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Ministry of Education.
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Studying industrial design

Kimi Whiting shares her experience of transitioning from year 13 to studying design at university.

Duration: 03:33


I was in Wellington East College and I studied design, sculpture, foods, fashion.

So after going to Wellington East, I went to Massey University and the first year is really broad. You get to do four different subjects in all the disciplines – so you got to choose between about ten. So I did screen, type, and I also did dress and space.

So after my first year doing all the other four courses, I decided that industrial design was the one I wanted to do. Just because it felt like all of the design principles and sort of ways of doing things were all in the industrial course. So there was materials, there was the design aspect (meaning marketing), there was the making. It just felt like industrial was the one that encompass all of the disciplines offered at Massey University.

So in my first year, in my courses, I made four things throughout the year. I made a dress, I made a cube that has typography on it, I made a screen (just imagery that was used in aftereffects for a movie), and then I also made a lamp.

Through them all we had specific briefs, but I felt like you could really put your own voice into it quite a lot. And a lot of the time you used a lot of things throughout all of the papers. The whole design process didn’t just happen in one paper, it happened in all of them.

I had quite an open mind about starting at Massey and I wasn’t too particular or focused on one type of design. I was keen to learn all different ones. Through that I found out that industrial was the one I wanted to choose, just because it had aspects of every single design discipline that I enjoyed. I felt that if I learned it, it meant that in the future I could have the opportunity to not only, say, build a chair but also I could do a lot of graphic design as well.

For example, at the moment I’m in a summer school and we are making a lamp. For making a lamp you need to use a lot of techniques and different software. We could be using Photoshop, to Illustrator, to Rhino just to create a product. So we have to go through all types of material options, all types of machinery options. It can really go across all disciplines of design because you can use a sewing machine, to a 3D printer, to just simple things on the computer like the Adobe suite. We have to make videos, prototypes, so they all work hand in hand together to help us finish our end design.

Through all types of design we get a better understanding of what an end product is. My advice for year 13s transitioning into university would just to be, or just to have, a really open mind about all types of opportunities and degrees that are on offer. You never know which one is going to surprise you.

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