Landscape Design student, Magda Franzke, came into study with an old school idea of design and came out with an environmentally focused mindset.
Magda graduated from Wintec | Te Pūkenga with a Diploma in Landscape Design (Level 5) at the end of 2022.
Her love for outdoors coupled with her curiosity of how spaces can affect mood and well-being was what encouraged her to enrol in the Landscape Design programme.
“I chose Wintec as I found it really appealing that it's based at the Hamilton Gardens. I thought it would be cool to study right there with all the gardens around, and it was really great to see how many different options Wintec has – I live in Tauranga, and I could find nothing like that here,” she said.
Magda said she really loved how the course covered so many different topics.
“I've learned so much more than I ever expected. That's why I carried on with the next level (after the Level 4) and I found it really cool that we don't just get support with the topics, but that we also got ideas about real life experiences in the field and how to deal with clients. But also, that it is ok to make mistakes and how broad design is, and while everyone has a different approach it is ok to go about it your own way.
During her time at Wintec Magda developed a passion for the environment, especially ecology.
“I was very new to that and I'm just getting into this - my whole world changed. I was looking at design in an old-school way - just making it look appealing aesthetically and all of that. But now I see how the whole environment gets affected by what we do and how important this is.
“Understanding natural patterns and interactions and working with them is quite amazing. It has opened a whole new world for me that I'm getting deeper and deeper into now.”
Magda said she came into study wanting to design amazing spaces using nice materials, but now she wanted to know how to do that while improving the environment.
“How far can I push the client to make a difference in the space that they have? This a big change and I’m a lot more mindful. I also valued learning how other people perceive things and this has taught me the importance of collaboration, and now I’ve worked with few different designers. Design is just a part of what we do - the way we work with people and all the things around that is just as important.”
Magda is now working independently providing specialist garden maintenance to those who want her services, she also works with two designers, one in Tauranga and the other in Rotorua, as a design subcontractor.
“I definitely see myself in self-employment and developing a business so I can carry on designing, although I really like the construction side of things as well. I particularly enjoy using recycled materials so maybe that would be something in the future that I could integrate my designs more. I’d like to specialize in that.”
When thinking about advice she would give to future students Magda said she would tell them to take as much as they could from the course “because if you're really interested and listen, it can really change your whole perspective on design and also your whole world”.
“Ask as much as possible for feedback because the support of the tutors makes you grow as a designer. That is really important. At the start, receiving feedback is hard, but I’ve really learned to appreciate that the feedback helps you grow and this the best thing you can get.
“Like I said, I think design is only half of the work and there's so much more to design, like having people skills and communicating with clients. I think the course that Wintec provides, especially with the amazing tutors, is a great start for that journey,” Magda said.