Nga Aho, the culturally
connected network formed to support Maori design professionals, has been
enriched this year by the inclusion of Auckland-based German designers Luka
Hinse and Oliver Kraft as Kaupapa Whanau members.
As new New Zealanders, Hinse and Kraft have both been making their mark on the design world in Aotearoa in varied ways. Hinse is well known for bringing to life the ever popular Pecha Kucha Nights here, while Kraft founded the furniture design label Purple South, together with Amanda Hookham.
After Hinse and Kraft separately shared their whakaaro (thoughts) and mahi (work) at the fifth national hui of Nga Aho, their connection was taken to a new level when they were nominated to the membership category of Kaupapa Whanau; a category for people or oganisations who have a purpose, function or practice that readily aligns with and supports the fulfilment of the kaupapa and objects of Nga Aho.
This year’s Nga Aho hui and annual general meeting was held at the Rongopai Marae near Gisborne from Thursday 30 September to Sunday 3 October, with the theme of “Ahi Kaa: Ignite the inner creative fire”. The hui brought together a group of more than 40 design professionals across several design disciplines.
Nga Aho members heard of the year-to-year success of the network, which traces its origins back to the Hui Kaihoahoa Whare at Hoani Waititi marae in July 2001, when around 50 participants met to discuss recent developments in Maori architecture. That hui confirmed the need for a dialogue and professional body representing the aspirations of Maori design professionals in commercially focused creative disciplines.
Recent successes for Nga Aho include the ongoing development of the initiative known as Awatoru—a model acknowledging a cultural context for economic transformation by design – and the contract won by Nga Aho to manage and coordinate the commissioning and delivery of authentic Maori designs for rollout on Rugby World Cup merchandise.
Nga Aho members also heard that a particular success for Awatoru has been the commencement of a Master of Design by project degree in a joint partnership with Unitec. The hui at Rongopai Marae was also privileged to see advance work for the Rugby World Cup merchandise by designers Shane Hansen (under the theme Aroha), Leon Kipa (Ihi, Wehi and Wana), Wiremu Barriball (Toa), Kahurangi Falaoa (Mana) and Tracey Tawhiao (Wairua).
The venue for the 2011 Nga Aho hui will be Rotorua. For the year ahead, architect Rau Hoskins, of DesignTribe has been reconfirmed as Nga Aho’s chair, with Haare Williams as the Paearahi for Nga Aho.
You can find out more about Nga Aho HERE.