Hollie Riddell

Hollie Riddell

Product Development Engineer, Fisher & Paykel Healthcare
Master of Design 
Bachelor of Design in Industrial Design

Being able to collaborate with children's natural footwear company Bobux was the highlight of her Master of Design, says industrial design alumna Hollie Riddell who now works as a product development engineer at Fisher & Paykel Healthcare.

“As part of my postgraduate studies, I received the Callaghan Research and Development Fellowship Grant to grow R&D for Bobux and receive professional development. This was an incredible opportunity that helped me make the most of the Master of Design.

“My research aimed to improve the way Bobux communicates the podiatric science behind their footwear through visual language and communication. It addressed the problem that consumers may not understand the importance of healthy children's foot development and the role footwear plays in this. My research contributes to an ongoing discussion around how visual language cues can act as a form of communication, with the potential to help companies understand the importance of how consumers might 'see' their products.”

Hollie’s research was supervised by Professor Stephen Reay from AUT’s School of Art and Design.

Growing as a designer
Postgraduate study at AUT was a no-brainer, says Hollie whose passion for design earned her a Silver award at the Designers Institute of New Zealand Best design awards.

“The workshops and facilities at AUT are top of the game, with access to incredible technology that enables students to bring a concept to life. Because classes are small you to get to know your peers well, and it fosters a strong collaborative culture that reflects the design industry. But one of the biggest reasons for continuing my study with AUT was the personal investment in my project and my growth as a designer from the teaching staff and the Good Health Design Lab at AUT.”

The growth as a designer she experienced through her postgraduate study was unimaginable, Hollie says.

“What I thought would be an additional piece of paper to add to my CV became so much more than that. My lecturers told me that a master’s degree would change the way I think and approach design, and it astonished me how much truth there is to that.”

Highly recommended
Hollie wouldn’t hesitate to recommend postgraduate study in art and design to other students.

“My Master of Design challenged and pushed me in a way I never expected. I loved that the degree enabled me to work with an external company on a real-life project. This kind of opportunity wouldn’t have been possible without being a part of the programme, and having the support of my supervisors and the university behind me.”

She has some great advice for other students who are thinking about postgraduate study.

“If I were to give one piece of advice to students, it would be to take control of what you want out of your learning. You’ll be the person who dictates what you get from the programme you’re a part of. Your supervisors and other staff will find it much easier to help you if you’re being clear about what you’re after.”

*The Bachelor of Design is now known as Te Tohu Paetahi mō te Hoahoa - Bachelor of Design.