Kātoitoi, the Aotearoa Design Archive, is a response to our world, our collective voice.

Kātoitoi curates work that reflects contemporary design practice, the economic, societal and cultural impact of design throughout Aotearoa New Zealand. The Archive examines emerging trends, shifting values, building professional archaeology of our people and practice. Like the South Island Robin which the Aotearoa Design Archive is named after, our design community is small but speaks with a large, brave voice that reverberates throughout the world. Kātoitoi, he iti te rahi, he nui te kōrero. Kātoitoi, whilst it may be small, its voice is large.

Kātoitoi Birdsong

How the work is archived

After submissions close Midnight March 23rd, 2021, an impartial panel of 14 design leaders will evaluate each design based on the projects significance, innovation, craft, and kaupapa; particularly where work departs from technical, visual or philosophical norms. The review panel will rank the body of work against assessment criteria driven by the Archive's vision and values. This year's collection will include the design artefacts with the highest cumulative scores in each category. Our community will then respond to the selected work through a series of interviews, critical essays, peer reviews and visual artworks to form a body of research and knowledge around our practice and practitioners today.

Output Categories:

  • Motion – Kori
  • Packaging – Pūhera
  • Publication – Pukapuka
  • Digital Design – Toi Matihiko
  • Environmental – Kaupapa Taiao
  • Identity – Tuakiri
  • Typography – Momotuhi
  • Self-initiated – Tāku kaupapa
  • Student – Ākonga
  • Campaign – Pānuitanga

Kaupapa Categories:

  • Identity – People & Culture
  • Identity – Place
  • Identity – Politics & Action
  • Innovation – Technical
  • Innovation – Methodological
  • Innovation – Philosophical
  • Impact – Social Good
  • Impact – Environmental Stewardship
  • Impact – Reach / Results / ROI
  • Wildcard – Unique Projects

Call & Response

Kātoitoi is a diverse representation and discussion of what our community is creating at a given point in time. A digital (and physical) collection of artefacts and dialogue. The Aotearoa Design Archive focuses on community response and kōrero. Learn more about our kaupapa, people, and process here.

Submissions cost $60 per project for individual design professionals, agencies and studios. DA Friends receive a 50% discount on their submissions fees. Friends Plus submissions are included in their annual subscription. Kātoitoi is also offering 50 scholarship (free) submissions to designers who are currently experiencing financial hardship, became unemployed between 1st of April 2020 and 31st of March 2021; and reserved 100 sponsored submissions for community and educational organisations. If the fee is a barrier to submit your work, please email [email protected].

News and updates

Help shape design history, contribute to our national discourse and stay in touch by joining our mailing list.