Thursday, June 09, 2005

Design in Aotearoa

Kia Ora,

You may have noticed that my latest post are quotes or just quick links... I've been bussy lately with all this business planning, etc. Anyway, I need to take a break from that, so it's time to answer to Karla's request. The international directory of design has a list on the major tertiary education providers with some kind of design studies. I'll review them one by one:

Otago is NZ's prestige University. Design Studies became a full department quite recently ( 2001 ) and is also gaining prestige. One of their students won the product category of designboom's kitchen competition. Pros: they are integrating students from cross disciplines, just like at ITESM Marketing, IMAs, IMEs and LDI are together on some classes. Cons: Dunedin is down south, that means it gets really cold... if you like to snowboard, then is OK.

Victoria is where I started my Ph.D. (but never finished). They look at design in a wider context, so that everything designers do has an impact on culture, environment, society, etc. Functions are not pieces of a design puzzle, function is when the user makes sense of the product. So every design decision has an impact on the final result on each aspect (impact from inside the product to the outside world) while we usually take considerations (design constraints) from the outside sources (production, materials, user, etc) and put them on our designs from outside-in. Their facilities are excellent and the work studios are a nice environment to work in. Pros: Wellington is a city full of design and creativity and despite the weather a nice place to live. Look at the student's gallery.

AUT is NZ's youngest university. They are slowly getting into a university approach, but they still got some of the "hands on" philosophy typical of a polythechnic. Cons: they only offer fashion, graphic and interior.

Auckland University does not have industrial or product design. However, their fine arts school (ELAM) and the architecture school are very prestigious.

Massey is a multicampus university and they offer industrial design at their 3 locations: Wellington (a.k.a. "the creative campus") Palmerston North and Auckland (Albany). Their design philosophy is quite similar to ITESM's : Industrial design is concerned with designing better products and interior spaces used in daily life. Industrial designers help to improve our standard of living and quality of life and contribute to our material culture and national identity. Good design is an essential element in the achievement of business success and wealth creation. The programme’s objective is to produce responsible innovators with the knowledge and skills to explore new design thinking, to use materials and processes creatively, to humanise new technologies in the changing market place, and to respond sensitively to socio-cultural and environmental needs internationally. They also have a Master's which is quite similar to the "innovation" master's at Tec.

There are also some polytechnics that offer design studies like Christchurch or Unitec but they have a more pragmatic approach to design, they focus on the technical work (that is good if you are only looking to be an employee) not on the entrepeneurial side wich looks into the process and management of design. Look at my previous post or read the interview with Han Hendriks from DDC to see the difference.

Here are some other NZ design web sites that you might want to look at.

Dividers are courtesy of

Update: I just found this site about NZ schools... offers information on new zealand education including new zealand universities, new Zealand schools, new Zealand education courses, so for any information on new zealand education, new Zealand universities, new Zealand schools follow this link

I also have several links to schools and organizations on my web site. Go visit! I hope this information is useful to you, if you have any questions or like to know more, just let me know.

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