Adjunct Professorship conferred on Philip Fierlinger

Friday 22 June 2018

Philip Fierlinger, the co-founder and former Head of Design for Xero, has been appointed an Adjunct Professor of the College of Creative Arts at Massey University. Professor Claire Robinson Pro Vice Chancellor of the College said: “The appointment is a reflection of the contribution Philip has made in setting new standards for design, business and technology in New Zealand and internationally, and formal recognition of the role he has played over many years as a guest lecturer for the College.

“More recently Philip has been co-producing, with the Design School at the College, the podcast series: ‘Alchemy’ - interviews with New Zealand creatives shaping design, technology and business.

“Philip has played a significant role in helping Massey students: connect with professionals in the field; learn how they approach problems; generate ideas; and produce amazing work.

“He is a stand-out designer with an exceptional gift in his willingness to share his knowledge and encourage others through teaching and inspiration. He provides insight for students into the different roles and opportunities available for designers to shape businesses, and through his own practice, he is an exemplar of the value design can add to product and business outcomes,” Professor Robinson said.

Philip Fierlinger has over 25 years’ experience in creating digital products and experiences that have set new standards internationally. Xero remains one of New Zealand and the world’s most famous design-led businesses.

He left Xero after nearly a decade as Head of Design. He is now an advisor to design driven start-ups, and works with existing product and marketing teams to increase innovation, improve performance and outcomes. He is also a highly sought-after international speaker at conferences and workshops on product and marketing design, and building design-led businesses.

Professor Robinson said: “Philip has consistently provided inspiration and aspiration for young designers and digital start-ups, through his lectures and the podcast collaboration with the College. Philip’s Adjunct Professorship formalises this incredible opportunity for our students to learn from one of the best in the business.”

Philip Fierlinger said of the new role: “Through the Adjunct Professorship and the podcast we’re giving students a unique way to learn from the best design leaders and innovators in New Zealand. We’re also building a following in the business and tech communities, which helps everyone better understand the design process and the value of design”.

The Alchemy podcasts, hosted by Philip, feature New Zealand creatives working in design, tech and business. Philip said: “They provide a chance to hear from the designers who are shaping the industry so young people can discover their insights, their struggles, and their breakthroughs, with a uniquely New Zealand perspective.

“The aim is to help students understand what it’s like out in the real world: who are the players, what are the different opportunities and roles available, what are the big ideas, processes, tools, technologies, plus business and social forces shaping the industry. It’s also a way to discover the different and unexpected ways people get into the industry,” he said. Philip said he has found industry veterans are also loving the podcasts, because it’s a great way to hear the backstory and get a deeper, “inside baseball perspective” on peers and their projects.

Philip’s lectures and podcasts, and the conferring of the Adjunct Professorship is another reflection of the way the College of Creative Arts delivers an exclusive educational experience: Students learn from and engage with some of the design industries finest practitioners.


Find out more about Alchemy podcasts