The Designers Institute Black Pin is awarded to a Member of the Institute who has made a lasting and valuable contribution to the design profession and design culture in New Zealand.

Whilst many of the peers of this years DINZ Black Pin for Outstanding Achievement recipients’ are not able to be here tonight they have sent words laid out to read to show their love and respect for the recipient of this prestigious individual award. 

Desna Jury you touched so many hearts and minds and set so many young designers onto a career pathway that they could own with confidence. Your involvement in the Designers Institute was always steadying and forward thinking.

From the year 2000, Desna you were the Head of the School of Art and Design for nine years, then Dean of the Faculty of Design and Technology for six, and a Professor and Pro Vice Chancellor of Student Success at Auckland University of Technology.

You ran the School of Art & Design using the designer’s principle of ‘What can you take away from a problem to make things work”. You cut through drama and distraction - hitting the core of a problem with humane precision. People liked you because you loved innovation. But your great gift was protecting creative people so they could create. In your time, the school became a world leader in practice-led design research with the first doctorates and ground breaking research stepping out into the international arena.

Your passion for Design Education and the Design community extended into your participating as a Board member for the Designers Institute of NZ. You deeply believed on the value of design and ensured AUT Art & Design was connected with Better By Design’s CEO Summit.

Desna you actively built external relationships so your students could have exposure to co-designing with real businesses. You avidly supported AUT’s involvement in DesignCo and the collaborative Value of Design survey launched in 2017.

The Best Design Awards is forever grateful to your support of AUT hosting the Best Design Awards Judging Week venue over many many years. And like you, it was always wonderful to see a rich body of projects from AUT students enter Best and do well.

Desna you have always shunned the spotlight as in favour of the success of others, so it is wonderful to see you get the credit tonight with the Designers Institute Black Pin for Outstanding Achievement you so rightly deserve.

Speech as read at Best Design Awards 2023.