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The origins of the designers intro to Te Ao Māori (ADITTAM) stem from my current identity exploration and aspirations as an emerging designer within this multi-cultural society. It is an extension of the influential teachings of my late Kuia Urikore Jullien Dwyer, who was instrumental in the shaping of my Māori identity.

Aroha Nui Nana J.

It must be acknowledged I am not authority, however, I have an understanding and insight in my Māori culture which enables this perspective to be brought into the modern design realm. My role is to incorporate and progress Māori culture, in an integral, humble and sophisticated manner whilst making sure i do not to belittle it or the people it directly references.

Designers work within a westernised notion of what the industry should reflect. As a result of this
mono-cultural concept designers can become discouraged and express whakamā (shy/nervous) towards the engagement and interaction with Te Ao Māori. This response to Te Ao Māori is often due to social pressures and lack of knowledge.

The aim is to prevent the incorrect use of Māori culture and instead encourage, inform and empower creatives through equipping them with the correct knowledge.

This allows for the authentic and appropriate use of Māori design or tikanga illustrating
cultural appropriation.