Design Lives Here

Precious things, from an old lemon squeezer to a Māori bird-call instrument.

Design Lives Here

Precious things, from an old lemon squeezer to a Māori bird-call instrument.

The thing about objects is the way they ground you. Sometimes, that’s because of the way they’re designed, sometimes it’s as a result of the stories they tell. Either way, the things we carry through life create meaning: houses aren’t the same without them. 

As part of our ongoing partnership with Objectspace – New Zealand’s only institution dedicated to design, craft and architecture – we were delighted to help stage Design Lives Here, in which four well-known New Zealanders spoke about favourite things, both owned and coveted. The event was a huge success – be sure to join us at the next one. 

Al Brown: Chef and Restaurateur

Owned: Atlantic Spremita Citrus Squeezer by Lino Salitini

To be honest I’d never seen one before but something drew me to it – I’ve collected old kitchen bits and pieces all my life and I love its slightly futuristic, Deco design feel. It continually blows my mind that something this old, this cool-looking, works as well as the day it was made. 

Coveted: Game of Trust clothes hanger by Yiannis Ghika

Ghikas describes this piece as having “three ‘Y’ shaped elements that support each other, finding unity and extremely stable balance”. I love the simplicity of this design: it’s beautiful to look at as well as functional. The only issue is I’d be loathe to hang anything on it.

Elisabeth Findlay: Fashion Designer and Founder, Zambesi

Owned: Keep Up The Quality

Sometime in the year 2000 we moved our headquarters to a new workroom. While moving in, Neville uncovered this slightly faded battered sign in the attic, which simply read ‘Keep Up The Quality’. We immediately hung it up – there is something serendipitous about how the message of the sign brought the Zambesi ethos into focus.

Coveted: Barcelona chair by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

I didn’t know the history – I just know I have always admired it. I love the simple lines that define the structure and the leather fabrication. The chair is beautifully proportioned and invites you to be seated to reflect, contemplate and dream, or just have a conversation.

Tyrone Ohia (Ngāti Pukenga, Ngāi te Rangi): Creative Director and Founder, Extended Whānau

Owned: Karanga Manu

Karanga manu were originally used as bird-call instruments to lure native manu closer. It is a hunting device, a musical instrument, an art object, and a marker of identity. I love the mix of physical, visual and audio that are wrapped into this small individual.

Coveted: A well-designed garden

Our native plants carry the distinguishing features of this land. The textures, forms, colours and lines make Aotearoa what it is. Our plants carry many stories and histories. I love learning about the various whakapapa of our native plants and their roles within Māori cosmology, craft and construction usage, and medicinal qualities. 

Lisa Webb: Architect, Studio LWA

Owned: Ngutu Pā UKU candle by Curionoir and Thea Ceramics

I was safely overwhelmed by the earthy smell of Ngutu Pā. It took me to an evocative place. A place made of raw clay etched or better, scratched. I love the raw unglazed clay, the scratched intersections. The vessel is as evocative of our whenua as the magic it contains.

Coveted: A footed bowl by Lucie Rie

Lucie Rie is a ceramicist who trained in Vienna when the architects I am most interested in (and Freud) were rethinking the human condition. It gives me the greatest of pleasure to note that her most valuable pieces are the ones she made after she found her voice and the courage to work according to her own convictions.

Design Lives Here



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