Two decades of industrial design creations celebrated


From left to right: Professor Claire Robinson, Nathan Aarts, Mr Macdonald, Alice Kennedy, Dean Edgington



The Rhino Rotocrate designed by Mitch Hughes


Bamboo seating designed by Ben Paton


Lars Hansen with one of his creations at Weta Workshop


The interior of a Virgin Australia aeroplane bar and loung area designed
by Kate Cameron-Donald

It has been 20 years since husband and wife Peter and Doris Macdonald established an annual scholarship to help fund the studies of a top second-year industrial design student from Massey University’s College of Creative Arts.

In that time the scholarship has provided its winners with the springboard to careers in design that has seen them create everything from protective snowboard equipment, kitchen designs for the disabled, passenger plane interiors and a Lego helicopter.

Yesterday, at a function on Massey’s Wellington campus, the Macdonalds confirmed the establishment of an endowment that will ensure the continuation of the Peter and Doris Macdonald Scholarship for Industrial Design.

The couple, now aged in their late 80s and early 90s, share a love of industrial design and Mr Macdonald, a former geophysicist with DSIR, shared his vision for the scholarship with senior lecturer at the School of Design Lyn Garrett.

“He is particularly interested in the functional and practical aspects of industrial design,” Mr Garrett says.

“He has a vision. He wants to support the development of New Zealand business through industrial design.”

Here are some of the designers the Macdonalds have helped support and the products they have created:

1996 recipient Mitch Hughes: Developed a rotationally-moulded crate called the Rhino Rotacrate designed for Rotaform Plastics Ltd. It can reduce to a third of its original height and is environmentally friendly. It increases the amount of empty crates that could be shipped on the return journey and promotes the use of reusable rather than single-use crates, and is used by companies including The Warehouse and Cavalier Bremworth.

Mr Hughes also designed a Lego helicopter for Westpac Bank. It was designed with in-depth consideration of the ergonomics and safety considerations for the age group of children expected to use it.

2002 recipient Ben Paton: developed an innovative bamboo-seating prototype. Mr Paton is now actively involved with the Christchurch rebuild as a construction foreman and project manager.

2003 recipient Peter Bakos:  After graduating Mr Bakos designed kitchens for the disabled and went on to work as a sole draughtsperson to design and manage rural residential building projects.

2005 recipient Lans Hansen: Developed an ice-climbing tool for mountaineering and snowboard protective equipment. Now works as a project supervisor at Weta Workshop specialising in science fiction costume and prop builds.

2009 recipient Kate Cameron-Donald: Designed bespoke aeroplane interiors, including bar units, partitions and closets for international airlines and full VIP and corporate jet companies. She has also started her own business Zig + Zags as a side project that provides a collection of limited edition, hand-painted stools that explore her love of colour, pattern, furniture and painting.

2012 recipient Alice Kennedy: Designed a backpack to improve the experience of travelling for first-time travellers by making it easier to pack, repack and move through public places. She was also involved with designing a game design for Te Papa aimed at educating the public on New Zealand’s involvement in World War I.

2014 recipient Glen Catchpole: Currently designing a series of chairs with zero waste in their manufacturing.

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