David Hakaraia: my passion for mātauranga Māori

Starting Trimester 2, 17th July 2017, David will be delivering the Mātauranga Design course as part of our Master of Design Technology and Master of User Experience Design programmes.

David Hakaraia
Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Paoa

Ko Rakaumangamanga te maunga
Ko Taumarere te awa
Ko Ipipiri te Moana
Ko Ngātokimatawhaorua te waka
Ko Ngāpuhi te Iwi
Ko Ngati Kuta me Patukeha nga hapū
Ko Te Rawhiti te Marae
Ko David Hakaraia taku ingoa

Programme Director First Year @ School of Design, Victoria University of Wellington

Mātauranga Design (CCDN412) Course Coordinator and Lecturer @ Wellington ICT Graduate School

Q. What are your research interests and methods?

Throughout both my post graduate studies and my ongoing design practice I have shown a passion for mātauranga Māori. My experience of and with Indigenous knowledge has helped to shape me professionally. My research looks at how Māori traditions and narratives can be used to express and develop a contemporary Māori visual language. I like to incorporate both traditional and modern digital fabrication techniques to express more culturally appropriate design solutions that acknowledge mātauranga Māori.

Q. How do you apply that in the classroom?

My teaching philosophy aims to create a unique, whanaungatanga learning environment which emphasises cultural inclusiveness, respect, communication and transparency. I believe education should be a reciprocal relationship. Within Te Ao Māori, this concept is called Ako.

David with his son, Wiremu

Q. Tell us more about Ako, your teaching philosophy.

Ako means to both teach and to learn. It identifies the knowledge that teachers and learners (this could be students, staff and professional peers) exchange and recognises the way that this new knowledge can be developed from these shared learning experiences. I believe we have a responsibility to our students to not only teach the relevant topics and technology of our time, but to also look to our pre-colonial past and to our Indigenous technologies. These learning experiences should always be evolving just as technology and professional practices evolve.

Q. What will your students learn?

As an educator my aim is to contribute to the construction of a distinctive design education that allows the student to develop both an inward and outwardly facing appreciation of cultural heritage. I will guide the students to facilitate the formation of a culturally autonomous visual design language that is acknowledged and respected on a global scale, while having the potential to be commercially viable.

I like to think of ourselves as kaitiaki (guardians) who are willing to carry forward the whakaaro (thinking) and tikanga (practices) that guide and enlighten our students/communities imparting knowledge to future generations, and providing a connection which extends from the distant past into the future.

To learn more about David Hakaraia’s design work, visit: www.hakaraia.co.nz

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