Introducing The Dowse Pattern Project

Author: Sasha Greig, Front of House Team Leader

The Pattern Project is a new partnership between emerging and local designers, and MINE: The Dowse Shop.

Borne out of a desire to create Dowse-inspired merchandise that was relevant past the lifespan of an exhibition, and to do more for our community, the Pattern Project is a new way for us for us to celebrate creative excellence in our design community.

The Pattern Project started as a way to create merchandise that connected people to The Dowse, its activities, and its history. Conceived as a multi-edition project, this first edition of the Pattern Project features a design from our very own Dowse in-house designer Michael Pester, and recent Massey University Graduate Connah Hazelwood.

Michael says the following about his design: “My design was inspired by The Dowse Art Museum’s building. Built in 1971—with several major redevelopments over the years—it has a range of idiosyncratic architectural styles and details. Today, looking up at it against the sky, you can see unusual angles and intersecting shapes suggesting the form of the spaces inside.
I took these zig-zagging skylines and layered them over each other to create this pattern. The colours reference the artwork on the exterior of the building, Simon Morris’ Rainscreen (2006), which was originally yellow and is now blue. The texture and cross-hatching of some sections relate to the different materials that the building is made from, and further allude to my architectural inspiration.”

Connah said, “The Dowse Art Museum attracts a variety of people to one place. The idea that so many footsteps had been through the galleries really interested me. I wanted to show this range of people—locals, tourists, artists, workers and families—by illustrating their steps.
I admire how The Dowse is a place and a medium for bringing people together. It’s where people meet, cross paths, appreciate different things, discuss and enjoy diverse artworks.
I showed this quality by playing with scale, shape and colour. The colours used are those seen throughout the museum and create an organic, friendly and fun colour combination.”

Final design from Connah Hazelwood

Final design from Connah Hazelwood

To learn more about this project check out our podcast below.


We are very pleased to be winners of the Museum Shops Association of Australia and New Zealand Award for Best New Product or Range (in the under $1 million turnover category) for our Pattern Project at the 2018 ServiceIQ New Zealand Museum Awards.

Our deepest thanks to everyone that contributed to this project and our heartiest congratulations of all entrants and winners. We are proud to be counted among you.

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