With a strong passion for innovation developed in her early years, Michelle utilises observations to help generate empathetic designs that are sensitive to commercial realities.
Born in Whakatane and raised on a dairy farm, Michelle had a practical upbringing that instilled in her a hard-working ethic, the ability to improvise, and a passion for making things through time spent in the workshop.
Michelle studied a Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) majoring in Product Development at Massey University. This allowed her to gain a sound technical foundation in a range of engineering principals, alongside innovation and business skills including sales, marketing, finance, manufacturing and project management. During this time, she won the Innovate Supreme Award with two of her colleagues when they developed and pitched an idea for an agricultural product.
She began her career as a Product Development Engineer for Fisher & Paykel Appliances and worked on refrigeration and range-hood projects, gaining experience in product development processes through transforming ideas into successful products. This involved designing injection moulded parts, aluminium extrusions, and formed sheet metal parts for mass manufacture.
Always passionate about observing life from different perspectives, Michelle has travelled through South America, North America, and parts of Europe, which has allowed her to gain insight into a variety of cultures and environments. These travels have also allowed her to fuel her passion for adventures, particularly those involving a mountain bike, and the most memorable locations she has ridden include La Paz in Bolivia, Utah in the USA, and Vancouver’s North Shore.
Michelle highly values learning by doing; she recently embarked on establishing her own company importing a food product into New Zealand, gaining valuable insight into importing, food labelling, MPI, sales, marketing, distribution, financials, and everything else that comes along with a project of this nature.
Joining the Locus team as Product Designer, Michelle is delighted to play a role in helping to design the function, aesthetic and usability of products from concept through to manufacture in an environment where mindfulness towards sustainability is part of the DNA.
Empathy in design
Prototyping and testing
Design for manufacture
Prefers to live life on two wheels (with or without a motor) and has the scars to prove it.
Can’t live without a notebook to capture ideas, projects, thoughts, and to-do lists.
Is always working on a project in the background (it’s irrelevant whether it gets finished).
A collector of personally curated non-fiction books; often draws all over them underlining key takeaway points.
An avid traveller and adventure seeker, she has run with the bulls in Pamplona and summited a 6088m mountain (Huayna Potosi) on a 5 month trip through Bolivia, Peru, and Colombia.
Developed a love for the commuter bicycle after living in New York City and being exposed to the bike scene there.