According to a new report, the design sector contributed over $10 billion to the New Zealand economy in 2016 writes Henry Oliver from TheSpinoff in which he asks Thomas Mical, the head of AUT’s School of Art and Design, what that means for New Zealand design.
Designers know that their work creates value, but a recent report from DesignCo – commissioned by ten New Zealand institutions including AUT – confirms it, by quantifying design’s growing impact on the New Zealand economy. According to The Value of Design to New Zealand report, the design sector contributed approximately $10.1 billion to the New Zealand economy in 2016, about 4.2% of New Zealand’s GDP.
And if design were treated as its own industry rather than a sector within various industries, its contribution to the economy would be larger than agriculture ($8.1 billion) and on the heels of retail trade ($10.6 billion) and food, beverage and tobacco product manufacturing ($10.6 billion). Product design and interactive design are the two biggest contributors towards design’s economic impact, along with manufacturing, human health, financial, environmental and construction industries.
But it’s not just design for design’s sake. The report shows a strong design sector and national prosperity and economic growth. Further, design is a powerful tool of urban regeneration and a way to help solve complex and hard-to-solve problems in both the private and public spheres.
Thomas Mical, the head of AUT’s School of Art and Design, was trained as an architect and has thought a lot about the interaction of public and private spaces. He sees reports like The Value of Design as vital, not just for the design industry to prove it’s worth to the government and the private sector, but for designer’s themselves to understand their economic impact and the value of the work they do. And for Mical, who sees the future of design everyday in his student’s work, its value is only going to grow.
Ground-breaking research into design’s economic contribution to New Zealand’s economy has shown that during the last year alone design contributed $10.1b to New Zealand’s GDP (approximately 4.2%). The research launched in late July 2017 by Hon. Steven Joyce Minister of Finance, was undertaken by PwC and commissioned by DesignCo. Professor Claire Robinson, convenor of DesignCo, said at the launch of the research “There is a strong correlation between national prosperity, economic growth and a thriving design sector. International evidence confirms that design leads to more competitive firms making and selling higher value products and services.
“The research reveals that if design were treated as an individual industry its contribution to the New Zealand economy would be larger than agriculture and on a par with retail trade ($10.6b), and food, beverage and tobacco product manufacturing. The sector also provides approximately 94,200 FTE design positions in New Zealand, roughly 4.4% of employment,” Professor Robinson said.
For the purposes of the research the definition of design is broad in nature — it is a process or series of processes to create a proposition in any industry. Design is dynamic and can stretch across a number of applications, industries and occupations. It is because of this broad nature that the project group determined that the current classification system for industries and occupations in New Zealand did not adequately capture design in all its forms. As such, a project reference group developed a classification system for design. The classification has five levels, including the design disciplines of design education, graphic design, innovation / invention, interactive design, motion design, product design, service design, spatial design, and strategy.
The research shows that the manufacturing industry contributed the greatest amount to design-related economic activity in 2016 with $2.7b. Product design and interactive design disciplines are the two biggest individual contributors towards design’s GDP, with over $4.5b of economic activity coming from these two disciplines (46% of the total).
The study indicates a broadening use of design as an effective process; in exporting firms, technology, health, conservation, the public sector and within cities. Ludo Campbell-Reid, head of the Auckland Design Office and Auckland’s design champion said: “There is an international movement that is centred on cities that are transforming themselves through great urban design. We need to make sure that people understand the impact that design can have. Great design is good for the environment, good for business and good for social cohesiveness. Well-designed schools reduce truancy, well designed hospitals are better for your health, and well-designed cities are better for health and happiness. Design in the 21st century, with the rise and rise of technology and interactive and open-source consumer platforms, is being harnessed more frequently, for a wider set of purposes and with increasing impact,” Ludo Campbell-Reid said.
Professor Robinson said: “DesignCo partners will continue to connect with the constituent parts of the New Zealand design eco-system in a systematic and regular manner, telling the story of New Zealand’s design excellence, rectifying the paucity of information about the design sector and gathering statistical data on the value and impact of design in New Zealand.
Victorian go-kart designer wows judges with a contemporary-yet-classic frame design
And the winner is…Ben Murphy.Victorian go-kart designer Ben Murphy has won the first stage of the Electric Superbike Project competition (www.theelectricsuperbike.com.au). The first stage of the competition – the frame design – attracted more than 100 registrations, and Murphy’s entry was chosen from a shortlist of three that included Victorian Chris Peters and Simon Teed from Queensland.
As the winner of this stage, Murphy walks away with a beefy HP Z200 Workstation courtesy of competition sponsor Hewlett Packard Australia, and the opportunity to work with some of the leading figures in the automotive design industry to refine his frame design before manufacture.
The Electric Superbike Project is a community-based competition run by specialist 3D computer-aided design and manufacturing (CAD/CAM) technology distributor, Intercad, in conjunction with Triple Eight Race Engineering and Racetech Steel. The goal of the project is to involve aspiring and professional designers across Australia and New Zealand to collaboratively design, test and build a state-of-the-art electric superbike using SolidWorks, the industry-standard CAD/CAM software platform.
Once the motorbike is complete, the final design will be road tested by racing great and TeamVodafone’s V8 Supercar Championship driver Craig Lowndes. The bike will then be auctioned off to the highest bidder with all proceeds going to Red Dust Role Models, a non-profit organisation seeking to improve the health and wellbeing of disadvantaged youth living in remote communities.
Max Piper, CEO, Intercad, says the enthusiasm and innovation shown by the design community has exceeded all expectations, and bodes well for the rest of the competition which still has several months to run.
“This is a unique opportunity for the design, engineering and racing communities to come together and impart their skills and resources for a worthy cause,” says Piper. “The pride shown by the competition entrants and the high level of skill and innovation evident in their first stage designs is testament to the strength of the Australian and New Zealand design community.”
Murphy’s design of a classic tube-steel motorbike frame won over the three competition judges with its attention to detail, practical material choices and innovative simplicity. Speaking of his win, Murphy – who works for go-kart manufacturer Drew Price Engineering – humbly says it was his wife who first brought the competition to his attention.
“My wife received an email from Intercad about this new motorbike design project, and knowing how crazy I was about racing bikes, she sent it to me immediately,” he says. “I’ve spent around 200 hours since then working on the frame design in my spare time, using a trial license of SolidWorks that Intercad was kind enough to supply me with. It was easy to get up and running with the software, which made it possible for me to start right away, browse the material libraries, and define the basic concept of the frame, which was then shortlisted and further refined with the positive feedback from the judges.”
Triple Eight Race Engineering’s Drawing Office Manager, Ian Drapier, says Murphy’s design is “the most thorough and better integrated” of the shortlisted designs. “I like the fact that he has adopted the principle of keeping the frame to a minimum and using the bodywork for seating, and also the way he has tried to use the battery compartment as part of the chassis,” says Drapier.
“There are some nicely machined components mounting the housings to the frame, and while the frame is of fairly basic construction, on the plus side it will be easy to manufacture and cost effective, especially since Racetech Steel is a main sponsor for the project.”
“My starting point was the material,” adds Murphy. “It made sense to use Racetech Steel’s chrome moly tubes for the frame, not only because they are so closely associated with the competition, but because I’m familiar with their products and they have the quality and strength I wanted. Chrome moly tubes are strong enough to allow me to reduce the wall thickness and make the frame lighter. I considered alternative exotics such as carbon fibre and titanium, and while they certainly have their advantages, from a practical sense it would make the bike more expensive and difficult to build, and wouldn’t necessarily meet Australian Design Rules.”
Competition organiser and fellow judge, Intercad’s National Product Manager, Julian Spencer, says the winning design shows Murphy paid close attention to the practical physical attributes of the frame, using SolidWorks’12 decimal point accuracy to minimise weight at every point, but maintain optimal rigidity.
“Every component of the motorbike will be designed and evaluated in the same way, and when the final design is complete, the bike will be machined directly from the SolidWorks drawings,” he says. “This is how a community of SolidWorks users can collaborate on a physical product, with parts sourced from different regions of Australia and New Zealand, even though the community itself spans thousands of kilometres across two countries.”
The next stage of the competition focuses on the drivetrain and wheels. Timelines for entries – along with the final approved SolidWorks drawings of Murphy’s frame design – will be announced on The Electric Superbike blog in the coming weeks.
Murphy is passionate about design, 3D solid modelling and the racing industry and has combined his interests on his blog, BergerHaus Designs.
The Twin Shift mounts on the end of a flat handlebar, and automatically moves both derailleurs ...
It can be a tricky business, selecting the proper gear combinations on a dual-derailleur bike. You always want to avoid "cross-chaining," a situation in which the chain is stressed by being placed at too much of a lateral angle (such as if it were running from the outermost chainring to the innermost sprocket, or vice versa). French inventor Rolland Norbert is attempting to address the situation, with his Twin Shift.
The grip-style shifter mounts on the end of a flat handlebar. With a series of single click-twists, users can move up and down through the gears, as the Twin Shift automatically moves both the front and rear derailleurs accordingly. It does so entirely by mechanical means – no batteries are required.
Not only does it keep riders from cross-chaining, but it also means that they only have to shift once for each gear-change, as opposed to having to shift both the front and rear derailleurs separately.
Plans call for the system to be made in versions suited to 3x6, 3x7 and 3x8 drivetrains.
It is claimed to be compatible with most existing frames and components, and is currently the subject of a Kickstarter campaign, where a pledge of €70 (about US$82) is required to get one. Assuming it reaches production, delivery is estimated for next June.
Prospective backers might additionally want to check out the Synchrobox system. And if they're willing to spend a bit more money and don't mind periodically recharging batteries, Shimano's XTR Di2 electronic shifting system also automatically shifts both derailleurs together.
A nationwide study into design’s economic contribution to New Zealand’s economy was released today. The ground-breaking research shows that during the last year alone design contributed $10.1b to New Zealand’s GDP (approximately 4.2 per cent).
The results of the Value of Design report, which was started in 2013, launched today in Wellington by Hon. Steven Joyce Minister of Finance.
The study was undertaken by PwC and commissioned by a national design consortium DesignCo, which comprises Massey University’s College of Creative Arts, the Designers Institute of New Zealand, Otago Polytechnic School of Design, NZTE (Better By Design programme), AUT School of Art and Design, the Auckland Co-design Lab, Callaghan Innovation and Victoria’s University’s School of Design.
Professor Claire Robinson, convenor of DesignCo, said at the launch of the research today: “There is a strong correlation between national prosperity, economic growth and a thriving design sector. International evidence confirms that design leads to more competitive firms making and selling higher value products and services.
“The research reveals that if design were treated as an individual industry its contribution to the New Zealand economy would be larger than agriculture and on a par with retail trade ($10.6b), and food, beverage and tobacco product manufacturing. The sector also provides approximately 94,200 FTE design positions in New Zealand, roughly 4.4 per cent of employment,” Professor Robinson said.
The study indicates a broadening use of design as an effective process – in exporting firms, technology, health, conservation, the public sector and within cities.
Ludo Campbell-Reid, general manager of the Auckland Design Office and Design Champion for Auckland said: “There is a global movement that is centred on cities that are transforming themselves through people centred urban design. Think Melbourne, Vancouver, London, Barcelona, Bilbao, Portland, Seattle, Helsinki and Copenhagen. Each of these cities has pursued a deliberate programme of economic revitalisation and urban renewal based around design led thinking. Great design is all about the value add: good for the environment, good for business, good for attracting talent and critical for social cohesiveness”.
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