Tangaroa College Bespoke Shelving Project

14 lessons

Hunt and Gather

In this lessons you will hunt and gather some inspiration to help stimulate design ideas. This part is fun - you get to dive into your own creative heritage and personal aesthetic along with finding crazy outcomes made by other people. Don't rush it - spend the time casting the net wide otherwise there's no point!

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Equipment and Tools

  • Computer/ device with internet
  • Digital portfolio/ workbook

Guiding questions

  • What inspires me personally?
  • Where should I go to find existing examples from NZ designers?
  • What is the difference between being inspired and copying something?
  • How much inspiration is enough?
  • What is my personal aesthetic - and is it appropriate for this brief?

Lesson content

Now it’s time to hunt and gather inspiration to challenge your thinking and expand your mind. We are suggesting three areas to focus on - BUT - the key to this stage is to collate as much ‘relevant goodness’ as possible. Anything that aligns and resonates with your project and your own thinking/aesthetic. So by all means deviate from the list below!

  • Weird and wonderful storage examples. You're looking for the best (and most wild) examples from the world of storage design.
  • Pasifika Style. How Pasifika creative heritage, objects or cultural traditions could be presented and included in your design.
  • Mass Produced vs Custom MadeSeeing how others approach similar projects will be great in broadening your approach. Do you like custom pieces or do you prefer uniformed mass produced items?

This stage is all about finding interesting 'stuff'. Try not to consciously filter too much; just keep it simple. If you like it, gather it.

Once you have a diverse range of imagery, of both storage examples and your own personal design style, you will be ready to 'unpack' what you have gathered and then come up with some of your own ideas.


  1. 1

    Weird + Wonderful Examples

    Find examples of weird and wonderful storage using every possible material/ shape/ form. Evaluate each image in relation to what you could steal + what you should avoid. No two examples should look alike - you need to spend TIME selecting things that appeal to YOU.

    Aim for a range of:

    • Materials - traditional (wood, metal, plastic etc.) through to different (wool, cardboard, bottles, recycled materials etc.)
    • Shape and form -  (curvy and organic, strange looking, traditional from specific cultures, geometric etc.)
    • Price point/ cost - (super cheap through to really expensive designer)
    • Manufacture - (hand made, CNC, laser cut, 3D printed, injection moulded, cast etc.)
    • Colour and texture - (neutral and simple through to wild.

    If working digitally paste your images into your portfolio and add the URL. If you're working by hand you may want to do your hunting and gathering as an A3 Google Doc. If you're working by hand don't forget to note where your images have come from.

    Weird + Wonderful Examples

    Hollie's weird + wonderful examples

  2. 2

    Pasifika Style

    What does it mean to be a designer from Aotearoa? How does being an Island Nation influence our design ideas and outcomes? What do YOU think expresses Pasifika Style, and how does this connect to your own culture?

    Use the following prompts to help you gather examples of what ‘Pasifika style' looks like:

    • Fashion
    • Music
    • Festivals/ ceremonies and event
    • Jewellery and adornment
    • Product Design
    • Graphic Design
    • Everyday objects
    Pasifika Style

    Hollie's Pasifika Style examples

  3. 3

    Mass Produced VS Bespoke

    What are the major differences between something that is designed for general purpose VS something that is for a custom job? Find at least 5 examples of storage solutions that are ‘mass-produced’ and 5 which are ‘bespoke’.

    Compare and contrast your examples and add general notes.


    • Price 
    • Lifespan 
    • Materials 
    • Construction techniques 
    • Users
    • Intended location
    • How well it stores objects 
    • Style
    • Durability

    Summarise (in your opinion) what the MAIN differences between something that is mass-produced (shelving from Bunnings) and something that is bespoke (custom made to suit a specific person/ environment).

    Mass Produced VS Bespoke

    Hollie's mass produced VS bespoke examples

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