Hollie Riddell

Hollie Riddell

Master of Design student
Bachelor of Design in Industrial Design

Being able to collaborate with children's natural footwear company Bobux is the highlight of her Master of Design, says industrial design student Hollie Riddell who dreams of working in the footwear or outdoor design industry in Canada one day.

“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 has been an incredible opportunity that has helped me make the most of the Master of Design.

“My research aims to improve the way Bobux communicates the podiatric science behind their footwear through visual language and communication. This addresses 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 is 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 has already 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 has experienced through her postgraduate study has been unimaginable, Hollie says.

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

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