Rachael Archer Kiwi Kai

  • Tauira / Student
    Rachael Archer
  • Kaiako / Lecturer
    Annette OSullivan

The North Island brown Kiwi is a unique flightless nocturnal New Zealand native bird. It has special significance as a national symbol and is familiar to the local people. However, these birds face many threats and their numbers are decreasing.

My first solution was to design a set of informational posters to establish facts and statistics about kiwi. The quirky design of the posters reflect the nature of kiwi and inspired the design of my second solution. The Kiwi Kai lunch box, drink bottle and school backpack were designed to educate school children on the coolness of kiwi, encouraging empathy for the bird and engagement with conservation efforts. Kiwi also refers to New Zealand children and Kai is the te reo Maori word for food, as children are ‘feeding’ the kiwi through their support. Tamariki (children) are the future kaitiaki (guardians) of kiwi, and without their investment in kiwi conservation we cannot hope to restore the species. I chose vibrant colours and a whimsical illustration style as I wanted to foster an appealing, charming, and handmade aesthetic to convey important kiwi facts.

The lunchbox design highlights the cute, interesting, and unique physical features of the kiwi written in a comical and whimsical manner. On the drink bottle, the information conveyed explains where in the country brown kiwi live, as well as their world record for laying the largest eggs relative to their body size. The backpack design ties it all together, the colours and the patterns combined. The kiwi’s belly is integrated into the design of the bag to give a silly element to the product, and relates to the information communicated about the kiwi’s diet; cute and cartoony bugs represented in bright colours that sit inside the bird’s tummy. The interactive nature of this product design encourages tamariki to engage and bond with kiwi.

Through these clear and fun messages and strong visual style, the connection between kiwi and tamariki can be formed. The messages reinforce the importance of caring for this unique native bird.