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September-October 2012

Issue #41, September-October 2012

It's the design issue! In our cover story, we ask what design is really worth in the age of crowdsourcing and rent-a-logos. How do you quantify the value of great design? Plus more artists, creatives and designers than you can shake a stick at, including a peek behind the curtain at quiet achievers Van Brandenburg Architects.

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Behind Flatout Frankie is Sarah Gardner and a bunch of people who just happen to get a kick out of cardboard, folding, construction, great design and good old-fashioned play!

Dozens of us marched to save it, almost everyone knows someone who meant to watch it at some point or other, and no Grey Lynn cafe-goer's duffle coat was complete without a badge bearing its logo.

Every year, there's a publishing phenomenon that takes the book world by storm. This year, it's a lucratively kinky and unashamedly non-literary knicker-ripper.

Making any startup work is a terrifying balancing act: trying to get investment for your ideas without losing control of them, while constantly risking your financial neck. But that wasn't the case for 3D-visualisation company Nextspace when it was first created back in 2007. It was born as a not-for-profit with a taxpayer-funded silver spoon in its mouth. Now it seems reality is sinking in.

Design is about much more than just a pretty package or a snappy slogan. It's a central function that shapes a brand identity and story. And increasingly, it's about a way of doing business – a human-centred approach that (gasp) puts users and their needs first. But do Kiwis understand that? And do they care?

So you're all over Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn like a fat kid on cake. But what's the next social media thing to look out for?

David Shearer negotiated his wife's hostage release from a Somalian warlord, staring down the barrel of an AK47. Now he leads the charge against John Key's government. Josh Martin puts the Labour leader under the grill to see if this former UN peacekeeper can heal a wounded party and inspire a count

For DINZ chief executive Cathy Veninga, the Best Awards (coming up on October 5) are a chance to look back on another year of design evolution.

If you're quite secure in the fact that you're never going to be a celebrated artist, then you will probably enjoy investigating the biographies, exhibition histories and works of artists from a diverse range of disciplines.