Uniting Creativity: Collaborative Pathways to Elevate Australasian Design


Collaboration is the cornerstone of design. The sharing of diverse insights and perspectives is the driving force for the elevation of design, designers and the process of designing. 

We are pleased to share that Good Design Australia and Toi Manahau Designers Institute of New Zealand (DINZ), have formed a MoU to support the joint commitment we share to nurturing the growth and advancement of Australasian design. With collaboration at its core, our partnership aims to utilise the local momentum within our region, to deepen our connection with and impact on the international design community.  

Collaboration starts at home

While the relationship between GDA and DINZ was ignited by a shared vision for a more connected and collaborative design industry internationally, collaboration is a journey that starts on home soil. For DINZ, acknowledging local design has seen a clear focus on embracing te ao Māori. 

“Over the last four years Toi Manahau The Designers Institute of New Zealand has been on a te ao Māori journey to ensure we flourish as a bi-cultural organisation,” says Cathy Veninga, Chief Executive Officer of DINZ. “We have Māori seats on the board and a Māori Co-President. The Best Design Awards has been bi-lingual since 2020 and our Toitanga award (launched in 2012) celebrates collaboration with iwi.”

Te ao Māori emphasises the importance of relationships between nature and people. It is a holistic worldview that focuses on interconnections and is grounded in tikanga customary values and mātauranga knowledge.

“As custodians of design, creativity and cultural expression, the Institute acknowledges its role in fostering a community that respects and celebrates the diversity inherent in our nation as tangata whenua (the first peoples of Aotearoa) and tangata tiriti (all others who have come here).”

“We recognise the importance of active engagement, collaboration and ongoing dialogue to deepen our understanding of te ao Māori and its handling of cultural intellectual property.”

“We also acknowledged that our Constitution (as required as an incorporated society) needed to protect and nourish the Institute by recognising it’s legacy and support the future of our unique culture and place. We go live with this new Constitution in the next few weeks, so for 2024 we will be embedding this document as a living manifesto. The new Constitution has four Pou (pillars) that creates a platform to talk about the values that sit at the heart of our community: 

  • Whakamana Toi (elevating our craft); 
  • Whakamana Te Tiriti (fostering healthy relationships); 
  • Whakamana Tangata (uplifting our people); and, 
  • Whakamana Te Ao (designing positive impact).” 

“The work that DINZ has done to prioritise te ao Māori at an organisational level is really important and sets an excellent example of what we should all be aiming for,” said Rachel Wye, Managing Director of Good Design Australia. 

“Through prioritising meaningful collaboration and respecting the deep interconnectedness of nature and people, I hope we can continue to learn and better navigate some of the big challenges we’re facing in society and the environment today.”

Charting a global course for the future

As strong advocates for cross-cultural design collaboration in the region and on the global stage, GDA and DINZ’s MoU leverages the ripple effect of investing in Australasian design. 

“By creating fertile ground between our countries and fostering our shared networks we will enrich and elevate our craft,” says Cathy Veninga, CEO of DINZ. 

“That then champions the value of design for the betterment of our environment, our economy, our people and culture.” 

“Collaboration and innovation are at the core of good design and we are really excited about how a stronger relationship with other design bodies around the world and particularly New Zealand, can help us build a stronger and more aligned design community worldwide,” says Rachel Wye, MD of Good Design Australia. 

“We realise that the geography of Australasia can present some challenges when it comes to connecting with other parts of the globe, but we also see huge value in the unique perspectives and insights that come from our region.” 

“We hope that a more connected Australasia allows us to better share this with the world, in turn creating a more connected and collaborative global design community.” 

The Best Design Awards – Less Than 4 Weeks Left to Enter!

Good Design Australia are pleased to share that The Best Design Awards, hosted by DINZ, are currently open for submissions. 

The Best Design Awards are looking for The Why / The Purpose and what Elevates The Work.

Award Categories include:

With less than four weeks left to enter – don’t miss the opportunity to be part of this prestigious event. 

Click Here to Enter Best Design Awards

Entries close Friday 28th June 2024.

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