Massey students top student craft design awards


A garment from Te Kākahu ō Te Kaikaranga by Massey PhD student Erana Kaa.A garment from the Te Kākahu ō Te Kaikaranga collection by Massey PhD student Erana Kaa


A sustainable toy and a clothing range inspired by indigenous elements, designed by Massey University students, were among winners at a prestigious national craft and design awards event.

Student artists, designers and illustrators and their whānau celebrated at the Dowse Art Museum in Lower Hutt at the ECC New Zealand Student Craft/Design awards, the national awards for New Zealand tertiary students in the areas of design and craft.

Three students from Massey University won in their categories and a further nine students and graduates received Highly Commended awards.

PhD student Erana Kaa won the Friends of the Dowse Fashion Design Award for Te Kākahu ō Te Kaikaranga, a garment collection employing an indigenised approach to construction. Her creations are based on Māori visual language that enhances the role of kaikaranga (the woman, or women, who has the role of making the ceremonial call to visitors onto a marae, or equivalent venue, at the start of a pōwhiri).

“These garments are constructed with bagged out strips of hand-printed linen, emulating the curvilinear style of Hokianga carving, depicting the entwining nature of manaia [mythological creature in Māori culture] and also referencing the self-lacerating movements of hae hae [the name used to describe carved ridges found in carving traditions which comes from the verb hae, to cut, tear, slash or split] ,” she says.

The judges said, "All the layers of the design, including the story, the construction, the shape and the movement, are what demonstrates a successful approach to her design through the use of  Māori visual language. This is a very poetic collection with a blend of mainstream and traditional influences.”

2.ECC New Zealand Craft design awards organiser Heather Crichton with Erana Kaa.ECC New Zealand Craft design awards organiser Heather Crichton with Erana Kaa.


The ECC Product Design Award was won by Massey University second-year industrial design students Lucy Grunfield and Saskia Jamieson for their project Shape Shifter, a children's modular building toy made out of sustainable materials with interlocking pieces to inspire creativity and develop fine motor skills.

Ms Grunfield and Ms Jamieson said their design challenge was to reinvent and design a retro or classic children’s toy following the ideological and ecological approach of Wishbone Design Studio, a children's toy company based in Wellington which focuses on inventing simple things that work well, using fewer, better materials.

“We were challenged to consider circularity within this project, with a focus on longevity and adaptability, as well as ecological impact and usability, in order to create a sustainable children's toy that would grow with the child and promote imaginative thinking.

“The design we created was inspired by the classic shape sorter, with key focuses on modularity and transformability. The toy will begin its life as a shape sorter, helping the child differentiate between shapes and colours and then will grow to become more of a building toy as the child gains motor skills. It encourages children to use their imagination to build anything,” they said.

3.Shape Shifter by second-year Industrial Design students Lucy Grunfield and Saskia JamiesonShape Shifter by second-year Industrial Design students Lucy Grunfield and Saskia Jamieson.


Industrial design graduate Rik Olthuis received Highly Commended in the same category for his Voronoi Runners. These are 100 per cent biodegradable sneakers implementing material development and 3D printing, constructed without the use of any adhesives, which also recently won the national James Dyson award.

Industrial design graduate Zoe Lovell-Smith received a Highly Commended award for the Tuatara Ceramics Award for her ADA Collection, which showcases 3D ceramic printing technology through the design of a tea set.

Industrial design students Ameka Weston, Charis Teal, and Victoria Peploe received a Highly Commended award in the Furniture Design Award category for their Retreat seat, a semi-secluded reading chair that supports the person in a cradled position and provides a simple light to read by.

Visual Communication design graduate Morghan Harper won Highly Recommended in the new Visual Communication Design Award category for The Change,  a visual novel exploring the visualisation of emotion and helping readers to become more emotionally aware.

4.Saskia Jamieson, Lucy Grunfield and Anita Dykes from ECC New ZealandSaskia Jamieson, Lucy Grunfield and Anita Dykes from ECC New Zealand.


Industrial design graduate Daniel Shorrock and graduand Hannah Reid both received Highly Commended awards in the Lighting Design Award. Mr Shorrock’s Spectre is a flexible, intelligent task lamp designed to improve user experience through a high level of adjustability and excellent light quality.

Ms Reid’s Arrived floor lamp is a product that enhances the ambience of a domestic entranceway by creating a sense of welcome via an interactive light.

Textile Design graduand Sophie Parsons won Highly Commended for her Distant Connections collection of multimedia surface designs which illustrate the unique experience we all shared of the COVID-19 lockdown.

The Supreme Award was won by AUT Master of Design graduate Imogen Zino for her installation The Materiality of Winter.

The judges for the awards this year were Karl Chitham, director of The Dowse Art Museum; Anita Dykes, lighting design consultant at ECC; Ian Douglas of The Village Goldsmith; Marilou Dadat, head designer of Kowtow; Richard Cutfield, director of Formway and Goodnature; Neke Moa, artist and designer; and Toby Morris, illustrator.

The ECC NZ Student Craft/Design Awards is in its 31st year and is open to all students who are currently enrolled to study in 2020 or who have completed their studies in 2019. The awards have been supported by The Friends of The Dowse since 1986 to offer New Zealand tertiary students an Award scheme designed to encourage innovation and creativity specifically in the areas of design and craft.

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