New Zealand's Best

Black Pin Winners

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The Designers Institute
Black Pin

Awarded to a member of the Designers Institute who has made a lasting and valuable contribution to the New Zealand design profession and towards design in general.

Cathy Veninga

Cathy Veninga

Cathy’s involvement with the Designers Institute of New Zealand spans over 20 years. She joined as a designer in 1992 and was elected onto the Board in 1998. In 2003 Cathy became the first female president of the Institute, and then in 2005 the first CEO. Cathy has built a vibrant and inclusive organisation with a culture around creating community. She has ensured that the Institute is viewed as credible through its many programmes, awards and professional service offerings. Cathy has cultivated international relationships including a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the DesignInstitute of Australia (DIA) and the Australian Graphic Design Association (AGDA), and an MOU with the Industrial Design Society of America (IDSA). Cathy is a Fellow of the Institute.

Grenville Main

Grenville Main

Grenville Main is the creative director and managing director of strategic design consultancy, DNA, and Fellow of the Designers Institute of New Zealand..

Grenville graduated from Wellington Polytechnic with a diploma in Visual Communications. He learned his craft from Gus van de Roer who was confident enough to entrust him with the task of establishing Van de Roer Design in Auckland. But Grenville was soon drawn back to Wellington, where he was employed by Bright Newlands and Associates. Grenville became a shareholder and along with Christine Adern dragged the renamed BNA design out of the post 1987 doldrums and onto the stage as an emerging design talent. BNA (renamed DNA in 2000) gradually morphed from a graphic design team into a fully confident strategic consultancy across many media.

  • 2012 Sven Baker
  • 2011 Fraser Gardyne
  • 2010 Tim Hooson
  • 2009 Dave Clark
  • 2008 Professor Leong Yap
  • 2007 Brian Richards
  • 2006 Grant Alexander
  • 2005 Hugh Mullane & Craig Horrocks
  • 2004 Michael Smythe
  • 2003 Ray Labone
  • 2002 Doug Heath
  • 2001 Robin Beckett
  • 2000 David Bartlett
  • 1999 John Hughes
  • 1998 Not awarded
  • 1997 Max Hailstone

The John Britten
Black Pin

The highest award given by the Designers Institute and celebrates an individual who has achieved significant success in the field of design both nationally and internationally.

Kent Parker

Kent Parker

Kent Parker, as joint general manager of Formway Design Studio, has achieved international recognition in the highly competitive category of commercial furniture.

Kent studied at the Wellington Polytechnic School of Design. After graduating with honours in 1991, Kent had a stint with Fisher & Paykel in Dunedin. He then travelled to France for several years to work with well known biodynamic designer Luigi Colani and returned to New Zealand to begin working with friends Richard Taylor and Tania Rodger at the then little known Weta Workshop.

Kent became lead designer of Fromway in 1999 and since then has led the design team in the development of the Free Desking System, the Be Chair (which became licensed to US furniture giants, Knoll, as Generation by Knoll), the Belite Chair (licensed to Knoll as Re Generation by Knoll).

  • 2012 Ian Athfield
  • 2011 Mark Elmore
  • 2010 Dean Poole
  • 2009 Joseph Churchward
  • 2008 Laurie Davidson
  • 2007 David Trubridge
  • 2006 Gary Paykel
  • 2005 Mark Pennington
  • 2004 Richard Taylor
  • 2003 Peter Haythornthwaite
  • 2002 Ann Robinson
  • 2001 Humphrey Ikin
  • 2000 Bruce Farr
  • 1999 Karen Walker
  • 1998 Gifford Jackson
  • 1997 James Coe
  • 1996 John Britten