What is the essence of New Zealand design…?

What are the qualities of New Zealand design and vision that can be offered to the world? Michael Smythe offers a view in his book ‘New Zealand by Design’.

I call it the ‘design of delight’. It is neither opulent nor sterile. It is accomplished with a light touch rather than a heavy hand. It delights in what it is, who it’s for and how it’s made. It is direct and to the point, and it doesn’t take itself too seriously. It offers no bulls**t honesty with a twinkle in its eye. It reflects the clarity of our light and the freshness of our air. At its best it delivers the tingle up the spine that we can learn to understand, create and experience as ihi, whei and wana. (going beyond survivalist existence to achieve rapture, awe and love of life).

Smoobo, Roseanne de Bruin, New Zealand

Smoobo Blender

Smoobo Blender

The competition design of Roseanne de Bruin seems to show exactly this. Thinking of ways of encouraging children to make healthy food, she watched a child playing with a ball and came up with the idea of the a ball that uses kinetic energy to make a blended smoothie inside.

(Electrolux Design Lab 2011 Finalist – Roseanne de Bruin | Electrolux Design Lab.)

Can this theory be applied to other areas of New Zealand design …. Architecture perhaps?



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