Mrs Holly McQuillan staff profile picture

Contact details +64 (04) 801 5799  ext. 63653

Holly McQuillan MDes, BDes(Hons)

Senior Lecturer

School of Design

Holly McQuillan is a designer, maker, writer and facilitator, who works primarily in the field of sustainable design practice. Holly teaches at Massey University School of Design, across all levels; undergraduate, post-graduate, as well as delivering master-classes to the public. Her work often explores risk taking in the context of fashion design as a way of discovering new ways of viewing and creating the world we live in. Currently Holly is co-authoring the first comprehensive book on Zero Waste Fashion and working towards an exhibition exploring the intersections of Zero Waste and Open Design.



  • Master of Design - Massey University (2005)
  • Bachelor of Design (Honours) - Massey University (2003)

Prizes and Awards

  • Make/Use won the Open Source use in the Arts at the New Zealand Open Source Awards 2016. See - New Zealand Open Source Awards (2016)
  • I applied for and was awarded the Massey University Research Fund Award of $15000 for YIELD. - (2010)
  • Make/Use won a Bronze Best Design Award in the Exhibition & Temporary Structures category at the Designers Institute of New Zealand Best Awards 2016. See - Designers Institute of New Zealand (DINZ) (2016)
  • I applied for and was awarded the International Visitor Research Fund Award for 2011 to invite Timo Rissanen, pioneer of Zero-waste cutting and Associate Professor Parson's New School of Design, revolutionary U.K Designer Julian Roberts (RCA), inventor of the Subtraction Cutting method to Massey University for Cutting Circle. This symposium critiques current design practices and to raise awareness of the strategy of risk taking, a philosophical mind shift in the burgeoning sustainable fashion movement. From: IVRF - (2011)

Research Expertise

Research Interests

Sustainable Design. Sustainable Fashion. Zero Waste Fashion Design. Open Source Design. 

Research Opportunities

  • Research Assistant  (01/04/2015) To assist in the delivery of 'MakeUse', an exhibition of User modifiable, zero waste garments. Soft Materials experience preferred. Paid position.
  • Research Intern  (01/04/2015) To assist a collaborative multi-disciplinary design team as we work towards the delivery of 'MakeUse', an exhibition of User modifiable, zero waste garments. Soft Materials experience preferred.


Design – for Commerce, Community and Culture

Area of Expertise

Field of research codes
Built Environment And Design (120000): Design Practice and Management (120300): Textile and Fashion Design (120306)


Sustainable Fashion

Sustainable Design

Zero Waste Fashion Design

Up-cycling Clothing Design Processes

Research Projects

Summary of Research Projects

Position Current Completed
Project Leader 0 3
Team Member 0 2

Research Outputs


McQuillan, HL., Rissanen, T., & Roberts, J. (2013). The cutting circle: How making challenging designs. Research Journal of Textile and Apparel. 17(1), 39-49 Retrieved from
[Journal article]Authored by: McQuillan, H.
Whitty, J., & McQuillan, HL. (2014). The Wardrobe Hack.
[Internet publication]Authored by: McQuillan, H., Whitty, J.


Rissanen, T., & McQuillan, HL.(2015). Zero Waste Fashion Design. United Kingdom: Bloomsbury
[Authored Book]Authored by: McQuillan, H.

Creative Work

Parkin, T., Whitty, J., McQuillan, H., Holdaway, S., Bailey, J., & Brown, A. (2015). Space Between online platform: sustainable fashion e-commerce strategies. Wellington, New Zealand: Space Between
[Design]Authored by: Bailey, J., Brown, A., McQuillan, H., Parkin, T., Whitty, J.
McQuillan, HL. (2014). MAKE USE: User modifiable zero waste fashion design.
[Design]Authored by: McQuillan, H.
McQuillan, HL., & Whitty, J. (2013). Post Modern: Up-cycled Corporate Uniforms.
[Design]Authored by: McQuillan, H., Whitty, J.
McQuillan, H., Archer-Martin, J., Bailey, J., Fox Derwin, E., Kane, K., O'Hara, J., . . . Stewart-MacDonald, B. (2015). Make/Use. Auckland, NZ: Objectspace, 11 July - 8 Aug 2015
[Design]Authored by: Archer-Martin, J., Bailey, J., Kane, K., McQuillan, H., O'Hara, W.
Parker, K., Pennington, M., Stevenson, P., & McQuillan, HL. (2014). Revive Chair.
[Design]Authored by: McQuillan, H.
McQuillan, HL. (2013). Zero Waste Biker Jacket. Vogue Patterns Magazine
[Design]Authored by: McQuillan, H.


McQuillan, HL. (2015). MakeUse V2: digital textile technology for user modifiable zero waste fashion. In F. Joseph, M. Smith, M. Smitheram, & J. Hamon (Eds.) : Shapeshifting: A Conference on Transformative Paradigms of Fashion and Textile Design,
[Conference Paper in Published Proceedings]Authored by: McQuillan, H.
McQuillan, HL. (2014). Make/Use V2: Digital textile technology for user modifiable zero waste fashion design. (pp. 46 - 47). , Shapeshifting 2014
[Conference Abstract]Authored by: McQuillan, H.

Consultancy and Languages


  • March 2013 - Sept 2013 - Formway Furniture
    Design consultancy

Supervision and Teaching

Courses Coordinated

Media and Links


  • 28 Jun 2014 - Newspaper
    Standing up for Kiwi-made style
    Article about locally made clothing and the emergence of sustainable fashion in New Zealand. I was asked to comment on the globalisation of garment manufacture and the shifts in consumer awareness aro
  • 14 Mar 2013 - Newspaper
    Fashion: Sustainable traction
    Article about the Local Wisdom WGTN project I lead in 2013.
  • 13 Jul 2015 - Radio
    "Ethics in fashion" Interview on Radio New Zealand
    Radio New Zealands "Standing Room Only" show interviewed Holly McQuillan just prior to the opening of Make/Use.
  • 13 Apr 2015 - Online, Other
    The Cutting Class
    The Cutting Class, a leading website sharing fashion design analysis from the most innovative designers in the world, shared "Tips and Tricks: Zero Waste Kimono from Holly McQuillans blog" as part of
  • 01 Oct 2015 - Magazine
    Frankie Magazine
    I was interviewed by Lucy Corry of Frankie Magazine about my zero waste fashion research practice. Frankie Magazine is a leading design and lifestyle magazine based in Australia

Other Links

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