Our Story

In 2011, academics at Massey University saw an opportunity. The industry needed students with experience, and students needed experience in the industry. In this space, Open Lab was founded.

Our name represents who we are. We are staffed by a mix of professional designers, recent graduates and interns, with direct access to mentoring and consulting academics from across the university. Our students have the opportunity to work in an exciting, open and collaborative environment.

Open Lab has grown a lot in a few years, with around 30 students coming through the studio a year. We are now an established design studio based within Massey University's College of Creative Arts, Wellington. Our story has only just started!

To harness and develop the design expertise of under-graduates and recent graduates via active collaboration between academia and business.

— Open Lab vision

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We can draw on design and research expertise from areas including graphic design, typography, photography, illustration, motion graphics, industrial design, spatial design, branding and trend analysis, communication and product strategy, textile, fashion design – and everything in between.

However broad or left-field your requirements, we can build a team to your needs.

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We aim to be


We see collaboration as a way of combining a range of insights in both traditional and unconventional design projects. This collaboration allows us to think from a variety of angles and create innovative solutions.


We give real world experience to students and graduates alike. We provide a bridging mechanism to enter the industry and gain a range of practical design thinking skills, in a studio environment.


We help our clients think about their approach to their users needs. We know the value that design can add, and through this we develop and transform organisations and businesses.

Our aspiration

We aim to be at the forefront of design thinking; respecting the influence of design and how it positively contributes to society.

Curiosity and free thinking enables our evolving process of discovery.