Origins of Taboo is an exploration of ancient Pacific rituals and their modern counterparts. These artefacts depict the interconnection and diversity of three beautiful Pacific cultures - Māori, Tongan and my own Hawaiian. Origins of Taboo is a representation of the strength Pacific culture has within the English language and is also a chance to represent a part of my own kanaka (native Hawaiian) heritage within my practice as a young New Zealand designer.

This artefact was created in response to the student International Society of Typographic Designers 2018 brief Mark My Words which asked us to visually represent an English word which has origins within another language and culture. We use taboo in many different contexts, often to articulate social stigmas but its Pacific origins can come as a surprise. 

The word taboo was the catalyst for my exploration into these ancient rituals that stem from my own heritage and being a young New Zealand designer examining our Pacific identity.

Origins of Taboo is a reminder that our ancestors linger, influencing us still. These traditions, observed in their many forms, link us back to our history and refuse to be forgotten.

Origins of Taboo is a bronze winner for the Nga Aho student best design award.

Photos taken by Sam Gorham 

Subject to Change addresses the increasing ambiguity of information literacy in current affairs news reporting and how this can be addressed for young news users who are disengaging from news, rejecting news. Robert Grudin poses that “if good design tells the truth, poor design tells a lie, a lie usually relating to the getting or abusing of power”.

Subject to Change is a space to explore the grey area of truth and news which will be accompanied by a potential zine or other format such as a website that lays out these academic theories in a way that is visually engaging and can be taken away and referred back to if needed.

Process blog:

This research proposal outlines Subject to Change - a research project which aims to challenge how we consume current affairs news media and to create awareness of its implications on our worldview. It is 2018 and we have never before had this kind of access to news media.

We inhabit this strange postmodern space where information bombards us from all sides in countless mediums therefore how can design challenge young media users who are feeling an overwhelming sense of being mislead and confused whom could also be in danger of disconnecting from news completely. News media is constructed, it is, in a sense, a form of
reality but it is not necessarily real. 


Our geomertic forms look into the relationship between abstract structure and the unruly nature of storms.  

The concept behind our installation is for people to experience the wonder and beauty of a storm, without waiting for Mother Nature to do her thing.

Created in collaboration with Amy Hanlon and Georgia Bennett. 

Storm riffs off the idea of a human built storm in which the observer can wander through and around the struture. Listen to the roar of thunder as they explore these geometric forms lit from behind with LEDs.

The installation allows the audience to look at an abstract “cloud” formation creating an immersive experience, as if one was in the eye of a storm.

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