Industrial designer Peter Haythornthwaite will be awarded an honorary science doctorate by Victoria University next month, capping off a career spanning over four decades.
Haythornthwaite has established several successful design companies and received numerous awards, including the 2003 Designers Institute of New Zealand John Britten Award.
In 2007, he and his creative team received one of the world’s highest design industry accolades—a prestigious gold medal in the Industrial Designers Society of America’s IDEA awards—for the LOMAK (Light Operated Mouse and Keyboard) design, which enables people with physical impairments to use computers more easily through the use of light sensor technology. LOMAK was subsequently included in the permanent collection of New York’s Museum of Modern Art.
Haythornthwaite was appointed Adjunct Professor of Design at Victoria University’s School of Design in 2004. A former president and council member of the Design Institute of New Zealand, he founded the Best Design Awards in 1988, and in 1995 he was made a Fellow of the Institute in recognition of his distinguished service. He is also an international adviser to the Boston-based Design Management Institute.
In recent years, he has advised New Zealand export businesses on how to build their design capability through the New Zealand Trade and Enterprise Better by Design programme, which he played a key role in developing and which has now been extended to four Australian states.
Victoria University Vice-Chancellor Professor Pat Walsh says Peter Haythornthwaite’s work as an industrial designer is regarded as highly original, creative and world-leading.
“Peter’s contribution to New Zealand industrial design is enormous, and I am delighted that he will become Victoria University’s first honorary graduate in this field.”