The Institute is proud to share the work of D Wood, a talented designer, specialising in studio furniture who also has a PhD in Design Studies. The article, Interweaving in New Zealand Culture: a Design Case Study, was recently published in the Journal of New Zealand Studies.

The article provides a thorough exploration into the development of New Zealand’s unique hybrid culture, particularly the interweaving of Māori and Pākehā. To illustrate this and its impact on design, New Zealand furniture craftsman Carin Wilson is used as a case study.

Topically, this article contributes to discussion on the declining role of craft in education and the need for comprehensive government commitment to design research and development. It is interesting to see how attitudes to design and crafts are so inextricably linked with our culture. Unfortunately, a current lack of craft education means young people no longer have an understanding of how things are made. The underlying theme of the article is that craft is an important art form that is dying in New Zealand.

We highly recommend having a read of Wood’s article if you are interested in the relationship between the different cultures in New Zealand and the impact this has on art and craft. Wood’s full thesis, Furniture Craft: Studio Furniture in New Zealand 1979-2008, is available for further reading here.

StrategyNZ: Mapping our Future was a workshop held by the Institute in 2011 that brought participants from all over New Zealand and challenged them to think about where they wanted New Zealand to be in 50 years. This resulted in a comprehensive output that gave clear aims for the future in a variety of areas including culture, strategy and technology. One group task involved envisaging a new coat of arms for 2058. Wood includes this in her article as an example of design used to communicate New Zealand’s interweaved culture.

If you want further information on how New Zealanders envision New Zealand in 50 years, we have further outputs and reports from the StrategyNZ workshop available here.

Aotearoa New Zealand