Catherine Griffiths


Catherine Griffiths is an Aotearoa New Zealand designer, typographer and artist, writer, feminist and activist. Improvisation is critical to her practice, which moves between graphic design, self-publishing, writing on design, and commissioned art installations in public and private spaces. Projects of note include the Wellington Writers Walk, a series of large-scale concrete text sculptures (2002, 2004); the curation and co-organisation of TypeSHED11, Wellington (2009); and her ongoing Vowel series.

Catherine is active in the international design community, and has worked with Parlour: women, equity, architecture since its inception. In 2018 she protested against gender inequity in design, founded the platform Designers Speak (Up), set up the Directory of Women Designers; and curated a poster project and exhibition hīkoi, Present Tense : Wāhine Toi Aotearoa.

Selected works are in the collections of the Stedelijk Museum, National Hangeul Museum in Seoul, Shanghai Institute of Visual Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art Special Collection Library (books), and the Special Collection at the Art Institute of Chicago (books). Catherine has exhibited in New Zealand, Chile, France, USA, China and Korea.

Session details

Day 1


Get Organised! action at the grassroots

A plethora of new activist groups has emerged in recent years. How do they demand change, support underrepresented groups, and shift the image and the shape of the built environment and design professions? Akua Danso, Catherine Griffiths, Suzie Hunt and April McCabe reflect on motivations and means, strategies and tactics, obstacles and opportunities in a panel discussion chaired by Justine Clark.

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