Resene Total Colour Lifetime Achievement Award

The Resene Total Colour Lifetime Achievement Award recognising a person in the architecture and design industry who has shown dedication to innovative and excellent colour use in their work, was awarded to Di Lucas of Canterbury.

Ever since Di graduated from Lincoln with a Landscape degree she has been advocating the sensitive use of colour. Perhaps being born and bred on Bendigo Station in Otago among the muted colours of tussock and rock, she was imbued with a sense of colour as something that complemented the landscape.

In 1970s when she was working as a landscape architect with Ministry of Works she was able to change the application of paint to public structures. She had the highways maintenance teams stop putting white paint on all structures, and blue and white on bridges. She encouraged and demonstrated the use of paint colour to respect the local landscape, such as the changing of the AJ Hackett bungy bridge from primer pink to possum brown. White was only to be used for where needed for safety.

As well as doing lots of private projects, Di ran workshops and produced New Zealand’s first rural landscapes guide in 1980.

In 1982 Di was contracted by NZ Steel to design the first colour range for Colorsteel manufacture. It was a challenge to select a small range that would look good anywhere in New Zealand. For the standard range of colours she chose and named colours – Ironsand, Lignite, Scoria, Karaka, Lichen and Tussock. It’s a tribute to the enduring quality of those colours that after 30 years, five out of the six colours remain in production and are some of the most popular colours available.

It’s not only in rural areas that Di has shone, but in the use of colour for heritage buildings in towns and cities. In her warm and friendly manner, Di has had a profound influence spanning more than four decades on the way colour is used.

To view examples of work read : Colours for Structures in the Landscape

Posted on 29/08/2012 by Lucas Associates |