Otago Polytechnic has multiple finalists in Best Design Awards

Eight Otago Polytechnic projects have been named in the finals of the Designers Institute of New Zealand Best Design Awards.

Ella Montgomery and Emily Bell

The event is regarded as the annual showcase of excellence in graphic, spatial, product, interactive and motion design in New Zealand.

“To have eight finalists at New Zealand’s most prestigious design awards is an outstanding achievement,” says Dr Megan Gibbons, Otago Polytechnic Chief Executive.

Prof Federico Freschi, head of Te Maru Pūmanawa: College of Creative Practice and Enterprise, Otago Polytechnic, is also delighted to have the work of so many talented designers acknowledged.

“The latest nominations follow Otago Polytechnic winning five medals at the 2021 Best Design Awards.

“Previous Best Awards finalists and winners have gone on to launch their design careers in New Zealand and overseas.”

The 2022 finalists include Georgia Pope in the Spatial - Student category. An Otago Polytechnic Bachelor of Architectural Studies graduate, Georgia developed the concept “Kaituna”, which envisages restoring a wetland at Forbury Park Raceway and the adjacent Kettle Park.

“Kaituna”, which references the Te Reo Māori name for the area, also won Georgia the 2021 New Zealand Institute of Architects (NZIA) Southern Branch Student Award late last year.

Bella Maresca, who graduated with a Bachelor of Design (Communication) in 2021, features twice in the Graphic - Student category: firstly, for their project “Enby Collective”, and also for “Haumanu Pōpopo Wormporium”.

The result of a collaboration with fellow Bachelor of Design (Communication) graduate Eva Meeuws, also a Best Design Awards finalist, “Haumanu” is a mural celebrating Māori connections with the land, helping define the area where Otago Polytechnic’s Pōpopo Wormporium is sited on Union St East, Dunedin.

Otago Polytechnic Bachelor of Design (Product) graduate Angus Lewry has reached the finals in the Product - Student category for the second successive year, this time for his “Fosterbox” project, which focuses on a personal interaction with gardening and sustainable principles.

Angus won a Bronze Medal in the 2021 Student Product category for a collaboration with fellow Otago Polytechnic Design and Ella Sanderson. Their project “Freerein” was a prototype bike designed to help people with multiple sclerosis.

Bachelor of Design (Product) graduate Emily Mackenzie also reached the final of the Student - Product section for her project “Rockertot”, a versatile child’s rocker that also can be used as a table, chalkboard and play table.

Bachelor of Design (Communication) graduates Ella Montgomery and Emily Bell are among the Graphic - Student finalists for their efforts in creating the overall look and feel for Otago Polytechnic’s 2021 Debrief Student Showcase.

The pair spent months planning, conceptualising and creating the look and feel for Debrief, which celebrated the vibrance and vision of final-year learners studying Product Design, Communication Design and Fashion Design.

Rosa Nevison and Vincent Egan round out Otago Polytechnic’s long list of finalists. Rosa’s project, “Newzician Magazine” is a finalist in the Graphic - Student category, while Vincent’s “MythiK Tane” is listed among the leading entries in the Digital field.

Otago Polytechnic’s Best Design Awards finalists:

 Spatial – Student:

  • Georgia Pope – “Kaituna”

 Product – Student:

  • Emily Mackenzie – “Rockertot”
  • Angus Lewry – “Fosterbox”

 Graphic – Student:

  • Bella Maresca – “Enby Collective”
  • Rosa Nevison – “Newzician Magazine”
  • Ella Montgomery, Emily Bell – “Debrief Student Showcase”
  • Bella Maresca, Eva Meeuws – “Haumanu Pōpopo wormporium”


  • Vincent Egan – “MythiK Tane”