Nikki Walker

Nikki Walker

Design Intern, Allbirds, San Francisco
Bachelor of Design in Textile Design

Te Atiawa

AUT students have access to incredible facilities, says textile design alumna Nikki Walker who is currently interning for San Francisco-based Allbirds.

“I chose to study the Bachelor of Design because AUT is known for having the best and most relevant resources for textile design.

“AUT is the home of the Textile and Design Lab, and the AUT resources you have access to as a design student are excellent – from the print and knit rooms to the Textile and Design Lab.”

A great place to share ideas
The learning environment was nothing but supportive, says Nikki.

“I returned to study after a successful 25-year career as a freelance TV advertising and stills producer. I really enjoyed studying with and learning from my younger classmates.”

The calibre of the academics was one of the highlights of her studies, Nikki says.

“There are some great lecturers at AUT. Rachelle Moore, Mandy Smith and Edele MacDonald in the design school were fantastic resources, and constantly encouraging us and looking for ways for us to improve our practice.

“Gordon Fraser and Peter Heslop up in the Textile and Design Lab are another great resource. My focus was primarily on knit, so I worked with Gordon throughout my degree. I was so grateful for his knowledge and technical skills; not to mention his patience.”

Valuable international experience
After graduating at the end of last year, Nikki is now using her textile design skills to help Allbirds design its signature environmentally friendly shoes. She got this sought-after internship through the AUT Internz International Scholarship Programme.

“I spent the first part of my internship working at the AUT Textile and Design Lab, knitting sample swatches, and working on colour and texture. It was fantastic to put the knowledge I had gained in my degree to use, especially for a great company like Allbirds.

“Now based in San Francisco, I’ve been able to immerse myself in the Allbirds culture, which has been a fantastic learning curve of a different variety. It’s an incredible opportunity.”

She says she strongly advises other students to apply for the Internz scholarships.

Last updated: 14-Jul-2017 2.36pm

The information on this page was correct at time of publication. For a comprehensive overview of AUT qualifications, please refer to the Academic Calendar.