This Autumn’s DA Conversations are back to celebrate 10 years of Design Assembly, the home of New Zealand design.
To understand where we are going, we must know where we have come from. This year Design Assembly celebrates ten years of supporting our community. We’re taking this milestone as an opportunity to look back at the last ten years, investigate where visual design currently is and to question what the future holds for New Zealand’s visual design industry and culture.
This week, Raul Sarrot a multi-disciplinary designer, strategist, design thinking coach will convene the conversation in Auckland with; Joanna Alpe, Becca O’Shea, Clem Devine, Nathan Chambers, Fiona Grieve and Maru Nihoniho.
Raul will be guiding the panel through dialogue around five key themes, beginning with a retrospective look at the landscape of NZ design. The panel will survey our practice today with note to how Te Reo and Tikanga Māori has increased or changed in visual design outputs, and the resurgence of the hand made authentically crafted outcomes vs computer-generated design. Our experts will then explore how we define your offering and find a niche, the importance and currency of design education in Aotearoa, what the future holds for designers and the design industry, and what challenges we as designers may need to overcome.
We are looking forward to a robust and thoughtful discussion, join us at Thievery Studios 203 Karangahape Rd, — 21st March from 6pm onwards, with the conversation kick-starting at 6:30pm.
Book your spot for Auckland (we would love to see you there!):
Tickets: $30 Professional / $20 Design Assembly Friend / $10 Design Assembly Student Friend + GST
(not a DA Friend? Sign up here)
Finally in the lead up to the event we wanted to take the opportunity to introduce you to our panel;
Raul Sarrot is a multi-disciplinary designer, strategist, design thinking coach, educator and researcher. His international experience has been forged over 25 years working alongside a wide range of commercial and not-for-profit enterprises in Asia Pacific, South America and Europe. Raul is the Director and Founder of Freshfish, his boutique studio specialised in strategy, branding and innovation and also leads CO, a global collective platform for co-creation and innovation. Raul has been a member of the AUT Communication Design Advisory Committee for the last 13 years (which he also chaired for 3 years) and is a part time Senior Lecturer in a variety of design-related papers both in the AUT Communication Design Department and in the AUT Business School.
Joanna had a misspent youth designing for the music industry while also photographing the biggest acts of the 00s like Bjork, Rage Against the Machine, Dizzie Rascal, Kasbian, Arcade Fire and many many many more. After a stint at one of Auckland’s leading design agency she founded awarded studio We Love Inc in 2008 where she indulged a passion for technology-forward design outcomes and built a client based spanning Auckland – London. A few companies later, she led the founding of Makelight – an innovative mobile special effects & audience insight platform that turns people into pixels in 2012. She won Makelight a place in Telefonica’s prestigious Wayra UK academy in 2012, the Red Bull Amplify accelerator in 2013 and has led the company to win multiple Event Technology Awards for their breakthrough Live Event Visual Effects.
She sold Makelight into global brands such as Vodafone, Vice Magazine, Pernod Ricard, Channel 4, Nokia, Samsung, SXSW and many more. Under her leadership, Makelight was named in the Startup’s 100 list in 2014, and she was personally named as one of the UK’s Top Digital Innovators for her achievements with Makelight. She has raised investment in the UK and in Silicon Valley and has successfully exported Makelight Mobile Special Effects to the USA and beyond. She was also a member of the TechCrunch Disrupt winning hackathon team in 2015, and 2016 with design solutions focused on world issues such as modern-day slavery and the Syrian refugee crisis.
She now works as a Strategic Business & Design Advisor, mentor and consultant to innovatively ambitious people and projects while also speaking internationally and guest lecturing on entrepreneurship and creative technology.
Becca is an Illustrator and Art Director based in Auckland NZ. In her short career, she has worked with some of NZ’s most exuberant brands, such as Hell Pizza, Garage Project, Flight Coffee, Fat Freddy’s Drop and more. Becca has carried her learnings from traditional design and illustration, into a world of digital brands and experiences. She has recently judged the Interactive Category at NZ’s Best Awards as well as receiving various awards for her work. With her passion for digital brands, she is soon to take a position at a London owned, digitally-led creative agency Phantom in their Auckland studio.
Jasmax is one of New Zealand’s leading architecture and design practices with a diverse mix of professionals working across multiple industry sectors in architecture, urban, landscape, interior and more recently, brand design. As Brand Design Lead, Clem is tasked with developing a multidisciplinary team of visual communicators and spatial designers, to enhance the built environment. Before establishing the Brand Design practice at Jasmax, Clem led the studio as Creative Director at Richards Partners after retiring from eight years at Alt Group.
Nathan Chambers is the Head of Design (and part of the management team) at Ogilvy. Before that, he was Design Director for Ogilvy’s branding arm 485 Design, and Design Director at Interbrand (DDB).
Nathan’s background is pretty eclectic (like a magpie of design) with a mix of fine arts, furniture making, building and interior design which helps inform his unique approach to design thinking. Since graduating in 2001 with a Bachelor of Visual Communication (Hons), the bulk of his career has been spent in large ad agencies between Wellington and Auckland. “It kind of puts a bit of a fire under your butt when working in advertising – you have to think fast and be nimble while working with a cast of thousands! But I love it”. Over the past few years, he’s designed and directed everything from event branding to corporate brand systems, packaging, experiential design, hospitality and typeface design. More recently he and his team have been working on the NZ Police brand refresh, Waikato Tainui’s magazine Te Hookioi, and some unique products and experience design pieces. They’ve also been featured in books and picked up several awards here and there.
Fiona Grieve recently returned to New Zealand from Washington DC to head the Department in Communication Design at Auckland University of Technology. She is Creative Director at Threaded Studio and Editor of the international design magazine, Threaded. While based in the USA she founded the Alla Prima Project – producing FREE PLAN, a collaborative resource that supports curriculum and practice for Art and Design Educators. Her experience in the tertiary sector encompasses educational management, pedagogical frameworks for design and visual arts, supporting studio-based practices that embed professional development and collaboration at the core of creative enterprise.
A passion for creative design led Maru to establish her company, Metia Interactive in 2003.
Under Ms Nihoniho’s leadership, Metia developed SPARX, an educational tool to help young people combat depression. SPARX was developed in conjunction with researchers from the University of Auckland and is an animated 3D game where young people learn life skills to combat depression by completing challenges based on proven cognitive behaviour therapies. The game has been proven to have a significant positive impact on young people aged 12 to 19 years. SPARX has won several awards including the 2011 United Nations World Summit Awards in the e-Health and Environment category. SPARX was developed as a New Zealand-specific tool with culturally specific elements, but since its release, SPARX has been localised for the Netherlands and Australia.