The DA team want to support our community through these unprecedented times – something we kept coming back to is a focus on connection and community. So we want to do what we think DA does best, sharing ideas, inspiration and information and profiling our community.
With that in mind, we launched a new series Take 10 with… to do a pulse check on how you’re feeling, how you’re working, what you are missing, and what your hopes are for the future. We invited some of our friends, peers and the DA team to participate and we hope you enjoy these honest and candid profiles of Aotearoa designers today.
Nick Kapica, Principal, Isthmus
How did you get into design?
I got interested in design at school, we had a subject called Design and Technology, it was really quite progressive for the time (1980) and while I enjoyed making things I was fascinated with solving problems. Later I became interested in theatre, set design and lighting and of course started designing posters. I started working for a lighting company, rigging and setting up huge concerts. Then I got interested in film —it appeared to be theatre on steroids— and I discovered that it was possible to study Film And Television at Ravensbourne College. I went off to see the course but went to the wrong building and landed in the Visual Communication department where I suddenly realised typography was a thing and that was the hook that made me choose Graphic Design. The Ravensbourne College of Art and Design was a very unique program in the UK at the time. Modeled on the Bauhaus and Ulm it was extremely European focussed — on reflection, it was ‘user-centred modernism’. We were learning about the craft of typography and the science of design — it wasn’t called Design Thinking but it was pretty close! My first design job after graduating was Assistant Art Editor at the Independent Newspaper, my first mentor was Peter Rea who told me ‘Design is a journey’.
What do you love about design?
Design as a word carries a lot of meaning — it means many things to many people. To me it means progress, learning from what happened yesterday to improve what we do today.
What or who inspires you?
So many things inspire me but significant influence has come from: Buckminster Fuller, April Greiman, Wim Crouwel, Sean Perkins, Uwe Brückner.
How are you feeling right now?
Fine — I turned a corner a few weeks back. I have gone from almost never being at home to being at home 23 hours a day. At first it was hard but then I just decided I was on my way to Mars and it all seemed okay. I am in a capsule going somewhere. It’s a bit like moving to a new city, to start a new life, everything seems strange and alien at first but quickly one adapts and living in that place becomes comfortable. I start to wonder what it will be like when we go to Level 2 and 1, will there be a Level 0?
Are you working right now, if so what does your work from home day look like?
All of Isthmus are working from home and we will continue to work like this at least until Level 2. Get up, Coffee, Start working, Lunch, Continue working, Go for a walk, Have a beer, Watch a film, Go to bed.
What’s your one tip right now?
I used to live and work in the same place so I have practiced this already. We used to live in our studio in Berlin between 2007–09. I found leaving the house, going for a walk to the local coffee shop each morning, and coming back to the studio was essential.
Tell us about your current workspace.
I have four different spaces I can use to work at home, the kitchen table, the couch, an improvised standing desk and the workroom. I am in a bubble with my partner Ilka so we swap our workspaces to keep it fresh.
Which local business are you going to miss most during our isolation period?
Laundry Bar http://www.laundry.net.nz/
Wellington Sourdough (although they are still baking) http://www.wellingtonsourdough.co.nz/
Seashore Cabaret https://www.instagram.com/seashorecabaret/?hl=en
What do you hope for the Aotearoa design community going forward?
My hope is that by working together we help improve the future.