We had the privilege of helping engage the designers of tomorrow by supporting Auckland University of Technology's Shear Wool paper, which is centred on using strong wool in new product designs.
We chose New Zealand strong wool as our fibre of choice due to its incredible inherent properties. Although traditionally used in carpets, rugs and upholstery, we believe there are countless possible uses for this underutilised wonder fibre waiting to be unearthed.
As part of this paper, these second-year Industrial Design students were tasked with taking the waste wool from our manufacturing process and developing innovative product designs and systems using this amazing fibre.
There was a wide range of incredible techniques on display, from felting and digital knitting to mixing strong wool with other natural materials, such as clay, to create textile samples.
The students then took these samples and initial ideas and developed them into a final concept they had to turn into a fully realised product. The students designed a wide range of products, including construction materials, fashion accessories, furniture, and more, showcasing the many uses of wool.
It was incredible to see that these future innovators of wool truly understood the fibre and were prepared to experiment and put it through different processes to create the product they had in mind.
Evona Lee, Architecture & Design Consultant at Bremworth, provided a lecture for the students and found it inspirational to be back where she studied Design (major in textiles) and see 'soft materials' such as wool being explored in other faculties such as industrial design which is traditionally 'hard material' or tech-focused.
Whakamihi, congratulations to all the students for their exceptional work and to lecturers Jyoti Kalyanji and Daniel Collings.