Take 10 with… Zoe Ikin

4 weeks ago by

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.




Introduce yourself:

Zoe Ikin, Design Director at Alt Group.



How did you get into design? 

I grew up in a household that valued design. Both of my parents were designers, the coffee table was covered in architecture magazines and as a family we went to exhibition openings or the Auckland Art Gallery on a regular basis. I studied Graphic Design at AUT and have done a lot of travel to inspiring design destinations but my interest in design definitely stems from home.


What do you love about design? 

Most other professions are concerned with the past or present but design is about envisaging the future and making it happen. It’s a privilege to be part of that. At Alt Group we take a very strategic approach to design and I love the intellectual rigour of that process.


What or who inspires you?

My colleagues inspire me. I love working with people who are better than me and I am constantly inspired by the breadth of interest, knowledge and skill that we have in the building.

How are you feeling right now?

Very fortunate to be able to work from home. But at times completely overwhelmed trying to do justice to work, parenting and home-schooling at the same time.

Are you working right now, if so what does your work from home day look like?

My husband and I are both working from the dining table, with two small children climbing up the legs! We are roughly trying to work in 2 hour shifts, but meetings and deadlines don’t always allow that. In reality my focussed, productive work day begins about 8pm.


What’s your one tip right now?

I’m not a business owner so I can’t pretend to have any advice for those feeling the real weight of responsibility at the moment. But from an employee point of view – as designers we’re in the service industry, so it’s time to forget your own woes and be as helpful to your clients and colleagues as you can. I’m part time at Alt but right now I’m trying to be available any day, any time to help out. Also, now’s not the time to be precious about what you work on – I’m more than happy to output campaign assets in every shape and size if that’s what is useful today!


Tell us about your current workspace.

I’m working from our dining table which was designed and made by my dad, Humphrey Ikin, nearly 30 years ago. I’ve spent most of my life sharing meals, doing homework and having conversations around this table so I’m very happy here.

Which local business are you going to miss most during our isolation period? 

@thegreenhouse_akl, @lesmills, @ciao_belli_auckland, @eatupbeasty and public institutions @aucklandartgallery and @aucklandzoo!

What do you hope for the Aotearoa design community going forward?

Designers have a lot to offer businesses during times of crisis and in the journey of recovery. I hope designers stay optimistic and rise to this unique challenge – to the advantage of our own community and the wider economy.


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