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Honorary Doctorate For Leading Designer

MEDIA RELEASE

26 November 2012
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Honorary Doctorate For Leading Designer

One of New Zealand’s leading designers, Peter Haythornthwaite, will be awarded an honorary doctorate during Victoria University’s December graduation. He will receive a Doctor of Science degree.

Peter Haythornthwaite is an industrial designer whose extensive creative output has garnered national and international recognition. During a career spanning over four decades, he has established several successful design companies and received numerous awards, including the 2003 Designers Institute of New Zealand John Britten Award.

In 2007, Peter and his creative team received one of the world’s highest design industry accolades—a prestigious gold medal in the Industrial Designers Society of America’s IDEA awards—for the LOMAK (Light Operated Mouse and Keyboard) design, which enables people with physical impairments to use computers more easily through the use of light sensor technology. LOMAK was subsequently included in the permanent collection of New York’s Museum of Modern Art.

Peter has held a number of tertiary academic positions, and was appointed Adjunct Professor of Design at Victoria University’s School of Design in 2004. In this capacity he has acted as a tutor and guest lecturer, enabled internships and placement opportunities for students, and provided valuable support for the School’s Design Led Futures programme.

A former President and Council member of the Design Institute of New Zealand, Peter has generously supported the New Zealand design sector through his involvement in a range of initiatives, including founding the Best Design Awards in 1988, and in 1995 he was made a Fellow of the Institute in recognition of his distinguished service. He is also an international adviser to the Boston-based Design Management Institute.

In recent years, he has advised New Zealand export businesses on how to build their design capability through the New Zealand Trade and Enterprise Better by Design programme, which he played a key role in developing and which has now been extended to four Australian states.

Victoria University Vice-Chancellor Professor Pat Walsh says Peter Haythornthwaite’s work as an industrial designer is regarded as highly original, creative and world-leading.

“Peter’s contribution to New Zealand industrial design is enormous, and I am delighted that he will become Victoria University’s first honorary graduate in this field.”

Peter will receive his honorary degree during the Victoria University graduation ceremony for the faculties of Architecture and Design, Science and Engineering, which takes place on Thursday 13 December at 6.00pm.


The LOMAK design which won a prestigious gold medal in the 2007 IDEA Awards

ENDS

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