Peter Haythornthwaite

Peter Haythornthwaite

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Design Guru Peter Haythornthwaite

Last Thursday saw Peter Haythornthwaite in the Unitec Product Design studio where he delivered the first in a two part talk on his journey through his life in the design profession. Peter started his 'professional' life in design in 1971 (see below) and moved through a number of dream jobs that he went after and landed via his talent and sheet tenacity:

"identify the companies/people you want to work for and go after them"

Peter discussed how he progressed from a Diploma course at Elam where he was one of two students studying Industrial Design onto a BFA and MFA (Industrial Design) at the University of Illinois. After returning to New Zealand he freelanced to a number of NZ companies developing design for products as diverse as hair brushes to sodasteams to dive gear.

We are all looking forward to installment 2 where we will undoubtedly hear about how Peter has applied his knowledge of design and busines to the Better By Design organisation and the design audits programme.

Peter Haythornthwaite:


Diploma in Fine Arts with Honours (Design), University of Auckland (1962 1965)

Bachelor of Fine Arts (Industrial Design), University of Illinois (1966 – 1967)

Master of Fine Arts (Industrial Design) University of Illinois (1967 – 1969)

Professional Experience

Principal, creativelab limited, Auckland, New Zealand – design consultancy (2001- 2002)

Principal, PeterHaythornthwaiteDesign Limited, Auckland, New Zealand – a multi-disciplinary design consultancy operating both nationally and internationally on comprehensive product and graphic design, and brand development projects – including consumer products, medical products, furniture, electronic/technology products and industrial goods. Responsibilities – leading, managing, design, securing clients and liaison. PeterHaythornthwaiteDesign became, arguably, New Zealand’s best-known and respected design consultancy. Sold company June 2000. (1979 – 2000)

Owner, arti-fakt-s Limited. New company start up. Designed, developed and manufactured a range of stationery products, selling in exclusive design stores in the USA, Japan, Germany and England, including MOMA’s store. First New Zealand company to market design products internationally. Sold company. (1979 -1988)

Owner, Corporate Image Limited. New company start up. Marketing company of international and specially developed design products. Sold company. (1985 – 1988)

Senior Designer/Manager, Designworks, Los Angeles, California, USA.
Worked on broad range of projects including auto accessories, tractors and sport products. Position taken on sabbatical from University of Auckland. Appointed design office manager. (1978 – 1979)

Senior Lecturer Design, University of Auckland, New Zealand.
Developed and ran Product & Graphic design programs. Resigned to start consultancy. (1971 – 1988)

Self employed design consultant Auckland, New Zealand. (1971 – 1978)

Lecturer Industrial Design, Art Centre, Pasadena, California, USA. (1978)

Senior Designer, Henry Dreyfuss Associates, New York, USA.

Worked on projects for John Deere, Polaroid, Bell Telephone.

Worked for Niels Diffrient. Resigned to go to NZ (1970 – 1971

Professional Membership/Activities

Fellow. Designers Institute of New Zealand

President. Designers Institute of New Zealand (1981 – 1983 and 2000 –

Council Member. Designers Institute of New Zealand (1972 – 1992, 1998 – 2000)

Member. Industrial Designers Society of America (since 1978)

Member. Design Management Institute (since 1995)

Chairman. Kent Student Design Award, NZ Society of Designers (1982 – 1984)

Initiator/Chairman. Best NZ Design Awards, Designers Institute of New Zealand (1988 &1996)

Guest Speaker, IDEAS Conference, Melbourne (1997)

Speaker at numerous functions over the last 20 years including design, business, engineering seminars/ workshops/ conferences

Papers given at NZSID Annual Conferences; New Zealand Export Institute and New Zealand Industrial Design Council conferences.

Visiting Lecturer Industrial Design, Wellington School of Design, Massey University New Zealand. (since 1973)

External Examiner Design, Auckland University (1987), Wellington School of Design, Massey University (1989 -1998)

Member of Curriculum Review Panels for Faculty of Architecture of Victoria University, and Wellington School of Design, Massey University (1996 and 1997)

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