Era-Defining New Zealand Design Pieces Of The Past 20 Years

New Zealand design has gone from being locally celebrated to internationally sought-after. Melinda Williams looks at 20 significant items from the last 20 years

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1998

Taking the Kiwi “beer crate coffee table” mentality to a more sophisticated level, designer Katy Wallace’s Banana Box turned a ubiquitous, cheap item into a clever storage unit.

Katywallace.co.nz

1999

Fisher & Paykel launches the original DishDrawer Dishwasher into the United States, and it becomes an international sensation, in part thanks to its ability to cater to the kosher market.

Fisherpaykel.com

2000

One of NZ’s most iconic designs, David Trubridge’s steam-bent Body Raft, by was bought for production by Italian furniture giant Cappellini a year later.

Davidtrubridge.com

2001

Potter Chris Weaver has created many iterations of the teapot. This beautiful one was awarded the Merit Award at the first Portage Ceramics Awards in 2001.

Chrisweaver.co.nz

2003

The L4 Table was an early piece from Simon James, a simple, seamless table that showed off the possibilities of bent plywood.

Simonjamesdesign.com

2004

As much art as furniture, craftsman Carin Wilson’s Nohoanga Chair weaves together native timbers, leather and brass.

Carinwilson.com

2002

With his bright, multi-functional OX stools, Fletcher Vaughan aimed to make good design more accessible.

Fletchervaughan.com

2005

Designer and ceramicist Jeremy Cole’s Aloe Blossom Light, released a year earlier, catches the attention of the world’s design media featuring in interiors magazines andluxury private homes around the world.

Jeremycole.net

2006

When it launched, the ceramic Antipode Planter by Kiwi Patrick Morris turned pot-plants on their head and won a UK New Designers Award. Also made in a recycled plastic version, it’s known as the Sky Planter.

Boskke.com

2007

Lance McGregor is one of New Zealand’s most successful design exports, having worked in senior design roles for Fabien Baron, Tom Dixon, M.A.C and West Elm furniture, where he designed their hugely successful Martini Side Table, before setting up his own studio.

Mcgregor-mcgregor.com

2008

Whanganui-based glass artist Katie Brown’s Whisper Lights are delicate, elegant, and just slightly Seussian.

Katiebrownglass.co.nz

2009

Shoehorning in early on a soon-to-be famous name, the iPad by Andre Hodgskin brought a new level of architectural sophistication to the prefab kitset home.

Architex.co.nz

2010

If you like the dramatic George restaurant atop the Pompidou Centre in Paris by architectural partners Dominique Jakob and New Zealand-born Brendan Macfarlane, you’ll love their similarly sculptural Float Light.

Moaroom.com

2011

The first light released for NZ-based international design brand Resident was Jamie McClellan’s epically-sized Spar Light, influenced by the look of yachts and their rigging. It’s still a best-seller.

Resident.co.nz

2012

The adaptable moulds of Phil Cuttance’s poured-resin Faceture Vases mean no two are the same.

Philcuttance.com

2013

Tim Webber’s aluminium-framed Press Mirror took compass points as a reference to add unexpected detail.

Timwebberdesign.com

2014

The award-winning Blunt Umbrella has become an urban status symbol, but it really is the only umbrella you’ll ever need.

Bluntumbrellas.co.nz

2015

Under the guidance of the late, brilliant Kent Snedden, Methven became an international force in bath-roomware. The Aio Showerhead paired water-saving technology with sensual minimalist design.

Methven.co.nz

2016

The modular steel KXN by IMO scored a Best Award for its “thoroughly considered” kitchen cabinetry design system.

Imo.co.nz

2017

Gary Backhouse and Joe Dinsdale designed the JWD Chair as a tribute to Gary’s late father Joe Backhouse, founder of Wellington-born Backhouse Interiors. Mixing mid-century influence and modern machining, it’s intended as the start of an ongoing collection.

Backhousenz.com

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