Wellington: DA Conversations Autumn 2019 — Meet the Panel

2 years ago by

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, Anna Brown, Associate Professor at Massey University, will convene the conversation in Wellington between Ben Forman, Founder & Director at WrestlerRoxy Huntington, Head of Design at TradeMeDan Newman, Creative Director at Springload, and Zach Dodson, Associate Professor & Programme Director at Victoria University.

In the lead up to the event, each of our panelists reveals their big question (or questions) which they will attempt to answer and put to each other.

Dan Newman

Dan has a Masters in Computer Graphic Design from the Whanganui School of Design and the University of Waikato. He’s previously worked as Head of Design at Koordinates and Creative Director at Xero. Currently he’s Creative Director at Springload, working with the likes of ACC, DIA, and the Klim Type Foundry.

Dan asks: 

How has our culture of DIY impacted New Zealand design?


Roxy Huntington

For the past 20 years, Roxy has been fascinated with communication. From branding and advertising, external clients and internal teams, to online products and personal services—it’s always been the potential of clear and creative communication through design that got her up in the morning.

Roxy’s current role as Head of Design at Trade Me keeps her busy, building a cohesive brand experience that “helps make life better for Kiwis through online experiences they love”.

When she’s not working to empower designers across Trade Me, you’ll see her around Wellington taking photos of things that engage her senses, some of which she shares here.

Roxy asks: 

Do you think NZ has any unique challenges that other countries might not face? Past, present and/or future?
– How do you think Design education might change in the future?
– I’d also be interested to hear how we’re defining the playing field of “visual design industry and culture”?


Zach Dodson

Zach Dodson is an Associate Professor and Programme Director of Communication Design at Victoria University of Wellington. Previously, he started a MA degree in Visual Narrative at Aalto University in Helsinki, Finland, where design students were taught the principles of narrative architecture. He is the author of the illuminated novel Bats of the Republic (Doubleday, 2015). Other experiments can be seen at zachdodson.com

Zach asks: 

What is design education for?


Ben Forman

Ben runs Wrestler, a creative agency and content studio focussed on human centered storytelling through new technology. He doesn’t take life too seriously.

Anna Brown

Anna Brown is a design researcher, educator and practitioner whose expertise is in participatory design. She is the Director of Toi Āria, a research initiative that explores design for public good. She is an Associate Professor at the College of Creative Arts, Massey University.

Join us at Victoria University Wellington, Te Aro Campus — 21st March from 6pm onwards, with the conversation kick-starting at 6:30pm.

Book your tickets for Wellington:

 Auckland: DA Conversations — Autumn 2019


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