As Otago Polytechnic student Stefan Savage-Mason prepares to graduate on Friday 16 December, he has another reason to feel a sense of accomplishment.

The Bachelor of Design (Communication) learner’s final-year project involved creating an art activity, which forms an interesting part of “Ka mua, ka muri: Walking backwards into the future”, the Otago Polytechnic exhibition, which opened at Tūhura, Otago Museum, on Friday 9 December. 

“I worked on a stencil kit that will be used as a way of keeping children entertained, get them thinking creatively and also to show the many different career options available based on studying at Otago Polytechnic.” 

Putting design theory into practice is a challenge Stefan really enjoys. Therefore he relished the Otago Museum project, which enabled him to work with a real-world client and a complex design brief.

One of the major design challenges Stefan faced was finding the right materials to produce an attractive, durable and sustainable product that would stand up to use over time in a busy museum environment. 

“The packaging needed to be child-friendly but also as eco-friendly as possible. I was able to use recycled paper and cardboard. The stencils themselves are thick 4.5mm acrylic, so they will not break easily and also look great.”  

Working with other students, instructors, and clients meant Stefan could incorporate feedback along the way to produce the best stencil kit possible.  

“They gave me some really good ideas that drastically improved the project from beginning to end.” 

Stefan hopes that the job-related stencils will inspire kids to get hands-on with art and to imagine a world of possibilities. 

Of course, it means a lot for an up-and-coming designer to be involved with such a notable exhibition, which runs until May 2023.

“I am so happy with the outcome from this project. It’s awesome to have my work in a big venue like the Otago Museum.” 

Otago Polytechnic is a division of Te Pūkenga-New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology.

Read more about our Communication Design programmes here 

Published on 15 Dec 2022

Orderdate: 15 Dec 2022
Expiry: 15 Dec 2024