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

To view my Linkedin profile click here.

Steven Smith