National Institute of Creative Arts and Industries

Celebrate success

The scholarship, research, creative and practice-based achievements of NICAI staff, alumni and students are regularly recognised in awards, promotions, accolades and grants earned both in New Zealand and around the world. NICAI acknowledges the ongoing commitment of its staff and students to excel across the disciplines and celebrates their successes in the local, national and international arena. Congratulations to you all.

School of Architecture graduates feature in Auckland Arts Festival

Field in Sydney, 2013

March 2015

Two University of Auckland alumni are bringing their successful installation Field to the Auckland Arts Festival 2015. Angus Muir and Alexandra Heaney, of Out of the Dark creative architects, have developed a collection of mirrors along the waterfront to engage the public during the festival. The installation makes the viewer a key player in the experience, allowing for reflection on their place in the world around them. 

Field was one of five major projects in the Sydney Art and About Festival in 2013 in Hyde Park, a high profile central city location, which drew strong numbers and generous reviews. It is now coming to Auckland where both Angus and Alexandra are based. 

The installation will be on display during the Festival from 12 - 22 March at the Waterfront, Dalby Street North, Auckland Central. A light display allows Field to be accessed at all hours. 

Find out more about Field at Auckland Art Festival
Find out more about Out of the Dark

Planning Professor receives Royal Society of New Zealand grant

Dory Reeves

September 2014

Professor Dory Reeves from the School of Architecture and Planning has been awarded a Royal Society of New Zealand grant to attend the EnGendering Cities Conference, held later this month in Rome.

The Conference's theme is Designing Sustainable Urban Environments for All and Dory has been invited to present keynote address entitled 'International dimensions to designing sustainable and inclusive environments: perspectives from afar’'. The aim of her presentation is to share what has been learnt about gender and urban planning over the last 20 years.

As Professor of Planning at the University of Auckland, Dory teaches and researches in the area of social sustainability and planning from an interdisciplinary perspective. Since the 1980s, she has co-authored PAN 12 Planning for Women, GPN 7 Gender and Spatial Planning and the UN-Habitat Gender and Urban Planning Report.  She published Planning for Diversity in 2005 and a book on what makes early career planners effective in the work place is scheduled to be published next year.

Her current projects include climate change migrants - a gender perspective with Anita Lacey in Political Studies and working with Maori communities - developing a research agenda with Lena Henry and Kepa Morgan. She supervises PhD students researching a range of gender issues.

The EnGendering Cities Conference is hosted by the Italian Presidency of the European Union.

Architecture lecturer a finalist in the NZ Post Book Awards

Bill McKay

July 2014

Architecture lecturer Bill McKay’s book on state houses has been selected as one of twelve finalists in this year’s NZ Post Book Awards.
The judges congratulated all the finalists on their achievements in making the shortlist. “We had to make our selections from a very strong field this year. Every author should be proud to be in such excellent company. From new authors to established prize-winning writers, all contributed to a stellar year in New Zealand writing.”
Bill McKay’s book Beyond the State: From Modest to Modern looks at the first Labour Government’s iconic state houses, as well as their Liberal Government and Railways Department precursors. Co-written with Andrea Stevens, the book’s second half looks at several case studies and examines how 1940s houses have been altered to accommodate contemporary lifestyles.
Beyond the State has also proved a best-seller, rising to fifth in the NZ non-fiction best sellers list earlier this year. Bill has been much in demand this year, with radio discussions and talks to community groups. The issues of housing shortages, social housing and affordable housing remain with us to this day, he says.


Talented pianist wins three scholarships to study at New England Conservatory

Jane Koo

July 2014

Jane Koo, who is currently studying for a Master of Music in Classical Performance, has been accepted to study the Master of Music degree at the New England Conservatory later this year. To help her with the high cost of tuition fees in the US, Jane is delighted to have been awarded three scholarships – the Anne Bellam Scholarship and the University of Auckland Patricia Pratt Scholarship, as well as a scholarship from the New England Conservatory itself.

In 2012, Jane was the winner of the University of Auckland Graduation Gala Concerto Competition, and also received second prize in the PACANZ National Young Performer Awards, the Constance Herbert Memorial Scholarship, and the Janetta Mcstay Prize for Pianists. Last year, she was awarded fourth prize in the Wallace National Piano Competition and won the Enid Lane Memorial Prize for Best Performance of a Piece by Mozart in the Lev Vlassenko Piano Competition.

We wish Jane all the very best for her future, and expect to see her on the world stage before too long!


Young pianist invited to study at top American universities

Sylvia Jiang
Sylvia Jiang

June 2014

Bachelor of Music (Classical Performance) student Sylvia Jiang has been offered four scholarships to prestigious music schools; Juilliard School, the New England Conservatory, the Peabody Institute at John Hopkins University and Yale School of Music.

The 18-year-old pianist, who started playing at age 4, is one of only a handful of New Zealand students to ever be offered a place at Juilliard in New York.

She has accepted a place at The Juilliard School and will continue studying under teacher Qu Yong at the School of Music for the rest of the semester before heading off to the US later this year.

Sylvia plans to fully grasp this opportunity and is very excited to be taking this next step in her musical journey. She hopes to use her time in New York to experience and further her understanding of the art of piano playing and of music in general.

Popular music student sows the seeds of success

Jessie Leov

May 2014

Congratulations to second-year popular music student Jessie Leov, one of ten winners of ASB's most recent "Sowing the Seeds of Success" radio promotion, in partnership with the Mike Hosking Breakfast show on NewstalkZB. Jessie outshined the competition and proved that she is determined to follow her dreams and make it big. To help her achieve this success, ASB awarded Jessie with funding to help purchase new equipment for her music studio. By having her own professional home studio, she can not only record her own music but also use it as a source of income to record and produce other peoples' work – particularly other female artists.

View video of Jessie's success story

Elam postgraduate student short-listed for prestigious international art prize

Elke Finkenauer

May 2014

Elke Finkenauer (MFA) was shortlisted for the Aesthetica Art Prize 2014. The Aesthetica Art Prize is an annual award given by the international art and culture publication Aesthetica Magazine. Distinguished by dynamic content that merges compelling critical debate and stunning images, the magazine engages with all aspects of visual art and culture, attracting an audience of over 140,000 worldwide.

Previous finalists include Julia Vogl, who was shortlisted for New Sensations – Saatchi Gallery and Channel 4’s Prize – and has exhibited at Zabludowicz Collection; Marcus Jansen, a leading modern expressionist who joined a legacy of artists by featuring in Absolut Vodka’s artistic campaigns, and Bernat Millet, also shortlisted for National Portrait Gallery’s Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize.
View video  

Top prize in international competition won by Architecture graduates

March 2014

Architecture graduates from the University of Auckland have taken the first rize for an international architecture competition hosted by BlankSpace, with an impressive  lineup of architectural judges including Paula Scher, Nigel Coates and Will Alsop, among others.

The winning team members are Kevin PH Wang and Nicholas O'Leary, both of whom graduated in 2008. The collaboration took place at the end of l2013 while based in Oxford (UK), and Bergen (Norway) respectively.

The competition brief for "Fairy Tales" asked for an investigation into the relationship between stories and architecture, allowing the participants to submit a text narrative  of up to 1500 words and 5 image panels.

The results have been circulated in several architectural and design online publications including:
Fast Company: CoDesign

World Architecture


Music senior lecturer wins prestigious AAANZ award

March 2014

Allan Smith has won "Best Scholarly Article in AAANZ Journal" in the annual Art Association of Australia and New Zealand book/catalogue awards. The article, entitled "Entropic Steps: Rocks, Ruins and Increase in John Ruskin, Robert Smithson, and Per Kirkeby", was chosen from a numerous array of essays by judges Dr Edward Colless and Dr Toni Ross, who said:

"This is an exhilarating piece of writing, full of conceptual surprises and stylistic élan. Competing as a peer with its protagonist Ruskin in descriptive power, the essay surges ahead in torrential poetic amalgamation of mineralogical and meteorological morphologies. The analogies between Ruskin, Smithson and Kirkeby appear in the essay like electrical arcs or solar flares, and thus may appear shocking, yet they are equally intriguing, encompassing and convincing. The method and style of the essay departs from typical art historical modes of exposition, yet is conceptually sure-footed and eloquent. We also appreciated an approach to late modern and contemporary art that activated the return of aesthetic perspectives that might be considered anachronistic or untimely."


Architecture alumni and staff win at NZ Wood Timber Design Awards

March 2014

At the New Zealand Wood Timber Design Awards in Wellington this month, Melanie Pau's Onehunga Primary School Entrance thesis project was a finalist in the Outdoor Infrastructure category, and took out a Highly Commended award. Farah Saad, who completed her thesis last year, was a finalist in the Indigenous Timber Showcase category – she didn't place, but the category was won by Mike O'Sullivan, one of our regular studio and thesis teachers. Cheshire Architects, currently co-teaching a studio course with Chris Barton, also won a category – Interior Innovation.

Read more about the Timber Design Awards


Dean Sutcliffe appointed to the American Musicological Society

Assoc Prof Dean Sutcliffe

February 2014

School of Music Associate Professor Dean Sutcliffe has recently been appointed a director of the prestigious American Musicological Society. Over the past fifty years or more, some of the world's most distinguished and influential music scholars have served in this capacity and Dean's admission to their ranks is testament to his high international standing in the discipline. Previous accolades include the Dent Medal of the Royal Musical Society, which Dean was awarded in 2009.


School of Music Head appointed Musicological Director of the Pleyel Gesamtausgabe

Assoc Prof Allan Badley

February 2014

Associate Professor Allan Badley, Head of the School of Music, has been appointed Musicological Director of the Austrian-based Pleyel Gesamtausgabe (translation: edition of the complete works of Pleyel).

Heading an international team of scholars from Austria, Germany and the United States, Allan is overseeing the preparation of the first ever critical edition of Pleyel's complete works. In 2007 he was awarded the Goldene Pleyel-Medaille of the Internationale Ignaz Joseph Pleyel Gesellschaft.