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These are a few of my favourite things: Pottery artist and creative Laurie Steer

What’s your favourite…

Brand identity? Coke, the Stalin of sodas.


I like my house. It’s small and old and by the beach in Mount Maunganui. And it’s full of all my favourite things including my family.


My big pottery serving bowl by my old friend Barry Brickell. It’s a horrible warty mess, full of character and mysterious wisdom just like its creator. 


Martino Gamper.

Clothing brand?

Francis Upritchard for Peter Pilotto. Upritchard for Peter Pilotto.

Use of design to change behaviour?

I like how the Buddha designed a philosophical system of practices to help end human suffering. That’s bad arse design 101 Mega Master Level 1000.

Inspiring design-related book/podcast/TV show/website/magazine/story?

A Potter’s Book by Bernard Leach.

Design project youve had a hand in?

I do an annual one-week pottery collaboration where I invite creatives from opposing disciplines to play with clay, eat food, drink tea, make music and talk about everything. The experience outweighs the outcomes but we always make some amazing stuff. It’s a way of rejuvenating ourselves and expanding our creative potential. It’s a creative masterclass that I organise and then attend as an equal.

Design project that isnt yours, but youre envious of?

100 Chairs in 100 days by Martino Gamper.

What first drew you to design?

Birth. I am a creative person whose actions in the world are explained as design. Design is not something I do it is something I am.

Where does inspiration come from for you?

I don’t actually know. From everywhere really,  it just sort of falls out of me.

Do you have a design ethos/motto you abide by in your work?

Think – sleep – act.

Do you have any creative side hustles going on outside of your line of work? If so, what?

I have a very, very serious pottery making addiction.

How has technology impacted on your work? How do you think it will impact on it in the future?

I think of technology as tools. Just new tools to tackle old problems. Tools will continue to evolve and I will use them if they are useful. A chimp’s termite stick is a good example of useful technology in action.

Who are some of your design heroes?

Stefan Sagmeister, Martino Gamper, Karl Kritsch, Siddhartha Gautama.

Best design-related advice you ever received?

Charge what you are worth.

What do you enjoy the most about working in this industry?

I like open minded, progressive clients who have the balls to let me rock and roll without restrictions.

How do you define New Zealands design culture?

Quarter Spanish White with an occasional rainbow. 

Elly is Idealog's editor and resident dog enthusiast. She enjoys travelling, tea, good books, and writing about exciting ideas and cool entrepreneurs.

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