May 28, 2018
Issue 6 2018

Meet Design Junkies contestant and Massey grad Craig Guy

One of Massey’s own is now a familiar face on our television screens. A born and raised Wellingtonian, Craig Guy is now on TVNZ’s newest show Design Junkies. An exciting opportunity for a guy who chose the creative path to not live in his science savvy brother’s shadow. Choosing to complete an industrial design degree without knowing what it was turned out to be a smart move for Guy. He graduated with a master’s in industrial design scoring 99 per cent in his final project and collected the silver medal at the Best Design Awards. He’s gone on to work for Weta, co-founded a design company and now appears on the show. Massive Magazine’s Jamie-Lee Bracken sat down with Guy.

Why Massey? Why did you choose to study industrial design here?

When I learnt that there was such a thing as an industrial design degree a careers expo I did some research and found Massey had the best course in New Zealand. I’ve always strived to be the best I can, so it made sense to go to the university that could teach me the most about what I wanted to learn. Also, being born and raised in Wellington made it an easy transition to make.

How did you end up working for Weta Workshop?

One of my mates had an internship there and was asked if he knew anyone that could work on the paint team for a couple weeks. I put my hand up and once I showed them my skill set and background, two weeks turned into two years.

I hear you have worked on Hollywood movies, which ones?

Nothing super Hollywood but there were a few cool ones that came through while I was there. To name some there was Warcraft, Spectral (Netflix Original), Krampus, and the last one I worked on was The Great Wall. I also did some miniature builds for the Thunderbirds television series which was cool, but I think my favourite thing I worked on would have to be The Gallipoli Scale of Our War Exhibition that is currently at Te Papa. I made all the master models of the giant rifles for the giant people and was part in charge of putting together the cross-section model of the medic ship with one of my now business partners, Nick Dephoff.

Meet any famous people?

No one mega famous but there were a couple. I met Peter Jackson a couple times and met Jamie Hyneman from Mythbusters which was cool. There was a rumour one day that Jet Li was getting shown around the workshop, but we never saw him even though we went searching everywhere.

Tell us more about your furniture design company Artifactmade?

Artifactmade is a start-up design and manufacturing company I started about three years ago with three others in my industrial design class, Ruben Norris, Evan Thomas and Nick Dephoff. We were all working in semi related industries but none of us truly doing something we believed in, so we decided to start something ourselves. Our goal was to design and manufacture ethical, sustainable products locally here in New Zealand while having a transparent marketing and manufacture model that allows the customer to understand how the product was made and where all the materials came from. The theory behind this is if the customer is aware of these values and buys the product because of them, as they build a positive relationship with the product (because it also functions amazingly) it will instill these values into the user and they will begin to purchase other products with these same values.

Any tips for our budding designers?

That’s a good question, there’s many I’ve learnt over the years but these three would probably standout as the most important.

Develop a strong design ethos and stand by it - once you get out into the workforce you will find there are many things that will force you to bend or potentially break your principals, it may be clients, your employer or other professionals you work with. And while you will always have to compromise when working in a team if you don't truly believe in what you are designing you will find the result will never be as good and you also won't enjoy doing it.

Back yourself -  there's always a fine line between backing yourself and being cocky but I think it’s an important one to tread, if you don't believe yourself and, in your work, neither will anyone else. Confidence is what will get you in the door and your work ethic is what will keep you there.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help - a lot of people who are good or experienced in their field see asking for help a weakness, but it couldn't be further from the truth. You can never know everything as you should never stop learning, if you come up against a complex problem or don't know how to do something, find someone that does and ask them, learn from them and carry that forward.

How did you end up on Design Junkies?

The Design Junkies production crew emailed Artifactmade to see if anyone from the studio would be interested in being a contestant on the show. Ruben brought it up at one of our weekly meetings and joked that he had already entered me without my knowledge. After talking it through with the team we thought it would be a good chance for some free promo and I was the most obvious choice being the best at the physical making of things and outgoing/dumb enough to go on television. So, Ruben helped me make a very awkward application video and next thing I know I’m shortlisted and then on the show. Action Bronson said it, “when opportunity be knocking you gotta let that muthafucker in.”

Can you talk more about your experience on the show?

It been a pretty interesting experience so far to say the least, I can’t say I ever thought I was type of person that would go on a reality television show but here I am. The other contestants are all great people and are really talented at what they do, we all got along well, and we wanted to make the show about the design making rather than the usual drama and backstabbing most reality TV shows are based around. On top of this the Warner Brothers crew in charge of the filming were awesome, really helpful, onto it and got us used to what they call television time pretty quickly. There is still plenty of ups and downs due to the nature of the fast-paced weekend challenge briefs, so it will still be a very entertaining watch.