Wednesday, March 07, 2007


KIWI NUGGETSTM is a series dedicated to extracting artefacts from the goldmine (or should that be minefield?) that is New Zealand design history and interrogating them through a design lens. The focus will be on products and brands designed for medium to high-volume manufacture.

KIWI NUGGETSTM stories are works in progress. Readers are invited to collaborate in the ongoing process of digging deeper, creating context and polishing perceptions.

Firstly, you are invited to post comments below this introduction to suggest subjects for this series - or if you prefer, contact the writer by emailing

Secondly, each story will be presented as a summary of what we know and what we still want to find out. Your comments, corrections, clarifications and any new information will be most welcome.


Anonymous Paul said...

Hey guys, what a great idea for a blog.

I have two suggestions:

The first, I wouldn't for the life of me know if it was Kiwi made, but I remember riding my 10speed bike around the streets of Twizel in 1979 listening to my ATOM transistor radio. Brilliant white colur and not much bigger than the original walkman size, and if I remember right, a round tuning dial. It was so cool, I strapped it to the front of my bike and I thought I was CHiPs. I hope it was a Kiwi invention/product.

The second is graphic design. I loved PasteUp the history of Kiwi poster book. I'd love to know more about the NZ Breweries posters. The ones in particular featured NZ maps with 'classic kiwi' activities in iconic lovations, Hermitage & Taupo, and/or Maori people doing their thing, toi, hangi etc. NZ travel posters in general are great and little know of, many works were contributed to 'Art Department' of many different institutions. For instance some of the artwork coming out of the Otago Daily Times in the 50s and 60s was stunning but uncredited.

Good luck with the blog, who knows what will come up.

March 09, 2007 8:29 PM  
Blogger Michael Smythe said...

Thanks Paul and welcome - you are my first commenter!
I will chase up the ATOM - I believe there is a book about the NZ radio industry.
Posters are a bit outside teh field I am researching but
a)I works at National Publicity Studios in 1963 and
b) I was friends with Lavinia Starton whose father ran a business in Hawkes Bay making NZ souveneir maps and tea towels, tec.
Please keep your recollections coming.
Cheers Michael Smythe

March 09, 2007 10:33 PM  

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