2023 Graduate Show Previews | MDS XXV

7 months ago by

A snapshot of some of the featured students at this year’s Media Design School Graduate Showcase taking place 17 Nov 2023.

Name: Kirsty Leggit

Project: ‘DesignHer+’

Description: ‘DesignHer+’ offers a two-day immersive experience for female creatives embarking on their design careers.

The event is a unique journey into creativity, culture, and leadership, and includes interactive workshops, inspiring speakers, and networking opportunities. The event aims to assist participants in unveiling their creative identities, forging connections with fellow female professionals, and contributing to the advancement of a more equitable design industry in Aotearoa. The primary goal is to bridge the gap between academia and industry while inspiring female designers by emphasising the impact of visibility and the strength of unity within the design community.


Name: Madeline Tunstall

Project: ‘Unleashing life’s lessons’

Description: ‘Unleashing life’s lessons’ is a book inspired by my Dachshund, Parker. A person can learn a lot from a dog, even a naughty one like mine. While many grapple with the complexities of defining life’s priorities, our furry companions offer a refreshing reminder that the path to contentment is often simpler than we realize. Dogs remind us that happiness can be found in life’s simple moments: a wagging tail, friendship, and small everyday joys. Their enthusiasm for the present teaches us the value of love, connection, and appreciating the moment. They inspire us to find happiness, not in what’s far ahead but in how we experience and appreciate what’s right in front of us. “Unleashing life’s lessons” embodies this message and is brought to life by its fun colour palette and quirky illustrations.


Name: Olivia Peterson

Project: ‘Girls like me: A guide to female reproductive wellness’

Description: Girls like me is an educational guide on female reproductive wellness designed for secondary school educators to use as a comprehensive and consistent resource for their female students. This resource pack includes an engaging print publication that covers essential information about female reproductive health, featuring relatable illustrations and content for student engagement. The resource pack is easily accessible through a QR code for free download, allowing students to take it home as a ebook for personal reflection. This project’s aim is to provide girls like me with a resource that’s relatable, encouraging and educational, offering vital information about female reproductive wellness and sexual health. The goal is to furnish girls like me with a valuable tool that fosters self-empowerment, encouraging them to embrace their womanhood and become advocates for their own wellbeing throughout their lives.


Name: Rachael Friend

Project: ‘Abled’

Description: Computer mice are vital for interface navigation. Standardised devices lack accessibility, catering to accepted capabilities. Upper extremity contractions restrict use, hindering the interface experience. Abled enhances digital accessibility for New Zealanders living with upper extremity contractions caused by Spastic Cerebral Palsy and Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. Through innovative technology, Abled redefines interface navigation grounded in accessibility and usability, conveying the journey from hand to product.

Name: Salem McKay

Project: ‘Tonga Pūoro’

Description: Kaore au i ngaro ai. He kākano i ruia mai i Rangiātea. I will never be lost, I am a seed sewn from Rangiātea. Taonga Pūoro are māori musical instruments. Pūoro is a tool that can draw out your inner feelings, thoughts and values when you don’t have the voice to speak them into words. They move us, teach us, connect us, inspire us and heal us. They tell our stories. They have been used and woven into the fabric of māori life for as long as the culture has existed. They have the power to teach us about ourselves and our unique tuakiri. Tuakiri – Beyond Skin, is a guided hands on crafting kit that teaches the whakaaro of māori identity and the power of Taonga Pūoro. It, provides a framework to help users understand and realise their identity, and create a tool to inspire, heal, move, teach and connect.


Name: Sam Oxford

Project: ‘Fairway for Tāmaki’

Description: In a city like Tāmaki Makaurau that is being plagued by a housing crisis, land is a precious resource.

‘Fairway for Tāmaki’ leverages interactive media to spotlight the untapped possibilities within Auckland’s 535 hectares of golf courses to tackle the city’s housing crisis and contribute to a more sustainable and inclusive future.

The project simplifies urban planning into a format accessible for Aucklanders young and old and allows them to explore & visualise the untapped potential wrapped up in our fairways.

This project seeks to initiate a conversation, inspire action, and drive a paradigm shift toward reimagining urban development and land utilization, ensuring that Auckland’s future is built on equitable, thriving foundations.


Name: Yijun

Project: ‘Between the Silence’

Description: ‘Between the Silence’ is a motion design project that shows my personal journey with my mom. This year, I travelled to New Zealand for my studies, leaving behind the comfort of home. I often find myself missing my mom, even though there are moments when I find her nagging annoying. She constantly advises me against fast food and bubble tea, urging me to consume more vegetables. At times, I dismiss her messages, but cherished memories remind me that my mom has always been my steadfast supporter.

Name: Yu Zhao

Project: ‘Cragging Day’

Description: Cragging Day is an innovative application that acts as a bridge between travelling climbers and local enthusiasts, facilitating the seamless sharing of gear, local climbing knowledge, and cultural experiences. The inspiration for this project arose from my own experiences as a passionate rock climber travelling to different countries. I often yearned to engage in outdoor climbing, but encountered challenges—lack of climbing gear, unfamiliarity with local climbing spots, and at times, the absence of a suitable climbing partner. These challenges sparked the idea that there had to be a better way for climbers like me to enjoy this sport better, even when we are far away from home. With ‘Cragging Day,’ climbers can effortlessly explore climbing opportunities based on their availability and location. The app empowers climbers to post their climbing trips, assisting them in selecting the most compatible climbing partner through the app’s intuitive filtering system. Additionally, it incorporates a chat function, enabling users to communicate about their climbing adventures.


Name:An-Toinette Lightfoot

Project: ‘Sprout’

Description: Sprout is a revolutionary educational initiative meticulously crafted for a very special audience: girls aged 8-10. In the often intricate realm of puberty, this innovative project seeks to empower these young girls with knowledge and understanding. ‘Sprout’ goes beyond traditional methods by offering an ingenious blend of engaging, easily relatable illustrations. This creative approach is coupled with interactive QR code cards, granting immediate access to crucial online resources. And there’s more: environmental consciousness plays a significant role, with sustainable materials and practices incorporated into the project.

But ‘Sprout’ is not just a toolkit; it’s a catalyst for crucial conversations. It acts as a bridge between the innate curiosity of young minds and the supportive role of caregivers. This project’s fundamental objective is to transform the perplexing transition into adolescence into an experience that’s knowledgeable, confident, and eco-friendly, ensuring that young girls embark on this transformative journey well-prepared and empowered.


Name: Emma Smith

Project: ‘Align’

Description: In a world where technological advancements continually reshape our lives, it’s no surprise that our approach to health and fitness is evolving as well. One area that has seen a surge in innovation is women’s wellness, specifically how to exercise around the phases of the menstrual cycle. I proudly introduce “Align,” the ultimate fitness and wellness companion designed exclusively for active women. Align takes the guesswork out of your fitness routine. Based on your current menstrual phase, the app recommends tailored exercises that align with your specific needs using world-class exercise classes from Les Mills. By teaming up with Les Mills and Les Mills+, Align will deliver the results you will see and feel. Using Human Centered design thinking I have curated this app specifically for active women who are looking to better their hormones, periods and overall well-being. Using Align will help women keep track of their menstrual cycle phases while also keeping healthy and active.


2024 Hot New Things: Briea Bentham, Whitecliffe

A snapshot of some of the featured students at this year’s Media Design School Graduate Showcase taking place 17 Nov 2023. Name: Kirsty Leggit Project: ‘DesignHer+’ Description: ‘DesignHer+’ offers a […]

7 months ago by

2024 Hot New Things: Catherine Pascual, AUT

A snapshot of some of the featured students at this year’s Media Design School Graduate Showcase taking place 17 Nov 2023. Name: Kirsty Leggit Project: ‘DesignHer+’ Description: ‘DesignHer+’ offers a […]

7 months ago by

2024 Hot New Things: Fiona Yoon, University of Auckland

A snapshot of some of the featured students at this year’s Media Design School Graduate Showcase taking place 17 Nov 2023. Name: Kirsty Leggit Project: ‘DesignHer+’ Description: ‘DesignHer+’ offers a […]

7 months ago by

2024 Hot New Things: Adam de Jong, Victoria University Wellington – Te Herenga Waka

A snapshot of some of the featured students at this year’s Media Design School Graduate Showcase taking place 17 Nov 2023. Name: Kirsty Leggit Project: ‘DesignHer+’ Description: ‘DesignHer+’ offers a […]

7 months ago by