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Youthful passion for world changing design is honoured

Thursday 29 March 2018

An architect with a passion for social change has won the Creative New Zealand and Massey University Arts and Creativity Award at the 2018 Prime Minister’s Pacific Youth Awards.

John Belford-Lelaulu of Auckland was presented with his award at a special ceremony at the Fale o Samoa in Mangere that honoured a stellar group of young Pasifika leaders. Mr Belford-Lelaulu has been involved in local and international projects that use creativity, arts and design to target issues such as poverty, inequality, cultural deprivation and institutional racism.

This is the first year that Massey’s College of Creative Arts has been a sponsor of the Prime Minister’s Pacific Youth Awards and head of the School of Art Dr Huhana Smith, who co-presented the award with Creative New Zealand, says Mr Belford-Lelaulu was a perfect choice. “He absolutely fits with our vision for the College of Creative Arts to produce creative thinkers, makers and innovators who make the world a better place and make us feel better about living in it.”

Mr Belford-Lelaulu is running a series of social design projects with tertiary and secondary students that range from designing and building outdoor furniture for the Mangere East Village, to re-purposing ruins from the 2009 tsunami to build a new community hub in Samoa.

It will be up to Mr Belford-Lelaulu to choose how to use his award, which opens the possibility of continued post-graduate research at the College of Creative Arts or financial assistance to help grow his existing projects. He says he’s looking forward to exploring the opportunities the award brings.

Mr Belford-Lelaulu is also associated with Massey University through his social design practice the MAU Studio, which is part of the HATCH Programme run by the Pacific Business Trust in partnership with the Massey Business School.

Article first published on massey.ac.nz.