- Member for
- 20 years 10 months
DESIGNER - product, graphic - design thinking
DESIGN MANAGER - designed manifestos, design strategy, brand strategy ...
DESIGN RESEARCHER - design theory, design history, new zealand design history ...
DESIGN WRITER - magazine articles, books, web-publications, academic papers
DESIGN SPEAKER - gallery /museum talks, seminars, symposia, conferences, pecha kucha ...
DESIGN EDUCATION - World design history and New Zealand design history; Design Thinking and Design Process ...
DESIGN CURATOR - design-focussed exhibition experiences ...
Authoritative advocate and passionate protagonist
After gaining a Diploma of Industrial Design from Wellington Polytechnic in 1967 Michael Smythe found employment with the Fisher & Paykel Development Division and later the JASMaD (now Jasmax) consultancy. Various incarnations of private practice followed: Marks and Smythe Designers (1973-1978), designforces (1979-1985) and individual freelancing. He was the inaugural Executive Director of the Designers Secretariat (now the Designers Institute) from 1988-1991. In 1992 he formed Creationz Consultants with his partner Helen Schamroth.
Michael graduated with a Master of Design Management from Unitec in 2004. He was then invited to teach design history to Bachelor of Product Design students. Michael’s design writing skills evolved from 1972 with occasional articles for Designscape magazine, Home & Building and ProDesign. His comprehensive book NEW ZEALAND BY DESIGN: a history of New Zealand product design (Random House, 2011) was the NZSA Best First Book of Non-Fiction winner at the 2012 New Zealand Post Book Awards. He has presented public talks based on this book in New Zealand and overseas.
In April 2013 he curated the GIFFORD JACKSON: New Zealand Industrial Design Pathfinder exhibition at The Depot in Devonport and wrote and published a book of the same name. His designarc.org.nz website provides a forum for expanding and deepening discussion on New Zealand’s manufactured culture. He is currently curating and exhibition and writing a book about Peter Haythornthwaite for the Objectspace Master of Craft series - scheduled for 2017.