Scholarships celebrate local designer

Celebrating Eva . . . Celebrating the life and work of their former colleague and friend Dunedin designer Eva Gluyas are (front from left) Associate Prof Caro Smith, Jonathan Duncan, Lynda Henderson, Lynda Davison and (back from left) Josephine and Alistair Regan, all of Dunedin. PHOTO: SHAWN MCAVINUE

A scholarship was launched in Dunedin on Wednesday night and celebrated a local businesswoman and her “insatiable curiosity to innovate”.

Collective Intelligence founder and scholarship co-ordinator Ian Harvey, of Feilding, said an event in the shared office space Petridish, in Stafford St, launched two three-year scholarships, worth $11,400 each.

The awards recognised the work and life of designer Eva Gluyas, who died of a brain tumour in Dunedin Hospital on May 14.

The awards were open to “courageous young women” across New Zealand “who are into design and care enough to make a difference in the world”, Mr Harvey said.

A Dunedin businesswoman, who wished to remain anonymous, had paid for one scholarship and money was being collected for the other one.

Before the launch, former colleagues of Ms Gluyas told The Star about their friend.

Firebrand operations manager Lynda Henderson, of Dunedin, said Ms Gluyas was “driven by an insatiable curiosity” and a “need to innovate and create compelling stories”.

She was “very people-centric” but “never afraid to call somebody out”.

“The status quo was never acceptable to Eva.”

Ms Gluyas could transform a project from being “mundane” to being “exceptional”.

“To watch it all unfold often made me feel like a sidekick to a superhero.”

Ms Gluyas worked as a designer for more than 34 years, mostly in her own businesses in the United Kingdom and New Zealand.

She was founder and director of Dunedin business Radical Insights and worked with clients in education, health care, scientific instrumentation, museums, agri-tech, retail, law and the finance and corporate sector.

“Eva didn’t just come up with brilliant ideas, she knew how to make them and how to take them to market . . . She was one of the most driven, courageous, real, curious and expressive people I know,” Ms Henderson said.

Warm Fuzzies Ltd director Lynda Davison, of Dunedin, said Ms Gluyas expected people to give it their all.

“She never let you be anything less than what you were capable of being.”

To get the best out of people she would ask a series of questions to get them thinking.

“She was really good at making you dig into yourself and find your own answer.”

Mr Harvey said the scholarships included training from former colleagues and friends of Ms Gluyas.

Saskia van der Geest, of Arrowtown business Van der Geest Consulting, would teach the scholarship recipients about product development.

Peter Roband, of North Shore business phd3, would train the recipients in design methodology.

Ms Gluyas was a member of Collective Intelligence, a national organisation bringing together people in more than 75 professions to challenge each other’s growth, Mr Harvey said.

People wanting to give to the scholarship or apply for a scholarship can email: