Idealog Year in Review 2017: Sam Irvine

Sam Irvine, the chief operating officer at integrated design studio Isthmus, shares his views on the year that was and the years that could be. 

Favourite innovation that isn't yours?

Ebikes – they have literally taken off this year.

Favourite innovation that is yours?

​Freyberg square – a brilliant repurposing, in a truly innovative way, of an iconic public space in Auckland. 

Most interesting launch/trend/idea/building/product of the year?

Small/craft homes. Again, not new but their appeal is now.  

Most promising New Zealand company/companies?

Isthmus 😊, Allbirds, Rocket Lab. 


Jacinda, Kane, Aldous, Peter.


Jimmy Spithill (again).

Best stoush?

David Higgins and Eddie Hearn.

Your own biggest success?  

Completing the first of the Affordable homes in Northcote. 

What’s the biggest mistake innovators/businesses will make this year?

Not backing themselves

What do you expect to see in the next five years?

A move toward smaller more affordable homes

What will be dead in the next five years? Does the Yellow Pages count?

What should be invented and/or un-invented? A 3D printer that kids with wheelchairs can use for making their own seats as they grow (I stole that from David Irwin)

Favourite book/TV show/podcast/album/website/magazine/story/performance enhancing drug of the year?

The City in History although I finally finished A Little Life; the Sinner on Netflix; Black Hands podcast; Morningside – Fazerdaze; Concrete Playground; Monocle; the New Zealand election; Taro

What’s the one piece of tech would you have on a desert island?

Solar powered brewery and espresso maker. 

Will the robots become sentient and kill us all? (asking for a friend)

I thought Blade Runner 2049 was a documentary. 


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