Designing a legacy with a nine-year Red Dot Awards success streak

Spot Check: A personal skin cancer detection device designed by Thomas Mackisack.

Spot Check: A personal skin cancer detection device designed by Bachelor of Design with Honours graduate Thomas Mackisack.

We have taken second place in the 2023 Red Dot Design Awards for the Asia and Pacific regions, making it the ninth consecutive year of being in the top three universities.

Granted by global design award agency Red Dot, the Red Dot Design Ranking celebrates organisations’ genuine and sustainable capacity for design innovation, measured by their ability to produce exciting new design concepts over time. The award is considered an international seal of quality for good design.

Through continuous innovation and creative exploration, Toi Rauwhārangi College of Creative Arts has secured a top three position in the Asia-Pacific Design Concept category, the only university in Australasia to place in the top 15.

Among a range of design and innovation contests awarded annually is the Red Dot Award: Design Concept. Established in 2005, the award celebrates tomorrow’s great products by assessing design innovations, novel concepts and ready-to-launch products from around the globe every year.

Referred to as the ‘Oscars’ of design by the Chinese First Lady Madame Peng Liyuan, the Red Dot awards are recognised as a pinnacle of achievement. To date, staff and students from Ngā Pae Māhutonga Wellington School of Design have received 65 Red Dots since 2008.

The most recent Red Dot winner was Bachelor of Design with Honours graduate Thomas Mackisack for his SPOT CHECK design, which provides early diagnosis of melanoma via a personal skin cancer detection device. SPOT CHECK is a multi-functional tool that combines total body photography with a digital dermatoscope to allow for full body scanning to identify and track suspicious spots with assistance from artificial intelligence. Mr Mackisack’s project also went on to win a Designers Institute of New Zealand Best Design Award.

Other previous graduate design concept winners include Clean Catch by Samantha Hughes, which provides an accurate method of collecting sterile urine samples from paediatric patients, the Harvest Manager by William Lockwood-Geck to improve dry matter testing in kiwifruit orchards and an emergency self-rescue app called Floodscape designed by Klaus Kremer.

Toi Rauwhārangi College of Creative Arts Pro Vice-Chancellor Professor Margaret Maile says the continued success through Red Dot recognition allows the College’s reputation for excellence in research, teaching and design outputs to shine on an international stage.

“To be successfully ranked in the top three of the prestigious Red Dot awards for the ninth consecutive year is a testament to the unwavering commitment of our creative community of staff and students. This recognition not only affirms our dedication to nurturing innovative design thinkers, but also highlights our global standing in pushing the boundaries of creativity and shaping the future of design education. It’s more than an honour, it’s a spotlight on our enduring pursuit of excellence in the creative realms and motivation to keep moving forward.”

The original article was published in Massey News

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Toi Rauwhārangi
College of Creative Arts
Wellington, Aotearoa