Your source of events, good reads and useful resources.


Unfolding book launches

\\\ Present Tense : Wāhine Toi Aotearoa — a paper record. ///

Smash Palace
Saturday 2 September / 2:00–5:00pm
172 High Street
Ōtautahi Christchurch

You’re invited to the Ōtautahi launch of \\\ Present Tense: Wāhine Toi Aotearoa — a paper record. /// with Erin Broughton slinging copies at Smash Palace. We’re keeping it super casual, so stop in for a kōrero between 2–5pm. If you are contributor,  Erin has a koha copy for you to collect.

Te Tuhi
Saturday 26 August / 11:30am
13 Reeves Road, Pakuranga
Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland

Curator Andrew Kennedy and the Te Tuhi team have very generously offered to host the Tāmaki book launch for us at the gallery — please join us in celebrating \\\ Present Tense : Wāhine Toi Aotearoa — a paper record. /// on Saturday 26 August 2023.

Enjoy Contemporary Art Space
Saturday 12 August / 2:00—4:00pm
Cuba Street
Pōneke Wellington

After Kirikiriroa, we go to Pōneke, which was the last stop on our 2019 hīkoi under the Director-ship of Sophie Davis, and now, thanks to Director Daniel John Corbett Sanders welcoming us back on an impromptu whim, we are excited to be planning for Saturday 12 August! Please come and meet us at the gallery — collect your pukapuka — we will celebrate with a few words soon after 2pm, kōrero over coffee, kanohi ki te kanohi.

25th Ramp Festival
Tuesday 8 August 2023 / 3:30–4:30pm
Social Space / R Block / Wintec
Kirikiriroa Hamilton

With the support of the Lost Time project and Creative New Zealand, Designers Speak (Up) + Catherine Griffiths & Bruce Connew of Vapour Momenta Books will launch \\\ Present Tense : Wāhine Toi Aotearoa — a paper record. /// with Festival director Megan Lyon, Gallery director Wendy Richdale, ĀKAU & friends at Ramp Festival, 3:30pm, 8 August 2023. The festival is free to attend and we’d love to see you there.


Transformations: Action on Equity symposium: Parlour and MSD — Melbourne School of Design present two days of lively, incisive and necessary exchange on gender equity in the built environment professions. Catherine Griffiths will speak about Designers Speak (Up) in a panel discussion, Get organised! action at the grassroots / 14 + 15 November 2019, University of Melbourne

Authentic Participation: Design for Social Innovation symposium / Aotearoa Design Upholding Te Tiriti (Treaty of Waitangi) and diversity in design: Desna Whaanga-Schollum and Lucy Tukua of Ngā Aho — Māori Design Professionals Inc & Catherine Griffiths of Designers Speak (Up) collaborate to dig into the realities of designing in Aotearoa across cultures / 19 + 20 November 2019, AUT, Tāmaki Makaurau



The founding mothers: how Māori women are reclaiming their birthright this Waitangi / Michelle Duff, Pou Tiaki, StuffNZ, February 7, 2021

Ahakoa He Iti He Pounamu* features ĀKAU, “Our name represents the energy created by bringing things together. We bring ideas together, we bring communities together, we bring people together.” — Ana Heremaia, co-founder with architect Felicity Brenchley and designer Ruby Watson, in conversation with Emma Telfer & Sophie Rzepecky / “This issue brings together thinkers and doers, storytellers and engagers, to consider how together our civic actions, big or small, fill the gaps when our systems splutter.” — editorial / Assemble Papers 13: Mind the Gap, February 2021

Bridget Williams Books for biography, memoir, groundbreaking reference works, and contributions to critical scholarship on New Zealand history, Māori history, women’s issues and contemporary topics, see Books, BWB Texts and Collections.

Strange Goods offers a curated selection of multi-disciplinary arts books, publications and objects from across Aotearoa, New Zealand. They proudly support Designers Speak (Up) with a selection of silkscreen prints on display, and available from their online shop ;–)

What does Māori architecture look like today? Architectural designer Jade Kake looks at the role tikanga and hapūtanga plays in Māori architecture and design, and how tauiwi architects can support Māori practitioners … “By virtue of our training and our commitment to our communities, as Māori architects and designers we necessarily become bridge builders between te ao Māori and te ao Pākehā. This can be an intensely challenging process for those of us who are urbanised, disconnected and reconnecting. Sometimes it can feel that we are neither experts in our culture or our profession.” / Jade Kake, The Spinoff, January 7, 2020

Artist Sarah Callesen is no stranger to Britomart – along with Rachel Ashby, she created the on-site work I Wish To Communicate With You for this year’s Auckland Art Fair. She’s also one of the women artists who contributed a poster to the current Present Tense : Wāhine Toi Aotearoa project — Britomart’s contribution to next week’s Artweek Auckland. Jeremy Hansen talks to Sarah about her work here.

Elisapeta Heta is “passionately multidisciplinary by nature”, working within the fields of architecture, design, art, literature and community-building and outreach. She’s also one of almost 100 women designers whose works feature in the Present Tense : Wāhine Toi Aotearoa poster project displayed on the Customs Street and Gore Street construction hoardings around The Hotel Britomart. Jeremy Hansen talks to her about the poem-based poster she created, as well as the work she does to lift up voices of the communities she belongs to. Click here to read.

Painting the town red: a new exhibition of graphic art by women / Britomart’s Jeremy Hansen talks to Catherine Griffiths about gender imbalance, the protest, and the poster series  / Britomart Works on Paper with Phantom Billstickers will showcase 94 Wāhine Toi posters, printed at large scale, rotating every Wednesday for four weeks from 18 September to 16 October / Tāmaki Makaurau, Aotearoa NZ, September 12, 2019

Designing women / An enlightenment project exploring the impact of women in design aims to raise awareness of an ongoing gender imbalance in the design industry / Readymag, September 12, 2019

Present Tense : Wāhine Toi Aotearoa essays, texts, interviews:

essay / Disappointing the past and failing the future / Emma Ng, October 2019
curatorial text / From Protest to Present / Sophie Davis, October 2019
essay / Towards A Wider Understanding of Design / Michelle Wang, October 2019
essay / Te Marama / The Moon / Elle Loui August, September 2019
interview / Painting the town red / Jeremy Hansen, September 2019
essay / Mauri — an opportunity to connect / Desna Whaanga-Schollum, August 2019
artist text / On being present… / Mere Taylor-Tuiloma, August 2019
essay / Snakes, Ladders and Tables / Chloe Geoghegan, July 2019
curatorial text / No longer the exception / Lucy Wardle, August 2019
essay / Broken record / Lana Lopesi, April 2019
curatorial text / This present future / Wendy Richdale, April 2019
radio / Erin Broughton & Catherine Griffiths / Yujin Shin, August 2019

Mind the (Price) Gap – It is a Gender Thing / An Art Basel panel discussion addresses gender discrimination in the art market: Valeria Napoleone, Art Collector and Philanthropist, London; Candice Breitz, Artist, Berlin; Susanne Vielmetter, Founder, Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects, Los Angeles; Moderator: Jan Dalley, Arts Editor, Financial Times, London / June 14, 2019, Art Basel

Designers Speak (Up) gives visibility to the “unsung diversity” of Aotearoa design / Jyni Ong, It’s Nice That, May 9, 2019

Design. Diversity. Two powerful words. What happens when they collide?
— a look at why diversity in design is important, and highlight some great initiatives making Aotearoa New Zealand more diverse and inclusive / Jade Tang-Taylor, Judith Thompson, Idealogue, May 7, 2019

Broken record “…what really shocked me was not a statistic that we found but rather one very specific and very particular resistance — a resistance to the term ‘Pākehā’” / Lana Lopesi on diversity, Present Tense : Wāhine Toi Aotearoa, April 30, 2019

Amplifying Muslim Voices: A Reading List and other writings by voices speaking to the issues, confront our own complacency towards white supremacy and islamophobia, deep-rooted racism and white defensiveness, investigating the nothing-comes-out-of-a-vacuum, and finding ways to “interrogate our own biases and those of others to prevent hate from spreading” / Pantograph Punch, March 24, 2019

Figures that don’t add up. In Aotearoa New Zealand, Designers Speak (Up) is challenging the male-dominated awards system. / Catherine Griffiths for Eye Magazine’s Blog, published on International Women’s Day, March 8, 2019

Examining the causes of stereotypes and challenging deeply rooted preconceptions about sex differences, Angela Saini’s Inferior is at the top of our book list.

All the films directed by women that should have been Oscar nominated / Nick Chen, Dazed, January 23, 2019

We knew we were making history / Alexis Hunter, TateShots / Born in New Zealand, artist Alexis Hunter moved to London in the 1970s. A painter and photographer who used feminist theory in her work, Hunter was politically active and deeply involved in the emerging British feminist scene.

Designers Speak (Up) launches directory of New Zealand women designers / Elly Strang, Idealog Magazine, October, 2018

Vivian Lynn, Extricating Form: 1969-1984 / curated by Christina Barton, Bowerbank Ninow, September 12 – October 13, 2018

Reputations: Sheila Levrant de Bretteville / ‘Diversity and inclusiveness are our only hope. It is not possible to plaster everything over with clean elegance. Dirty architecture, fuzzy theory and dirty design must also be out there.’ / Interview by Ellen Lupton, Eye No 8 vol. 2, 1993

“Ninth Street Women: Lee Krasner, Elaine de Kooning, Grace Hartigan, Joan Mitchell, and Helen Frankenthaler: Five Painters and the Movement That Changed Modern Art” — Mary Gabriel / reviewed by Jennifer Szalai, New York Times, September 26, 2018

What would cities look like if they were designed by mothers? Christine Murray, The Guardian, August 2018

Equal Pay Starts with Transparency / Dr Ryan Greenaway-McGrevy, Newsroom, August 2018

Diversity & Inclusion: A Panel / Natasha Markham, A+W NZ, February 2018

The Bamboo Ceiling / ‘It can be hard to aspire to leadership when you can’t identify with anyone at the top. But that might just be changing’ / Fiona Young, Parlour, November 2017

The Real Issue is Access / Lynda Simmons, A+W NZ, October 2015


Aotearoa New Zealand

Architecture + Women • New Zealand
Authority Collective
Best Design Awards
Black Females in Architecture
Design Assembly
Designers Institute of New Zealand
Designers Speak (Up) / FacebookInstagram
Directory of Women Designers
Enjoy Public Art Gallery
Indigenous Design & Innovation Aotearoa
Laurel Projects
Ministry for Women
Ngā Aho
New Zealand Institute of Architects
The Pantograph Punch
Paper Source NZ
RAMP Gallery
Strange Goods


Eye Magazine
Graphics UK Women
Invisible: Women in Australian Graphic Design
Parlour: women, equity, architecture
Women of Graphic Design

Add to the list with your contribution


Kōrero for design students: Present Tense: Wāhine Toi Aotearoa at Enjoy Contemporary Art Space, Pōneke / Join the gallery for a morning of presentations by designers and lecturers about their practices and involvement in the project, followed by morning tea and an open discussion, hosted by Hōhua Thompson and Sophie Davis: see FB event

Present Tense : Wāhine Toi Aotearoa Coffee and discussion with Catherine Griffiths
11am, Saturday 26 October at Enjoy Contemporary Art Space: see FB event

Present Tense : Wāhine Toi Aotearoa at Enjoy Contemporary Art Space, Pōneke! / poster project + exhibition hīkoi curated and organised by Directory of Women Designers + Designers Speak (Up) / 25 October – 23 November 2019 / opening 5:00pm, Thursday 24 October: see FB event

Present Tense : Wāhine Toi Aotearoa artist talk/kōrero / Join Luke Wood and Catherine Griffiths in conversation with Erin Broughton, Nicola Devine and Jessica Thompson Carr.  4 October, 12:30–1:30pm, Ilam Campus Gallery, Ilam School of Fine Arts, University of Canterbury / See FB event

Present Tense : Wāhine Toi Aotearoa at Ilam Campus Gallery ŌTAUTAHI! / poster project + exhibition hīkoi curated and organised by Directory of Women Designers + Designers Speak (Up) / 4 October – 1 November 2019 (opening 5:00pm, Thursday 3 October: see FB event

Britomart Works on Paper / Present Tense : Wāhine Toi Aotearoa, Tāmaki Makaurau! / 4th stop on the hīkoi, Britomart Works on Paper with Phantom Billstickers will showcase 94 of the 114 posters from the ‘Present Tense : Wāhine Toi Aotearoa’ project, printed at large scale, rotating every Wednesday for four weeks from 18 September – 16 October, 2019 / curated and organised by Directory of Women Designers + Designers Speak (Up)

Britomart Works on Paper / Opening hui for the Works on Paper display on Tuesday 24 September 2019, 6pm, corner of Customs Street East and Gore Street, followed by a gathering at The Brit, 122 Quay Street, Britomart. All welcome! See FB event

DA Spring Conversations / Auckland / Wellington / Christchurch — planet centric design — what is the role and responsibility of the designer? / Thursday 19 September (details for each in the links)

Present Tense : Wāhine Toi Aotearoa at Te Pū o Te Wheke Arts KAIKOHE! / poster project + exhibition hīkoi curated and organised by Directory of Women Designers + Designers Speak (Up) / 29 August – 15 September 2019 (opening 6:00pm, Thursday 29 August: see FB event

Ngā Aho Māori Designers visit to Ihumātao / Protect Ihumatao — SOUL / Ihumātao Quarry Road, Auckland / 1:30 – 4:30pm, Saturday 24 August, 2019 / RSVP required

Re:imagining Present Tense / zine-making + risograph-printing workshop with Erin Broughton and Gilbert May / Laurel Projects + Designers Speak (Up) / Otago Polytechnic School of Design / 10:00am – 6:00pm, 24 August, 2019

Poster Auction! / Limited edition silkscreen prints / A1 size (841 x 594mm) on Colourplan paper supplied by Paper Source NZ, hand-printed by Struan Hamilton, Greg Thomas, and Designers Speak (Up) volunteers / All proceeds into the project and publication, with a koha from Designers Speak Up + Laurel Projects to Protect Ihumātao [SOUL] / closes 23 August, 2019. Bidding open!

Designers Speak (Up!) kōrero / kai at Laurel Projects / Chloe Geoghegan, Luci McConnon, Leigh Paterson, Catherine Griffiths, chaired by Erin Broughton / 12:30 – 2:00pm / 418 Princes St, Ōtepoti/Dunedin

Present Tense : Wāhine Toi Aotearoa at Laurel Projects ŌTEPOTI! / poster project + exhibition hīkoi curated and organised by Directory of Women Designers + Designers Speak (Up) / 2–23 August 2019 (opening 5:30pm, Friday 2 August: see FB event)

NUKU Live / Winter Wānanga / reset + reflect + reconnect / Makaurau Marae, Ihumātao / 8:30–5:00pm, July 27, 2019

Ramp Festival of Music, Media, Arts & Design / Wintec School of Media Arts, Kirikiriroa / 23–26 July, 2019

2019 CommUNITY / exhibition + auction, San Francisco Design Week / June 20–28, 2019

kōrero / kai / mahi Present Tense : Wāhine Toi Aotearoa / RAMP Gallery, Kirikiriroa, 10:30 – 4:00pm, 11 May, 2019 /  see FB event

Present Tense : Wāhine Toi Aotearoa / RAMP Gallery, Kirikiriroa, April 30 – May 24, 2019 / opening Tuesday 30 April, 4:30 – 7:30pm / see FB event

Whakanuia: 6 Things Not to Miss in Hamilton / “The city’s not dead, you’re just not looking. Kirikiriroa is ablaze with exciting art offerings.” The Pantograph Punch, 3 May, 2019

TDC64 exhibition / St Paul St Gallery 3, AUT, Auckland, April 2 – 17, 2019 / brought to Aotearoa by award-winning duo Osborne Shiwan

I Too Am in Paradise II / Raewyn Atkinson, Objectspace, Auckland, February 14 – March 24, 2019

John Scott Works / David Straight, Objectspace, Auckland, February 14 – March 24, 2019 / exhibition and book design, Catherine Griffiths

Design Assembly’s Autumn Conversations / Ministry of Awesome, Christchurch, March 21, 2019

Walking Backwards / Katrina Beekuis, Enjoy Public Art Gallery, Wellington, February 8 – March 9, 2019

Alexis Hunter, Sexual Warfare / until 3 Feb 2019, Goldsmiths CCA, London

Second Designers Speak (Up) hui/kai/mahi = poster screen-printing session / 10–4pm, AUT printmaking department, January 15, 2018

Designers Speak (Up) hui/kai/mahi = poster screen-printing session / 10–4pm, AUT printmaking department, December 5, 2018

Doubling Down with Double Denim Directors / workshop and talk with Anna Dean + Angela Meyer at Objectspace, Design Assembly, October 26, 2018

Diversity in Aotearoa New Zealand Design — what does it mean and why does it matter? / Design Assembly Spring Conversations, Auckland and Wellington, October 16, 2018

Taonga tuku Iho. Treasure handed down / a focus on indigenous ‘diversity weaving’, Desna Whaanga-Schollum, Keynote speaker, Artlands Australia, October 10, 2018

Public forum workshops x3 / Designers Institute of New Zealand, AKL: October 9, WGN: October 11, CHC: October 17, 2018