“looking into the rear-view mirror”: Peter Haythornthwaite, Design Generation 

Written by Lana Lopesi Graphic Matters is a monthly column on issues and ideas related to New Zealand Design Culture We’re in the last few weeks of Peter Haythornthwaite: Design Generation a major survey exhibition of “one of New Zealand’s most influential industrial designers” currently on at Objectspace. Curated by design historian Michael Smythe, the exhibition…

2 weeks ago by

A Brush with Design: 10 Designers Dish on Their First Design Encounter — Becca O’Shea

In the lead up to DA’s 10th birthday celebrations in March 2019, A Brush With Design asks 10 designers who have been involved with DA at various times to nostalgically recount their first memory of encountering design. In this second iteration we spoke with Becca O’Shea, Art Director from Little Giant. Hi I’m Becca an…

2 weeks ago by

Hot air: A Monthly Rotating Roundtable — What is Aotearoa New Zealand design? 

Hot Air: A Monthly Rotating Roundtable, is a new monthly series where a number of designers take on big design conversations. To kick it off we start at the only place rightful place to start, interrogating our national design culture addressing the question. This month we asked Tyrone Ohia, Emma Rogan, Johnson Witehira and Luke Wood,…

3 weeks ago by

Collaborative approaches breaking tradition in art and design: In conversation with Photographer Mark Purdom and Designer Alan Deare

Written by Holly Russell Design strategies and a to-and-fro approach towards collaboration saw Photographer Mark Purdom and Designer Alan Deare produce Mimetic, an award winning entry to this years’ New Zealand Photobook of the year. With an exhibition at Ramp Gallery as their starting point, the duo looked to capture the gallery experience in a…

3 weeks ago by

Censoring Colors: Did the New Zealand government stop a famous image of Queen Elizabeth from being published?

Written by Emma Rogan Supported by Creative New Zealand Emma Rogan is a contributor to Aotearoa Design Thinking 2018, a series of commissioned critical design essays published by Design Assembly and funded by Creative New Zealand.  In 2015 the New Zealand government stopped an image from appearing in a new book about a famous magazine. At least, this…

1 month ago by

Looking Back: BackStory the Journal of New Zealand Art, Media & Design History

Written by Lana Lopesi  Graphic Matters is a monthly column on issues and ideas related to New Zealand Design Culture The lack of written local design history is one constant concern I hear from graphic designers in Tāmaki Makaurau and Aotearoa as a whole for that matter. While there have been concerted efforts from key…

1 month ago by

A Brush with Design: 10 Designers Dish on Their First Design Encounter — Louise Kellerman

In the lead up to DA’s 10th birthday celebrations in March 2019, A Brush With Design asks 10 designers who have been involved with DA at various times to nostalgically recount their first memory of encountering design. In this first iteration we spoke with Louise Kellerman, Design Assembly’s founder. My love for graphic design was…

1 month ago by

Puncturing Mythology: Looking beyond the shiny myths that distract from the complexity in design in Aotearoa

Written by K. Emma Ng Supported by Creative New Zealand Emma Ng is a contributor to Aotearoa Design Thinking 2018, a series of commissioned critical design essays published by Design Assembly and funded by Creative New Zealand.  This article is the first in a four part series on design and its support structures that enable us to nurture,…

2 months ago by

Baby Steps: Building the Aotearoa Conversation

Coming into the design world as a trained critical thinker and writer, I was struck by how young and non-existent critical conversations were. In my own critical writing practice, I work from a position of believing that critical feedback, public conversation and the building of discourse is key to the health and development of any…

2 months ago by

Broadsheet, New Zealand’s Feminist Magazine Goes Digital

Written by Lana Lopesi Graphic Matters is a monthly column on issues and ideas related to New Zealand Design Culture Covers of Broadsheet Issues 1 – 15  “…I became pregnant because I wanted to have a baby; my motives or reasons are no one’s business but my own…”  — Anonymous, Broadsheet Issue 1 On January 19,…

2 months ago by

From The Archives: Battling billboards

Late 2016 Michael Smythe explored the inescapable electoral design of street hoardings. Written by Michael Smythe What? Who? Why? Our eyeballs are assaulted. Our streetscapes are cluttered. There must be an election in the offing. For many potential voters the proliferation of political placards is the clearest indication that a democratic process is underway. So…

3 months ago by

From The Archives: Making Matariki Multicultural

In 2016 Michael Smythe looked at the idea of making Matariki multicultural. Written by Michael Smythe Would developing Matariki as a cross-cultural Kiwi festival be yet another act of patronising colonisation? Or might it be a means by which all New Zealanders confidently claim their place in the Pacific by extrapolating Māori cosmology and bringing…

3 months ago by

Aotearoa Design Thinking: an opportunity to revisit 2017

Created by Lana Lopesi Supported by Creative New Zealand     In 2017 Design Assembly introduced Aotearoa Design Thinking — a series of commissioned critical design essays published by Design Assembly and funded by Creative New Zealand. Our intention was to actively discuss New Zealand graphic design practice by celebrating, growing and challenging current thought. By…

3 months ago by

Summer Reading

Summer holidays are the perfect time to catch up on your reading… Here are some top picks from some of our DA Friends to help you brush up on your design theory, along with a bit of rest and relaxation this summer: Paul McNeil “The Visual History of Type” The Visual History of Type is a…

3 months ago by

Being Assertive

Throughout your journey in your design career, there will be many occasions where you will need to be assertive. These could include: Handling conflict (with clients, internal teams or suppliers). Pitching and presenting. Asking for a promotion or salary increase. Standing up for your ideas. Being heard in meetings. Reaching solutions. Addressing unfair situations. Saying…

3 months ago by

From The Archives: A rest will be better than a change

Remember that whole flag debate? Here’s Michael Symthe’s contribution to the conversation from 2016. Written by Michael Smythe Another damn flag article? Give it a rest — we are over it! That is not the way design-driven leaders think. Success is the reward of the tenacious, not the timid. It is time to take stock…

3 months ago by

What happens when you no longer care?

Say you are working on a substantial website job with a difficult client. The work has been going on for months, and the website is now overdue for release. Your client is making substantial last minute changes, and your team is packed with other work. You are weary of both the project and the client,…

5 months ago by

Christmas Presents for Designers

It’s that time again! Stuck for what to buy your creative friends? Here’s a list of some top picks for Christmas gift ideas for the designers in your life, supplied by some of our DA Contributors and Friends: Louise Kellerman: a Scribble Me This workshop voucher Allbirds shoes Lana Lopesi: The Olaga Samoa: Samoan Lifestyle…

5 months ago by

Avoiding Studio Burnout

One of the saddest and most preventable reasons why designers leave their jobs is due to ‘burnout’. Burnout has been described as “a state of chronic stress that leads to physical and emotional exhaustion, cynicism and detachment, and feelings of ineffectiveness and lack of accomplishment.” The phrase ‘burnout’ was coined by a psychiatrist named Herbert Freudenberger.…

5 months ago by

Being Human: Notes and Reflection from Xin Cheng

Written by Layla Tweedie-Cullen Supported by Creative New Zealand Layla Tweedie-Cullen is a contributor to Aotearoa Design Thinking 2017, a series of commissioned critical design essays published by Design Assembly and funded by Creative New Zealand. This article is the last in a four part series of long-form interviews with interesting, exciting and innovative members of Aotearoa’s design…

6 months ago by

Civic Lessons

Written by K. Emma Ng Supported by Creative New Zealand Emma Ng is a contributor to Aotearoa Design Thinking 2017, a series of commissioned critical design essays published by Design Assembly and funded by Creative New Zealand.  This article is the final in a four part series on design and politics that was published over the course of…

7 months ago by

Finding a mentor

Written by Sarah Ritchie The most successful agency people are those who care about developing their career, and who want to become the best possible version of themselves. One way to achieve this goal is by asking for professional guidance from others. There will be a stable-full of people whom you can talk with over…

7 months ago by

Printed Matter and the Document: A Conversation with p. mule

Written by Layla Tweedie-Cullen Supported by Creative New Zealand Layla Tweedie-Cullen is a contributor to Aotearoa Design Thinking 2017, a series of commissioned critical design essays published by Design Assembly and funded by Creative New Zealand. This article is the second in a four part series of long-form interviews with interesting, exciting and innovative members of Aotearoa’s design…

7 months ago by

Cultural Relevance in the Digital Age: Emotiki

Written by Lana Lopesi In 2015, The Oxford Dictionary named ‘emoji’ the official word of the year, revealing a major shift in consumer behaviour towards mobile and visual communication. Emojis are still and moving image characters, used in text and social media platforms to express emotion. While emojis were first invented in 1999, in 2016,…

8 months ago by