Massey produces the best at Best Awards

Digital Ocean, Mana Moana

Digital Ocean, Mana Moana

Forty-eight projects from students, staff and graduates of Massey University’s Toi Rauwhārangi College of Creative Arts are finalists in this year’s Designers Institute of New Zealand Best Design Awards.

A 3D printed ceramic tea set, a tool to enable the trimming of daggs from the tails of cattle, a smart camera rig that can 3D scan reef structures and a tremor-proof device that enables Parkinson sufferers to self-administer their medications are just some of the finalist’s work.

College of Creative Arts Pro Vice-Chancellor Professor Claire Robinson says there is a reason why the College is in the Top 100 art and design schools in the world. 

“These awards are seriously contended by designers both internationally and throughout New Zealand and our students have featured prominently every year both as finalists and award winners. Since 2003 when the awards began Massey students have made up nearly a third of all student finalists and have had a staggering 255 award winners as of last year.” 

This year’s finalists have been selected from across the full range of College of Creative Arts programmes with nearly half from the Visual Communications Design programme, a large number from Industrial Design, and others from Spatial Design, Textiles, Fashion Design, Creative Media Production and from the Master of Design. 

“While the College more than holds its own in the New Zealand design community as evidenced by the strong presence in the Best Awards, we are also the only university outside of North America to be internationally benchmarked by the US National Association of Schools of Art and Design, meaning our art and design degrees are certified as on a par with qualifications from some of the world’s most prestigious institutions, such as Rhode Island School of Design and CalArts.

“We are immensely proud of all our staff, students and graduates whose work has been recognised as among the best design in New Zealand and always thrilled to have so many of our people acknowledged for their world-class output,” Professor Robinson says. 

Two Massey staff have also been selected as finalists in both the Toitanga category and the Digital (small scale websites) category. Co-curators Senior Lecturer Rachel Rakena and Technical Demonstrator Mike Bridgeman, both from Whiti o Rehua School of Art, were selected for their piece titled Mana Moana

Mana Moana Volume 2: Digital Ocean, is an immersive web-based digital art experience which explores our relationships with the ocean, climate change and highlight indigenous knowledge and stories. 

Visit the Best Awards website to view the finalists' work.

The winners will be announced at a ceremony in Auckland on Friday 13 November.

Below are details of a handful of the finalists: 

Carmen He 

Industrial Design, Bachelor of Design with Honours

Parkinson’s Disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disorder that affects over 10 million people worldwide. The main symptoms of PD include a progressive debilitating tremor, gait instability, and dementia. This project aims to improve the quality of life for PD sufferers by addressing their tremor and specifically focusing on helping patients to self-administer their medications. The purpose of this project is to promote patient independence and empower them throughout their disease journey.

Lisa Newman

Industrial Design, Bachelor of Design with Honours

Docking cattle became illegal in New Zealand in October 2018. This created a gap in the market for a purpose-built tool to trim the daggs from the switch of the tail. SWITCH challenges the traditional tools used for trimming with a lightweight, portable design incorporating circular clipper heads to hug the shape of the tail providing a purpose-built tool for farmers in the dairy industry.

Matthew Kendrew

Visual Communication Design, Bachelor of Design with Honours

The Freehand project addresses the need for more of our population to know at least basic New Zealand Sign Language — one of our three official languages — in a way which amplifies the efficiency of existing adult NZSL classes. Freehand is a digital platform which employs haptic motion design to encourage young adult Sign Language students to engage in fun and rewarding practice in-between their classes.

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Toi Rauwhārangi
College of Creative Arts
Wellington, Aotearoa