Sustainability: Teaching & Learning

By Anke Nienhuis

Coming soon...


As a research project and as part of my teaching at AUT in the Industrial design department, we aim at using waste materials and upcycling them in to useful products.


My students and I are developing ideas and machinery with which we can recycle plastic waste created at AUT and using it to make products needed around the university. In this particular project the focus is not on 'designing out waste' but on using and reusing the plastic that has already been created to avoid more waste, to avoid more products being made out of virgin plastic and to create awareness of this huge problem and to show people (and my students) that we can do something about it. The project is still in progress and has not been finalised, but I can show machinery that has been developed for this purpose and some example student projects on what to make out of the discarded plastic.

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Anke Nienhuis

Auckland University of Technology

Anke is the Curriculum Leader of the Industrial Design Department in the School of Art & Design, at Auckland University of Technology. There she is also a lecturer and researcher in the field of industrial design and sustainability.


She values design innovation with a central focus on people and the environment. “I encourage my students to create meaningful products that make positive changes, where they are needed most”.


Before embarking on an academic career Anke gathered extensive professional experience as a product designer, working for numerous companies and in various countries, including The Netherlands, Italy, Japan and New Zealand.

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