Design Factory NZ

Kia ora, welcome to the Design Factory NZ

Our mission is simple – to help people unlock their problem solving and innovation skills. 

Based in the heart of Hamilton, we bring together students, teachers, business, and community leaders to help co-create the future. We coach students and industry partners through human-centred design journeys, helping them create deep understandings of their problems and powerful solutions to solve their challenges.

Design Factory NZ offers programs for undergraduate and postgraduate studies, as well as professional development courses and workshops for businesses and community groups.

Our way

We use a globally-proven approach to ensure the delivery of high-quality results for both our students and business partners. 

Drawing on Design Thinking insights from global practitioners and researchers, our programs all include:

  • Coaching through the problem-solving process using strategies such as Design Thinking, empathy, prototyping, user-testing, ideation and iteration;
  • Blending practice and theory to create thoughtful and experienced problem-solving practitioners;
  • Training in methods from our Design Thinking Toolbox – that can be adapted and applied to a range of business contexts;
  • Customised to the needs of the attendees – whether Wintec students studying for a semester, or business professionals attending for half-a-day.

Learning opportunities

Design Factory NZ offers a range of learning experiences for current Wintec students seeking to prepare for the future workplace, and work-place leaders exploring graduate study options for themselves and their teams.

Design Factory NZ courses

Design Thinking Launchpad: Designed for Level 6 Wintec students, DT Launchpad provides a foundation class in innovation and problem-solving. Learn a framework for engaging with complex problems, and grow your toolbox in prototyping, empathising, ideating, and more.

Design Factory Industry Project: Our Level 7 course for Wintec students offers the opportunity to work alongside industry and solve a real-world problem using the design thinking skill-set. Learn how to network with employers, how to understand their organisational challenges, and how to create a human-centred solution to be launched in the real-world.

Postgraduate Certificate in Innovation and Master of Applied Innovation: If you want to learn a world-class innovation approach while applying it to your workplace or start-up, our postgraduate programs are designed to enable your problem-solving development while you work. Offering flexible study options, regular innovation coaching, and a blend of academic and industry expert supervision on offer, join us and discover more about growing your innovation expertise with Design Factory NZ.

Professional development

Are you looking to develop the innovation skills of your organisation? Design Factory NZ provides bespoke Design Thinking workshops and consultation for the non-profit and business community – helping your business grow in their innovation skills. Opportunities include:

D1: Design Dash: Our three-hour design sprint curated to offer a fast-paced problem-solving experience for teams, managers, and employees. Empowering, fun, and designed to give a taster in Design Thinking.

D2: Deep Dive: Our two-day immersive experience providing a bespoke design journey for a business or organisation. This focuses on teaching Design Thinking by exploring and solving a complex business challenge currently faced by the participants.

Problem solving for industry

Design Factory NZ combines the strength of a global innovation network with best practice frameworks, and leaders in the Design-Thinking discipline, with the power of youthful, creative, and hungry minds to help solve your biggest organisational challenges.

Design Factory Global Network

Design Factory NZ is part of the Design Factory Global Network (DFGN) - a network of innovation hubs in universities and research organisations in five continents of the world. 

DFGN is on a mission to create change in the world of learning and research through passion-based culture and effective problem solving. Shared understanding and common ways of working enable Design Factories in the network to collaborate efficiently across cultures, time zones and organisational boundaries fostering radical innovations.

We provide a range of opportunities to participate in the Global Network – from our annual global hackathon Rat Relay, through to internships at Design Factories around the globe.

What is Design Thinking?

  • Design Thinking is a methodology for creative problem solving
  • Design Thinking focuses on solutions
  • Design Thinking is a creative process to build up ideas
  • Design Thinking is more of a creative, than traditional, problem-solving approach
DFNZ is a co-creation space where students work with industry partners to solve complex problems.

Meet the team

Margi Moore

Design Factory NZ Director

Project Lead of Interesting Things

Aidan Bigham

Facilitator & Coach

Supporter, Provocateur & Collaborator

Elna Fourie

Facilitator & Coach

Prompter, Conductor & Collaborator

Mira Cornes

Design Factory NZ Co-ordinator

Chief Stuff Sorter-Outer

Jeremy Suisted

Facilitator & Coach

Minister of Maximisation & Joy


  • Wintec opens its doors to a global classroom

    When Design Factory NZ coach, Aidan Bigham was asked to create a design thinking course for global online learning platform FutureLearn, he was expecting some interest, but sign-ups to the free four-week course took him by surprise.

  • Leading educators from China visit Wintec

    Senior leaders from 10 leading Chinese vocational education institutions met at Waikato Institute of Technology (Wintec) last week to find inspiration in the way teaching and learning is delivered.

Upcoming events

No events.