Welcome to Debrief 2022! It is always a great pleasure to see the work of our Design graduates and to admire the range, technical skill, and conceptual sophistication of the work that they have produced to complete their qualifications. While completing a Design qualification always takes a considerable effort, commitment, and resilience, the class of 2022 also had to contend with three years of disruption, uncertainty, and anxiety caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, making this a particularly significant achievement. We congratulate our graduating students! Well done!
The quality of the work that you have produced confirms my belief that what will increasingly distinguish the world of work in the future is the human attributes of adaptability, empathy, inventiveness, and creativity, the cornerstones of teaching and learning at Otago Polytechnic. In your projects, you have demonstrated the ability to apply these attributes to the iterative process of design thinking in creating thoughtful and elegant solutions that are socially responsible.
On behalf of the teaching team, I extend my sincere congratulations to the Class of 2022. We look forward to seeing how your careers develop as you imagine, design and shape the world you want to have and to leave behind.I wish you every success, and leave you with the whakatauki, ‘Whāia te iti kahurangi ki te tūohu koe me he maunga teitei’ (seek the treasure you value most dearly: if you bow your head, let it be to a lofty mountain). Aim high in pursuing your ambitions, be persistent, and don’t let anything get in the way of reaching your goals.
Nāku noa, nā
This year for Debrief we took a dive beneath the surface to explore the process and ideas that we go through as designers to get to the end result. It has been incredible to see the hard work of our fellow Communication, Product, and Fashion students come to life over these last few busy months. The diverse range of projects that cover client-based needs, self-initiated briefs, and internships has shown that as designers we do more than just create pretty things. We are all problem solvers with personal experiences that make us approach design problems from a unique perspectives.
These past three years have been full of so much growth and learning, and it is amazing to look back on who we were at the start of this journey. Give yourself a pat on the back, because it certainly hasn’t been an easy ride. We managed to get through a pandemic, with the thick of it hitting in our first year. For many of us, this had an impact on our learning and well-being, but with resilience and our ability to roll with the punches, we made it out to the other end. Designing from your bed isn’t exactly an ideal way to spark creativity!
One of the most valuable things we have gained from this experience is the friendships we formed. Being surrounded by like-minded people has been an amazing source of inspiration and motivation to create. Some of these people will come with us into the next chapters of our lives, and that support is worth a million student loans. A big thank you to everyone who has made the last three years a blast. It is bittersweet to say goodbye to the delirious late nights in the studio, lunchtime missions to the Campus Wonderful dairy, and the awkward Microsoft Teams conversations. We wish you all the best in your future creative endeavors, it’s going to be a wild journey going forward.
We got this!