What do you do when you are a designer living on the other side of the world from Europe – the centre of design manufacturing?
If you want to live in New Zealand and there are many reasons to do so, how can New Zealand designers create networks and relationships to get their work into production in Europe?
At the end of September 2009 with a Creative New Zealand grant, I set off for Europe to interview key designers and manufacturers, to discuss how they worked together and to examine the relationships between them. I was looking for a way forward for New Zealand designers to form collaborations with Europe based manufacturers and to see how issues of geographic isolation might be mitigated; maybe there were even advantages to being a designer on the other side of the world.
The research contains interviews with the following:
Jasper Morrison Studio – John Tree
Vitra – Eckart Maise
Konstantin Grcic Studio – Alexandra Fürstenhagen
Authentics – Hendrik Flötotto
Designers based in New Zealand face unique challenges due to their relative geographic isolation. This essay examines the role of an 'International Dialogue and the Arts' from historical and contemporary perspectives. The chapter 'New Zealand Film as an International Model' examines possible parallel pathways that may offer insights for design. The chapter 'Directions for Design' shares practitioners experiences and observations, suggesting possibilities for the creation of a rich, national and international design culture.