Hot New Things — Ash Aiono, Massey

3 years ago by

Welcome to Hot New Things 2019 – an opportunity to profile a selection of the top design graduates coming out of our tertiary institutions. This week, we speak with Ash Aiono from Massey University.

Ash Aiono
Bachelor of Design
Massey University

You completed your full time studies at the end of 2018. Can you tell us what your final year’s project was about and what you focussed on?

For my 4th year honours project I created a magazine called Brwn Suga. The aim of the magazine was to empower emerging Pacific Island artists and designers, but also debunk current stereotypes of Pasifika art and design. It featured 3 contemporary Pasifika designers who are excelling in their creative field, it created a platform for them to become future role models for the next generation of creatives. Brwn Suga has the ability to reach a wide range of budding Pasifika creatives, giving them the inspiration they need to reach their full potential.

How has what you’ve recently been working on influenced your design process, and what momentum does it bring to your practice?

Over the past year collaboration has become a valuable experience. My project allowed me to work alongside talented designers and artists, I quickly learnt how to approach collaborative design work with an open mind. It’s an experience I will take with me as I venture into the professional world, where I’ll probably have to work collaboratively for most of my career.

What were some of your most exciting discoveries?

That there are so many talented Pasifika creatives in New Zealand, many that use contemporary practises and It’s awesome to see. I’m excited to meet new creatives in the future, It makes me proud to see these people

And also some of the challenges along the way?

Deciding on a cohesive aesthetic became a challenge as I was quite picky. I’m glad I made heaps of iterations I could choose from, I eventually chose one with the help of my peers at Massey.

What did you love doing most?

I definitely enjoyed the photography side, I never considered myself a good photographer. But I guess it takes one photoshoot to learn what not to do, a bit of trial and error.

Where do you go to find inspiration (websites, resources, designers, etc)?

Most of the time I look on pinterest, I’m always pinning things that look cool. I find Instagram to be a valuable tool, I follow designers and artists as another way to gain inspiration, many are young creatives I can relate to. The people around me like my peers I tend to find influence from, using elements from them to create something completely original and new.

Why did you choose to study at your design school, and what do you feel you can take away now that you’ve completed your course?

Massey seemed like the best option for me, they had a wide range of disciplines we could choose from. I initially wanted to study industrial design, but soon realised that I enjoyed VCD (Visual Communication Design) a lot more. And I’m glad I made that decision, my degree has allowed me to explore so many outputs, like web design, videography and editorial work.

Where to next for you? What does 2019 hold?

At the moment I’m still looking for work, but I’m looking forward to what 2019 has install for me. I will just trust the process.


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