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My Top Design Picks at #EXP16

My Top Design Picks at #EXP16


Every year, the College of Creative Arts at Massey University in Wellington puts on a school-wide exhibition to showcase the work of their incredible Design and Fine Arts students. This exhibition includes work from Visual Communication, Spatial, Industrial, Textiles, and Fashion design, as well as Fine Arts and Photography, across Bachelor of Design, Bachelor of Design, Honours and Masters students. Hundreds of students share the work that they have spent the entire year working on and luckily for you, the exhibition is open to the public! Exposure 2016 has been open for a week already, and countless amounts of people have been through to view all of our hard work, but there’s still one week to go! Whether you’ve been already, or are yet to make the trip, I thought I’d share my top 8 picks from the School of Design with you! It might give you some advice on the must-see pieces when you visit, or we can compare and chat about our favourite ones!    


Nina Gillanders - Chromophobia / Chromophilia

“Throughout much of Western culture there is a pervading feeling of distrust towards colour; an underlying fear of contamination or corruption through colour. There is evidence of this fear dating back to antiquity, where it can be found manifested in art, literature and architecture. Chromophobia/Chromophilia is a speculative project which examines the complex relationship the West has with colour; our fear and our desire for chroma.”

Nina’s double-sided, reversible book is not only beautiful, but also amazingly informative and fascinating! Whether you prefer the monochrome page of the Chromophobia half, or the fluorescent leaves of the Chromophilia side, the two combine to make a remarkable book. I’m a chromophobe at heart, but I fell in love with the captivating colour combinations in Nina’s presentation of Chromophilia. A definite must-see on your trip to Exposure 2016!

View Nina's Exposure 2016 profile here


Matisse Rendle Mitchell - Golden Globe

“Golden Globe is an exploration into income inequality and data visualisation through textile design. The impact of wealth inequality within New Zealand is one of the most concerning issues facing our society today. Golden Globe explores how to push the boundaries of data visualisation, communicating complicated statistics and data sets onto a tangible surface that viewers can interact with. The collection gives dense figures surrounding New Zealand’s wealth distribution a new spark and sense of life.”

Matisse’s work combines incredible textile work with meaningful, thought-provoking social issues in the most remarkable way. On first glance, the coats are just aesthetically amazing, but upon closer inspection, the dates, colours and patterns form a strong political standpoint around the wealth inequality issues in New Zealand. Whether you are interested in this issue or simply want to see some impeccable textile design, please make sure you stop by Matisse’s installation!


Michaela Spratt - Soundspace

Soundspace is a speculative digital experience that transforms music’s place within home entertainment. Users can personalise content to design an experience they can then display using large-scale display technology. In a world where surfaces in the home can transform into screens, music-lovers can not only interact, but immerse themselves in their music library. The experience encourages users to dive deeper into the music they love and build personal relationships with their collections.”

I love the idea of Michaela’s project. Soundspace is an amazing, futuristic concept that brings the music experience to life! She used new technology and innovative ideas to create a product I seriously wish was real! If you visit Exposure 2016, make sure you stop off to see Michaela’s work - especially her incredibly informative, inspiring and exciting video!!

View Michaela's Exposure 2016 profile here.


Fern Grant - Don't Tell Me What To Do

“Don’t tell me what to do is a cheeky, illustrative, and personal response to academic theorist’s research on ‘the creative process’, reading article headlines on ‘how to be better at being creative,’ and four years of constructive criticism from tutors. It chronicles my discoveries, moments, and meltdowns on my journey through my final year as a design student. Filtering these theories on creativity through my own lens has allowed me to take ownership over my work, and grow confident in my identity as a designer.”

I am obsessed with Don’t Tell Me What To Do, and that’s an understatement! As a creative person, seeing the creative process of someone else visualised is so relatable, and when it’s so insanely well done, that’s even better! I love love love the colours, textures and illustrations in Fern’s work and I want clothes, stationery and homewares covered in these textiles! Take a minute to see these amazing pieces on your way through EXP16, you’ll be glad you do!

View Fern's Exposure 2016 profile here.


Stevie-Lee Johnstone - Trust the Process

Trust The Process describes a visual experience of expression. As creatives we are constantly reminded to trust the process, but how can you trust what you don’t know? This book is a guide through the confusion, making creative use of our mistakes and embracing the empty spaces of great horror as a stimulant for creation, as little compares to the anguish that comes with the blockage of creative flow.”

I love both the content and the design of this amazing book by Stevie-Lee. Like with Fern’s textiles, Stevie-Lee’s “Trust the Process” book is so relatable for creatives! The hand-drawings throughout remind me of my own doodles, and the quotes are really motivating. If you’re a fan of typography, this editorial work is for you! The type all the way through is so well-done, which helps to convey the content and the message clearly and concisely. This book is beautiful with the bold blue colours and you won’t miss it when you’re at Exposure!

View Stevie-Lee's Exposure 2016 profile here


Catherine Meachen - The Lay of the Land

“The Lay of the Land is a research-led textile collection that explores a personal perspective of identity, based on postmodern theory. In this work, identity is conceptualized as a landscape that can be shaped and explored by our growing awareness of the forces that impact our perception of ourselves and the world around us. The complex and fluid nature of postmodern identity is examined through interplay between typographic design and textile processes. This research draws on methods of deconstruction and reconstruction to manipulate both text and cloth, challenging the legibility and communicative value of typography.”

I can’t even explain to you how much I love Cat’s work! Putting typography alongside textiles is the most magical combination and it works so well. The colours, typography, textures and compositions work together across each piece to create this beautiful collection. The various ways that Cat created her textiles are so innovative, creative and different - I’m amazed by every one! Make sure that you put “The Lay of the Land” on your Exposure 2016 itinerary and stop by to see it for yourself!

View Catherine's Exposure 2016 profile here.


Nick Thompson - These Dreadful Times

“Fear, dread, paranoia and suspicion intrigue me as much as they terrify me. These Dreadful Times examines contemporary societal fears and how they influence our relationship with the people, spaces and objects around us. The second look at the abandoned bag, taking note of the EXIT sign, the surrender of personal privacy — all results of this modern age of fear. Do we choose to accept or reject this fear? Do we have a choice at all?”

Nick’s own description basically tells you all you need to know about “These Dreadful Times.” All that I have to add, is how beautifully articulated these ideas are in this remarkable editorial piece. The structure, composition, colours and typography in this book are impeccable and I am obsessed! The pops of colours surprised me in the most amazing ways and the compositions wowed me with every new spread. More than worth stopping off on your EXP16 journey to flick through Nick’s masterpiece.

View Nick's Exposure 2016 profile here


Robyn Bats - Body Slip

“Body Slip is a collection that celebrates the female form and questions the notion that female nudity must either be shameful or sexualized. Prints have been created of the nude female body, and applied to the drape of the garments, subverting the relationship between body and clothing and encouraging the body to slip from its boundaries.”

I didn’t know anything about Robyn’s work when I first visited Exposure 2016, but it stopped me in my tracks as I strolled past. The subtle illustration in the print is so simple and striking, and the colours are just beautiful. I love the ideas behind the work and they’re so well conveyed through the piece itself. I don’t even have the words to describe it’s simple elegance, so you’ll just have to experience it yourself!


I wish that I could have included literally every piece of work shown at Exposure 2016 in this post, because they’re all incredible and definitely worth seeing. Unfortunately, you’d be reading for days if I did, so I just picked a few that stood out to me. There are so many others that blew me away and I’m so honoured to present my work alongside these super-talented artists and designers! If you’re around Wellington in the next week and can make the time, please do come and visit Exposure before it closes! It’s inspiring, impressive and well-worth the time to see the next generation of creatives who are now heading out to take on the art and design world.

Let me know if you do get or have had the chance to visit the exhibition, and what your favourite pieces were! Did you see the ones I’ve mentioned here? What did you think? Thank you for supporting us at Exposure 2016 and enjoy!!

Exposure 2016 is open from 10am - 4pm until Saturday 19th November at Massey University Wellington.

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