products we design when out and about. It’s also great working with so many people who are situated in stunning areas around the country. I always like to visualise the view from their window (compared with mine).
What is the hardest part about your job?
Aoraki/Mount Cook: I was a tourist in New Zealand when this photo was taken. Now I live here, which is heaps better!
Probably the pace of working across such a large variety of work and jumping between jobs in a split second.
What led you to your role in DOC?
A love of wildlife and the environment, and a need to produce meaningful design. Also, the lure of mountains across the Tasman.
What was your highlight from the month just gone?
Moving into the role of team lead within such a short space of time. Thrilled!
The rule of three…
Putting up a tent and not seeing a soul in any direction
My 1969 baby blue Datsun 1600
Seeing mountains from my window—very different to inner city Sydney
A favourite pastime during my last four years in Sydney was rock-climbing. This is in the Blue Mountains looking down over the aptly named ‘Megalong Valley’
Snowboarding at Treble Cone—the board has just come out for a dusting in preparation for this season
I haven’t lived here long enough yet but hope to extend this list a lot further soon!
Favourite movie, album, book
Movie: Lost in Translation
Album: Paul’s Boutique, Beastie Boys
Book: Jupiter’s Travels by Ted Simon
Deep and meaningful…
What piece of advice would you tell your 18 year old self?
Get that zoology degree!
Who or what inspires you and why?
My dad and his stories of growing up in and around the Malay jungle—complete with tiger sightings, snakes on top of the fridge, and pet baby elephants.
When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A stint of fieldwork last year put me up close and personal with the beautiful fairy wren. I worked as a field assistant right around Australia studying about 10 different wren species. This is a male red-backed fairy wren up in Cairns, temp: about 40 degrees
An architect, but graphic design isn’t too far removed so didn’t do too badly there.
And now, if you weren’t working at DOC, what would you want to be?
A zoologist (so probably working for DOC).
What sustainability tip would you like to pass on?
Rethink the ‘send to print’ button.
Which green behaviour would you like to adopt this year—at home? At work?
Cycle to work every day, not just every second day.
If you could be any New Zealand native species for a day, what would you be and why?
As part of the DOC’s 25th anniversary celebrations, I asked around to see what posters DOC staff had tucked away from yester-years. Check them out and vote for your favourite…
Knowledge on these posters is limited, so if you have any information about these, or any gems of your own hidden away, I’d love to hear from you!
Care for your country – 1973
This is by the famous Wellington cartoonist Nevile Lodge who must have been specially commissioned to do this poster.
Care for your country
Conservation is all year – 1976
This is a favourite for many. It was designed by Howard Campbell and was the winning entry in a competition sponsored by Todd Group and WWF.
Save us a place to live – 1979
This lovely poster was created by Don Binney, produced for the National Conservation Week Campaign Committee, with assistance from the L.D Nathan Group of Companies.
Nature’s place in town – 1981
And we move into the eighties… A Conservation New Zealand poster; simple, and to the point.
Reflect your concern. Plant a tree – 1981
It’s Conservation Week, but this guy doesn’t look too happy about it. Nice inclusion of Arbor Day messaging though.
The alpine world
This poster was developed at Mount Cook in the mid 1980s in conjunction with the publication of an A4 book The Alpine World of Mount Cook National Park.
A similar poster was printed for Tongariro National Park, but the concept didn’t get used for a wider national message.
Len Cobb from Cobb/Horwood, who did many of the National Park A5 handbooks, did the production.
Tread gently on the ice
This poster was produced by DOC staff member Harry Keys when he worked at the Commission for the Environment (CFE) in the mid 80s. CFE had become part of the government’s delegation at meetings of the Antarctic Treaty parties which, at the time, were dominated by the question of how to assess proposals for mineral and hydrocarbon exploration and development in the Antarctic region. It was widely displayed in post offices throughout New Zealand.
Tread gently on the ice
People need plants
It’s true. A lovely landscape produced by the Post Office Savings Bank for Conservation New Zealand.
Shelter from the storm
The wild and uncompromising nature of New Zealand has given rise to a unique diversity of shelters and huts scattered throughout our back country. This collection of images was put together by the Federated Mountain Club, supported by the Hillary Commission.
Shelter from the storm
New Zealand’s Forest Parks
Something for everyone! Contact your nearest Forest Services office for a wide range of experiences and recreational activities.
Community forests and woodlands
Produced in 1985 for International Year of the Forest.
Conservation Week 2009
This poster was designed by Saatchi & Saatchi – a snapshot of the future!
Conservation Week 2009
Get involved in conservation and who knows… a clever campaign that conjures a whole heap of ‘what if’ thoughts.
Conservation Week 2009 – 2
What’s your favourite?
So, what is your favourite poster? Vote in our poll (below). Any memories around these? If you have info to add about any of these posters, comment below and we’ll add it to the descriptions. If you have copies of your own posters that you’d like to share, leave a comment and I’ll get back to you.
The history of Conservation Week posters
In the early seventies, Conservation Week came under the umbrella of the Nature Conservation Council, with other agencies and organisations represented on a Conservation Week committee. Each year, with sponsorship, it produced a promotional poster and a themed teaching poster with teachers’ notes.