New Zealand is full of legendary designers, but often there doesn’t seem to be much thought given as to where their design prowess might have evolved from. In a bid to do its bit to honour top Kiwi designers that once sat in its lecture theatres, Massey University's College of Creative Arts has announced its Hall of Fame 2011 inductees. Among them is the creator of the DishDrawer, along with the designer of the old mastheads for the Dominion and Evening Post newspapers.
Four fresh faces were inducted this year, they are: fashion designer Collette Dinnigan, industrial designer Mark Elmore (who also picked up a John Britten Black Pin at the recent Best Awards), typographic designer Joseph Churchward and Arthur Riley, who founded the Wellington School of Design in 1886, before it became Massey University’s College of Creative Arts.
College Pro Vice-Chancellor Professor Sally Morgan heaped praise on Riley, who she said understood that, if New Zealand was to compete on the international design stage, it needed a well-trained design industry.
She also commented that geography has been no barrier for Collette Dinnigan, Mark Elmore and Joseph Churchward’s.
“They exemplify all that is excellent about a New Zealand based design education.”
About the inductees
Born in England in 1860, founded the Wellington School of Design in 1886. Mr Riley was a leading advocate of planned technical education, arguing that vocational training should not be left to chance if New Zealand was to compete with other countries. His belief that art was not just about painting and sculpture but was a vital part of daily life and industry, is a quality that is still evident in the art and design produced by the many cohorts of students that have passed through the school since then. His legacy is being celebrated at the anniversary exhibition Oldschool Newschool, at the Museum Building, Buckle St, until November 5. Designs by Collette Dinnigan, Mark Elmore and Joseph Churchward feature in the exhibition.
The Australia-based fashion designer studied fashion design at Wellington Polytechnic, completing a certificate in clothing and textiles in 1984. After graduating, she moved to Australia and established her label, initially based around lingerie, Collette Dinnigan, in 1990. Her fashion empire is now vast. Her multiple collections, including lingerie and bridal, are stocked in 145 stores in Britain, Europe, Russia, the United States, Japan and the Middle East. Her delicate dresses are frequently seen at red carpet events and have been worn by Angelina Jolie, Charlize Theron, Halle Berry and Kate Hudson.
Elmore is the industrial design team leader at Fisher & Paykel alongside several other Massey design graduates. He has been at the heart of the creation a range of refrigerators, electric cookers, and the iconic and transformational DishDrawer, sold in 27 countries, and has brought in millions of dollars to the New Zealand economy, created jobs and, ultimately, allowed Fisher & Paykel to stay in New Zealand – today it is the only New Zealand-based whiteware appliance manufacturer. Last month Mr Elmore was awarded the John Britten Black Pin at the NZ Designers Institute BEST Awards for his many product innovations at Fisher & Paykel.
Churchward is a Samoan-born graphic designer whose fonts are used the world over. Joseph attended the Wellington Technical College in 1948 where he gained an Art Distinction Award in Lettering. In 1969 he founded Churchward International Typefaces, which went on to become New Zealand’s largest typesetting firm. Striking a deal with the German firm Bertold Fototypes, an international typeface distributor, his typefaces became known around the world. A notable first was Churchward 69 used by Woolworths, while his hand lettering was used to help create the mastheads for The Evening Post and The Dominion newspapers. With close to 600 original typefaces to his credit, Mr Churchward, 78, continues to create new fonts from his Hataitai home. He won the Designers Institute of New Zealand John Britten Award in 2009 and was a recipient of a Queen's Service Medal last year.
More about the Hall of Fame
The Hall of Fame was established in 2007 to recognise students and staff of the college and its fore-runner institutions – the original School of Design, the Wellington Technical School and Wellington Technical College Schools of Art, and the Wellington Polytechnic School of Design – who have made an outstanding contribution to New Zealand’s economy, reputation and national identity through art and design.