Natasha Perkins

Natasha Perkins profile picture

Senior Lecturer School of Architecture


MTech (Hons) (ProdDev), Massey

Dip ID, Wellington Polytechnic, New Zealand

Research interests

My current research interests include:

  • furniture design
  • intergenerational triggers
  • techno craft and materials and processes
  • development of acoustic treatment forms and products for interior spaces
  • connecting creativity within business with a regard for creative design investigation within the product development process
  • design initiatives to support craftspeople in developing nations.

Current research projects

My recent research focus has been primarily on new product development with an interest in different strategies that challenge existing structures and methods.

In practice at Last Paddock Design, consulting in the areas of product design and development, interior, retail design and architectural products where projects have ranged from stadium seating to library design and the development of branded furniture ranges.

As the Design Director of a start-up R+D company I have worked with a specialist team to develop products for offshore markets. Also a member of Plank Design Collective whose intent is research projects where enjoyment in creative pursuits with sustainability, ethics, and challenging thought is kept at the fore.

I have exhibited furniture in Australia, UK, Japan, and Italy. In 2008, I was selected by the organisers of ifest ‘08 – accelerating business minds and exhibited at Herzog’s Pavilion in Barcelona.

I thoroughly enjoy the lively atmosphere of teaching in studio and seminar situations.

Research partnerships and collaborative work

A collaboration  in 2005 with Hutt Valley manufacturer Calvert Plastics Limited I initiated lead to a new product development programme including a project to develop a process to add form to a flat PET felt sheet for use in the building industry. The forms are made from 100% polyester (PET) of which 60% is recycled from soda bottles, then industrially needle punched, creating a felt like sheet material with acoustic properties.

The particular emphasis has been to produce designs by adding form to the material to create functional interior products that encompass the qualities that use non contaminating fixings. A tile named ‘Code’ was the first product released by Woven Image in Australia in 2009. The product won a prestigious international “red dot award” in the product design category for 2010.

Ongoing development projects have built on this research platform including:
I was awarded funds to develop and test acoustic forms in primary school classrooms. Sound Concepts - Pilot Installation and Testing. Funding and support for this part of the project came from the Oticon Foundation in New Zealand, The Victoria University Research Trust, Marshall Day Acoustics, and Autex NZ Limited. Key collaborators were Miklin Halstead, (MDA) and research scholar Yasmin Merwood (VUW).

research partnerships and collaborative work

Selected publications


Perkins, N. (2007, December). Urban Furniture Design: Design + Development. For Interpretation panel design & Way-marking design. Whangarei District Council. Whangarei, New Zealand.

Perkins, N., & Mountfort, J. (2006). PET Research Project. Design and Development for Acoustic Panels. Wellington, New Zealand.


Perkins, N., & Mountfort, J. (2010, May). From Milan to Osaka. [Exhibitor]. Concent. Osaka, Japan.

Perkins, N., & Mountfort, J. (2010, April). New Tile and Nudge Furniture Design Research Artefacts. [Exhibitor]. Milan, Salone Satellite.

Perkins, N., & Montfort, J. (2009). CODE 3D Acoustic tile: market release, Australia. Calvert Plastics.

Perkins, N., Mountfort, J., & Walker, L. (2008, March). Urban Furniture Design. Beach Road, Paekakariki. Commissioned by Kapiti Coast District Council. Kapiti, Wellington.

Perkins, N. (2008, July). Pepe Chair. Herzog's Pavilion, Barcelona. 10-12 July. Commissioned by Ifest. Barcelona, Spain.

Perkins, N. (2007, July). New Manufacturing Project: Beta Testing Project, Design + Development. Commissioned by Ponoko. Wellington, New Zealand.

Full list of publications