Featured Awards Winner

Laura Wadley

April 2018

A big congrats to Laura Wadley, one of our 30 TDK Awards’ winners for 2018. An Ara Institute of Canterbury student from Christchurch, her work was chosen by Steven & Justin from National Forest: “Laura’s work is strong, concise, and well organized. When reviewing portfolios we’ll often notice that the layout and design of the portfolio gets overlooked. Laura’s book shows that she not only cares about the layout of the work being presented, but also the beauty in the work itself”. We asked Laura to answer a few questions for next years TDK Awards’ hopefuls.

What has been some of the biggest lessons you’ve learnt along the way?

  1. Stay curious—constantly pursue expanding your knowledge in things that excite you, whether this is in pottery, sustainability, surfing—these skills will subconsciously flow into your design work and make your designs more interesting—they will make you more interesting.

  2. Design to make a positive difference. Design is so much more than traditional graphics. It is an incredible platform to affect change across a wide range of issues.

  3. Be a nice person—but stand up for what you want. Approach designing by being true to who you are.

  4. Ask questions. What does it mean to be a designer? Who should we design for? What responsibilities do we have as designers? Can I do this In a better way?

  5. You make your own opportunities. Push yourself to get outside your comfort zone and put yourself out there, never doubt your capability.

Where do you think design is heading in the next five years and how will you adapt?

It is such an exciting time to be a creative. Given the challenge of a world where many things seem to be changing—in how we eat, connect, learn, live and just about everything else—our roles as designers are shifting; A socio-political activist, an innovator, a collaborator, a cross-disciplinary creative. Creative people are using new technologies and new thinking—continuing to find more incredible ways to engage with the wider world. In an industry driven by change, if you don’t move— you are at risk of being left behind. Creative thinking and authenticity will remain some of our most important skills as designers and one of the biggest contributions to our world.

What advice would you give students starting out?

Get involved in as much stuff as possible. Go to events, turn up, network, try to gain as much experience as possible. Embrace change, stay true to yourself, be willing to adapt, stay curious, keep learning, and keep moving.

"

Your college years are where you can push the boundaries, find your niche, create a solid body of work and have the time to focus on in-depth and intellectual projects

"

What was your plan for graduating and what actually happened? OR What is your plan for graduating?

Graduating is such an exciting space to be in. The final push where some of your best and most authentic work is produced. Throughout college I had faith that If you work hard, strive to grow, make an effort, put yourself out there and believe in yourself—you will be able to open yourself to more opportunities after study.

Your college years are where you can push the boundaries, find your niche, create a solid body of work and have the time to focus on in-depth and intellectual projects. At the end of my degree I had the amazing opportunity of working a design internship at Strategy Creative Christchurch. It was here where I could apply all my skills into a real-world scenario and learn how to navigate a professional environment with a very talented and supportive team of people. If you can land an internship before graduating you will have invaluable experiences that will be a stepping stone into the industry. It is here where you grow— your network, your body of work, yourself. After 4 intense years of studying, I have begun my grad years a little differently by taking the time to look after myself and freelance for a business in the lovely seaside town of Sumner.

Website: lau-ra-design.com

Instagram: @laura__wadley

Behance: /Laura-Wadley

Linkedin: Laura Wadley

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