Product Design

And the winner of Idealog + Studio ZQ's 2019 Wool-ovation competition is... Becs Bartells' wool coffins

Wooly brilliance

And the winner of Idealog + Studio ZQ's 2019 Wool-ovation competition is... Becs Bartells' wool coffins

After a day spent in Christchurch with all of the Idealog + Studio ZQ finalists pitching their ideas, the grand winner of the competition has been chosen. Congratulations to Becs Bartells, who will see her design for strongwool coffins be developed as a product in the New Zealand Merino Company’s innovation space, Studio ZQ, while also jetting off on a trip to San Francisco to meet some movers and shakers in the industry to help inspire her and further her concept. Here, we have a chat to Bartells about her winning design.


Idealog is teaming up with New Zealand Merino Company to celebrate both the opening of its Studio ZQ innovation space in Christchurch and our design community's talents by holding a nation-wide search for a wool product that harnesses the protentional of this natural fibre. To get the inspiration flowing, here are some of the entries that have already been submitted to the Shuttlerock page here, including woollen speakers, shower puffs, oven mitts and bean bags. Plus: we have extended this competition until Thursday 11 July at 5pm to give people more time to enter.

Idealog + Furf

Let’s face it – our pets are quickly becoming the most important features in our lives, placing above children, bills, and significant others. So, it’s a natural fit that we’d want to supply them with the highest-grade level for safety and design to suit their finicky eating habits. Furf Pets, launched by Makeshi-Thappen, features sleekly designed pet products that show your favourite family member that they are prized just as important – or if not, more important – than yourself.


The foundation for good design work starts with designers being able to trust each other for an honest critique of their work, while still feeling secure and comfortable in their role to share their ideas. Outgoing director of product design at Vend Jade Tan Swea Phin shares the weekly habits of her team, as well as her top three tips for cultivating this level of trust.

Staying hydrated

You may have seen the latest beauty craze of people slathering their teeth in activated charcoal to whiten them, but the usefulness of the thick, black substance extends beyond beauty trends. Wellington-based Refil has designed a charcoal drink bottle filter that can be used to remove chlorine and lead from tap water, promoting the refilling of bottles and less waste going to the landfill.