Jordan Tane, Kyani Utia, Sisi Panikoula


What makes me plastic?

The negative term ‘plastic’ has come about mostly from young Māori and Pasifika who do not feel worthy, and this has led to even more young Māori and Pasifika being reluctant to identify with their culture.

When AUT students Jordan, Kyani, Sisi and Gloria executed a questionnaire with over 200 young Māori and Pasifika, they found that 68% of respondents felt they were ‘plastic’ which led them to believe that if their communities are to ever fix this divide within each culture, the attitude and perspective of people needed to change.

They found it difficult articulating the project in a way where others were able to understand it. This lack of understanding was a pivotal part of the development of their project which fundamentally led them to change from an educational tool to a confrontative campaign. ‘What makes me Plastic’ is bold and self-reflective. It acts as both a question and a statement.

Speaker Bios

Jordan Tane

Ngā puhi

Jordan is a Māori/Pakeha designer, currently completing her Master of Design at AUT. As a Communication Design student, Jordan works within improving communication about complex social issues such as cultural identity, whānau violence and adolescent mental health.

Kyani Utia

Kyani is a Cook Island Samoan designer, currently studying for a Master of Design. Her background is in communication design, specifically in illustration and visual communication. Kyani’s design work and research look into the health, wellbeing, and identity of Pasifika communities and how we can use design to better communicate complex information in culturally responsive ways.

Sisi Panikoula

Sisi is a Tongan designer currently studying a Master of Design at AUT. Through communication design she is able to visually explore solutions using mixed media. Her focus is strengthening Pasifika Design and channelling her cultural identity to drive meaning into her work.