Applied industrial design research provides creative inspiration and innovation in the development and manufacture of products. Our designers use traditional and digital processes to create products that are user -centred, and responsive to ethical and environmental concerns. Designing objects and systems that make the world a better place.
Exhibition design and curation
We have expertise in the curation and communication of narratives and affective experiences that shape a critical awareness of the complex nature of culture and politics. Research outputs are often thematic and can contribute to larger festivals and other multi-venue initiatives. Our researchers are well connected to current exhibition networks nationally and internationally.
Urban, commercial and residential environments
Spatial designers shape the environments that we inhabit and the ways that we encounter, experience and engage with them. Applied spatial design research that proposes new modalities of living, playing and working informed by ethical concerns for human and ecological well-being. Spatial design challenges conventions and imagines spaces of the future.
Performance, live art and design
Our researchers are actively engaged in using live performance as a direct mode of artistic research practice. They often engage with complex social and cultural issues and activate spaces through performance strategies and situation-responsive practices.
Find programmes with a research element, including the PhD.
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A machine: discourse, dialogue and performance generator
This interactive installation by Meg Rollandi engaged the public in a discussion about authorship and processes of creating and consuming artworks. 'The machine' is the site-specific combination of the audience operating the manually operated, intentionally inefficient printing press constructed out of custom parts and salvaged junk objects, 'engineers' constantly calibrating it and the performance of the printed text.
Contak - therapeutic equestrian saddle
Riding for the disabled encourages physical, emotional and educational benefits. Holly Wright's 'Contak' is a specialised saddle that focuses on the safety and experience for disabled riders and the horses involved, as well as improving the comfort and effectiveness of the volunteer side walkers.
The Interpretive Wonderings exhibition and curatorial design in Mildura, Victoria, Australia was a collaboration between a local Aboriginal Corporation, a team of researchers and the Mildura Arts Centre to present non-traditional narratives of country to local audiences. The design research explored and tested scenographic exhibition strategies which were developed during a nationally awarded residency at the Arts Centre.
Lamb docking device wins design award
Massey University industrial design graduate Nicole Austin’s re-modelled lamb docking or tailing iron won the top prize in the New Zealand section of the 2017 James Dyson Award. Ms Austin’s design, called Moray, helps eliminate repetitive strain injury for farmers when using traditional tools during the seasonal process of removing lambs’ tails – known as docking. The body of the device, which updates equipment unchanged in design for more than 40 years, is made from reinforced nylon and ergonomically designed with a specialized handle to make the docking process easier on the farmers hands.
Lattice - a sympathetic disaster tent
Lattice is a new product concept designed for rapid deployment and eventual change of purpose as situations change and improve. The Lattice design recognises that in many natural disaster events, remote communities often reside in tent accommodation for extended periods. And beyond that other accommodation needs have to be met.
Make/Use brought together fashion, textile, spatial, industrial and communication design expertise to address waste in the fashion industry, developing an open source system of customisable zero waste patterns to help users make and modify their own clothes. The project and website went live with a month-long exhibition at Objectspace Gallery that included a pop-up studio, design residencies and a series of public workshops.
Octave - a domestic hydration product, supporting healthy water consumption
Octave is a new product concept encouraging healthy hydration. It does this by providing water to individuals tastes and requirements. It accommodates busy independent life styles, providing potable bottled water for those on the move. Octave serves to protect healthy hydration at critical times when piped, or reticulated water and electrical services are compromised.
Patō - An electronic, tunable and portable drum for the modern musician
Rachael Hall's Patō brings the sounds of the South Pacific into the modern digital environment. This new concept of drumming brings indigenous knowledge and performance into a contemporary musical experience, allowing sampling and remixing for musicians looking for a Pasifika inflection.
Performing, Writing is an interdisciplinary research initiative that explores the relationship between the creative practices of performance and writing. The research imagines how a text can be conceptualised, written, spoken, presented and figured with equal or more contingency and responsiveness to temporal and corporeal happenings, and vice versa.
Te Puna O Te Matauranga
Te Puna o Te Mātauranga is a contemporary painted meeting house that is supported by the art forms of weaving and carving. Central to the visual impact of the house are the curvilinear painted and carved patterns, and the rectilinear patterns found in weaving. The 'baskets of knowledge' narratives are the applied concepts to the house.