Visual Communication, Way Finding and Universities

Written by Professor Guy Littlefair Professor Guy Littlefair The Dean of the Faculty of Design and Creative Technologies at AUT questions what role the university should have within design education Visual Communication design is a profession that is in a constant state of change. Across the last 50 years it has morphed from Commercial Art…

1 day ago by

MāoriGrl, Kōwhai and Ngā Tohu o Te Kawerau a Maki: Some Things to See This Matariki

Written by Lana Lopesi Graphic Matters is a monthly column on issues and ideas related to New Zealand Design Culture Every year in mid-winter Matariki rises into the sky, providing us here in Aotearoa with a time of reflection and new beginnings. Our national Matariki celebrations seems to grow in strength, scope and size every…

4 days ago by

Permission to be Creative: 7 things I learned from 7 years of the 100 Days Project

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. First 100 Days Show In 2011 I was stuck in a rut with work and felt restless. I looked around…

3 weeks ago by

A Brush with Design: 10 Designers Dish on Their First Design Encounter — Abhi Topiwala

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 third iteration we spoke with emerging designer Abhi Topiwala. Oh there are so many great memories…

4 weeks ago by

Our Wahine, Are we there yet? And WANTOK: Celebrating Women during Suffrage 125

Written by Lana Lopesi Graphic Matters is a monthly column on issues and ideas related to New Zealand Design Culture This year marks 125 years since New Zealand were “vigorously campaigning to achieve the right to vote and would finally win that right in September of 1893”. To mark that accomplishment and the subsequent achievements…

1 month ago by

The emergence of Modernism: an etymology of beauty, harmony, excellent and good.

Written by Kelly Gilchrist. Starting with the term beauty, this four part series, explores the use and interpretation of the terms beauty, harmony, excellent and good. With a focus on the texts and journals collected by Robert Coupland Harding, Kelly will explore Harding’s understandings and intentions behind his late nineteenth century use of the four…

1 month ago by

Showing, Sharing, and Beyond: Design Exhibitions 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 second in a four part series on design and its support structures that enable us to nurture,…

2 months ago by

“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 months 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 months 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,…

2 months 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 months 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…

3 months 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…

3 months 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…

3 months 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,…

3 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…

4 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,…

4 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…

4 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…

5 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…

5 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…

5 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…

5 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…

5 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,…

7 months ago by