2024 Hot New Things: Bee Fourie, University of Auckland

2 months ago by

Each summer DA profiles a selection of the top design graduates coming out of our tertiary institutions. We welcome these talented emerging professionals to our industry, learn about their passions, final projects, developing creative confidence and ambitions for the future.

Today we speak with Bee Fourie, who recently graduated from the Design programme at University of Auckland. You can find out more about Aotearoa NZ creative study options by visiting our design schools page.


Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

You could distil me into two parts- the creative and the people-person. The creative side relishes craft hobbies, film photography and writing poetry. The extroverted side thrives on building deep connections and gaining new perspectives.

What did your graduating project focus on?

Choosing the business stream, I had to design within a workplace context towards diversity, equity and inclusion- with Diversity Works as our partner organisation. My approach to this brief was to utilise quilting workshops as a vehicle for crafting workplace allyship for trans and non-binary employees.

Why did you choose to study at University of Auckland?

I remember being completely lost in year 13, drifting from architecture to marketing to creative writing. Then I happened upon a brochure for the UoA Design programme and a, never before considered, career in design became my focus. I loved that I didn’t need to specialise at UoA and was excited by how fresh the curriculum seemed. 

What did you enjoy most about your course, or what do you feel you can take away now that you’ve completed it?

There were two classes that shaped me, and my final project the most. In The Future of Work and Play, I was introduced to Transition Design which was when I started to understand design as a tool for long-term transitions towards a better future, rather than just  problem solving for today. In Local Making I was able to let go of the need for an outcome or solution and I discovered the value of a design process to the people who undertake it together.

Were there any exciting or unexpected discoveries to come out of your studies?

As an aspiring service designer, I can work in any sector. Service designers are in demand in many different areas and this expansiveness is something that is important to me in a career. I want to keep growing and having new experiences that keep me passionate about design. 

What was your biggest challenge while studying and how did you overcome it?

My mental health, as many of my peers have also experienced, has been the most challenging part of my time studying. I wouldn’t say I’ve overcome it, but what got me through it was the kindness of my peers, checking in on me when I didn’t make it to class, being patient when I fell behind on group work and always being there if I needed to talk.

Was there someone (or something) that inspired you to pick design as a career path?

I grew up with a mother who was constantly making and crafting so I’ve always seen creativity as an important part of daily life. With my people-oriented personality and this creative foundation, design feels like the natural choice.

Which piece in your portfolio are you most proud of and why?

It’s got to be my graduating project- Crafting Allies. It’s a culmination of my learning and because it was an individual project, it’s deeply connected to my own experiences.

What’s next for you?

I’m taking part in a summer research scholarship over the summer and hopefully I will begin my journey as a service designer next year. 

How can people get in touch or see more of your work? 

I compulsively check my emails first thing in the morning, so I’ll likely schedule-send a reply (for a more reasonable hour) if you send a message to gr33nb4e@gmail.com . You can also have a look at my portfolio website https://beefouriedesign.cargo.site 

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