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Doing Design Differently Wellington: Panel with George Aye

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Event description

Presented by CoDesignCo; a network of practitioners learning and sharing about creative and participatory ways to engage people in our work, in collaboration with For Purpose, Toi Āria: Design for Public Good and the School of Design at Toi Rauwhārangi: College of Creative Arts, Massey University.

Doing Design Differently Wellington:
Panel with George Aye

Social design in Australia and Aotearoa is charting a new path forward. When you take stock of the region’s unique position in the world, steeped in local Indigenous histories and growing autonomy, we can see that being far from the hubris of Silicon Valley is an asset and not a liability.

Yet the trend of social design being exported across the globe is predominantly WEIRD (Western, Educated, Industrialised, Rich, and Democratic). And despite their good intentions, a lack of ethical guidelines puts designers in social and public sectors at great risk of doing more harm than good. 

The Doing Design Differently tour invites design practitioners, leaders, academics, and students to engage critically and constructively with questions of power and ethics. 

Facilitated by Prof Anna Brown, joining George for this panel will be Dr Johnson Witehira (Tamahaki, Ngāi Tū-te-auru), Rebecca Sinclair and Kerry Ann Lee.

Join us as we try to change how design happens in this part of the world: how design work is commissioned, who gets to be called a designer, and where the benefits and damage of design land.

About George Aye:
George Aye co-founded Greater Good Studio to use design to heal, to be just, to be restorative. After seven years at a global innovation firm, he was hired as the first human-centred designer at the Chicago Transit Authority. Since founding Greater Good, he guides clients and teams through complex projects that honour reality, create ownership, and build power.
Greater Good have been using their own Gut Check (now on V6.0) as an integral part of practice for twelve years.

About the panelists:
Dr Johnson Witehira 
(Tamahaki, Ngāi Tū-te-auru) is an artist, designer and academic of Tamahaki and Ngāi Tū-te-auru descent. He is the co-founder of both Indigenous Design and Innovation Aotearoa (IDIA) and Waahi Wairua. Since completing his doctorate in Māori Visual Art (2013), Johnson has been on a mission to bring Māori culture into all aspects of New Zealand life. As a contemporary Māori artist, his artworks have featured in significant galleries within Aotearoa and internationally. As an academic, Witehira's focus has been on decolonised approaches to teaching art and design. He has presented this topic throughout New Zealand and internationally. His design projects and writing on indigenous design have been published in Visible Language, The Graphic Design Reader (Bloomsbury), AIGA Eye on Design, Novum Magainze and Monocle.

Kerry Ann Lee
 is a visual artist, designer, scholar and educator from Pōneke Wellington, where she is Associate Professor at Toi Rauwhārangi, College of Creative Arts at Massey University. Lee’s research explores urban settlement and culture clash occurring in the Asia-Pacific region from a diasporic Cantonese perspective. As well as being Creative Director of the Asian Aotearoa Arts programme, Lee also founded the Red Letter Distro. She is well known for her work with independent publications and fanzines over the past two decades, regularly working and exhibiting both nationally and internationally. 

Rebecca Sinclair is a Co-Founder of The Pākehā Project and an Associate Professor at Toi Rauwhārangi, College of Creative Arts, at Massey University Wellington. With over 27 years’ experience in creative education, her research focuses on the intersection of decolonisation, creativity, and complexity. Her creative practice infuses creativity and care into all aspects of life, and she likes nothing better than getting underneath the surface of things and asking beautiful questions that open up new possibilities. Rebecca is of Pākehā (Scottish and English) descent, Rebecca lives in Te Whanganui-a-Tara with her 4 daughters and their cat. 

Panel Information
Doing Design Differently Wellington: Panel
Thursday 7 September at 5.30pm arrival for 6pm start


90 mins approx.

Venue Information:

Massey University: Wellington Campus 
Wallace Street, Mount Cook, Wellington 6021
Block 12, Te Ara Hihiko, Toi Rauwhāurangi, College of Creative Arts


This workshop is wheelchair accessible with lift access.

Transport & Parking:

A map of Massey University's Wellington Campus is available to view here.


The organisers of this event may take photographs and share them publicly.
Please let them know on the day if you aren't comfortable appearing in any photos of this event.

This workshop is part of the Doing Design Differently - Australia and Aotearoa Tour.
Across August & September 2023, this tour welcomes George Aye to Sydney, Perth, Melbourne, Auckland and Wellington for a series of workshops, panels and discussions.
Visit codesignco.space for more information and to view events happening near you!

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