Biographic Profile

In 2009 I migrated with my family from South Africa to New Zealand. In 1993 I graduated from Technikon Natal (Durban University of Technology) and received several awards, including the Agfa Award for highest achieving Design student.

For 14 years I worked in the Design and Advertising industry for multinational communication networks; FCB, Leo Burnett and Euro RSCG. My research, concepting and execution of design and communication campaigns won awards in major international competitions; Communication Arts (USA), New York Festivals (USA), London Internationals (UK), CASE Awards (USA), AME Awards (USA) and the Loerie Awards (RSA). I have produced creative work for prestigious international brands including Mercedes-Benz, Reebok, Coca-Cola, Honda Cars, Nivea, and Continental Tyres.

In 2007 I left a senior industry role of Creative Group Head at FCB, South Africa’s largest and oldest communication company to venture into an academic career. I first lectured in Visual Communications at Vega School South Africa, a national university with campuses in four major cities. In 2009 I joined Massey University, New Zealand’s top-ranked School of Design, as a lecturer. My research involved cross-cultural and community engagement through communication design. The School of Design is over 125 years old. I completed a Master of Design by research in 2012.

I have been a ceramic artist for over 20 years. My work has been published, exhibited and sold internationally. During 2010 I acted as Joint-President of Wellington Potters’ Association (est. in 1952 by Dame Doreen Blumhardt ONZ, DCNZM, CBE).

I've also had a keen interest in photography for a couple of decades. See my New Zealand landscapes at here


Massey University, New Zealand
Master of Design, by research 100% written thesis, May 2012

Technikon Natal (now Durban University of Technology), South Africa
National Diploma Graphic Design, December 1993

Academic Specialisation

Course Coordinator 200-level Advertising Design.
Supervising 400-level Honours’ students in major research projects integrating theory and visual communication design.
Teaching 200, 300 and 400-level Design courses.

Research Interests

Intercultural communication, which focuses on design and art in the cultural mediation between Western communication paradigms and their engagement and reinterpretation within non-Western social contexts. I study the construction of meaning through visual semiotics with particular focus on the resurgence of anti-Semitic messaging in contemporary editorial cartoons. My research also reflects multidisciplinary practice and critical scholarship of visual communication design and ceramic studio practice.

Thanks for reading,

Steven W. Smith MDes(Massey) NDipGD(DUT)

To view my Linkedin profile click here.

Steven Smith