Fiona Grieve

Threaded Special Ed.21

The Te Pō & Te Ao Mārama Issue

Threaded is a people-focused international publication about practice, for which Fiona Grieve is Creative Director. Its editorial strategies are used as a critical device to explore the nature of interviews and the dialogue that exists between a practitioner and their mahi (practice).

Central to the Threaded project is the role of collaboration to lead content, embracing how cultural advisors and creative partnerships affect kawa (protocol), values and concepts in editorial practice.  

For Threaded Special Ed.21, initial thematic concepts grew out of collective responses to the physical, emotional, and spiritual impacts of COVID-19 pandemic. Invited manuhiri (practitioners) were offered four double-page spreads across which they could kōrero (discuss) and reflect on how they creatively navigated and overcame the challenges of social separation and cultural disconnection. In parallel, Threaded’s production partner, Fedrigoni Paper gifted stock from their newly released ‘Black Box’ Book set and shipped premium product from Italy to support this kaupapa.  

The te ihi (essence) of this special edition is the narrative of whakapapa, of connection and genealogy between humans and all ecosystems as a holistic and integrated system. The continuum and importance of the separation of Ranginui and Papatūānuku and the varying stages of light being released into the world, ko tēnei tīmatanga o Te Ao (in the beginning) are introduced as the underpinning concept. The structure of this pukapuka (edition) is based on the thematic of the Māori creation story with the  waiata ‘Ko te Pū’ as the navigational framework.  

Threaded Ed. 21 incorporates visual, augmented, and sonic design cues to communicate the multi-layered beginning story of Te Kore (the void of potential, nothingness), Te Pō (the night realms and darkness), Te Wheiao (coming into the light) and Te Ao Mārama (the realm of light). Visual motifs and colour are an important signifier to communicate the metamorphosis of time and space — the realm of Te Kore operates as the Z-fold cover and binds Te Pō and Te Ao Mārama, connecting them metaphorically into two pukapuka. The dark shades on one Z-fold cover transition into warm hues on the other, symbolising coming into being and the light beginning to break through.   

Sonic artistry and AR animated vignettes are activated through printed motifs and incorporate hau (breath of life) into the printed page. Structurally, the AR pages open with a chanted karakia and end with a mihi, creating a balance that acknowledges customary cultural protocols and dualities such as male/female, light/dark, above/below and seen/unseen. When scanned, the AR sonic experiences direct the audience to the Instagram platform, expanding the materiality of printed matter.

This approach afforded distinct modes of cognitive processing that combined the visual and the linguistic, the spatial and the temporal, sound and virtual reality to graphically symbolise the many layers and dimensions of things unseen: the realm between being and non-being.  

Design Team: 

Creative Director. Fiona Grieve 

Design Director / Production. Kyra Clarke 

Associate Editors. Dr George Hajian + David Coventon 


Sound Artist. Dr Maree Sheehan 


Illustrator / AR Designer. Dr Tatiana Tavares 


Photographer. Dr Marcos Mortensen Steagall 


Guest Contributors. 

Tepora Kauwhata 

Ataria Gibbons 

Karyn Gibbons 

Kawiti Waetford 

Jesse Waetford 


Red Practitioners: 

Alistair McCready, Aotearoa 

Jeremy Tankard, UK 

Katie Kerr, Aotearoa 

Shivani Parasnis, USA 

Henrik Drescher, USA 

Wing Yee Wu, USA 

Derek Yates, UK 

Michael Worthington, USA 

Tatiana Tavares, Aotearoa 


Featured Graduates: 

Naveen Hattis 

Kevin Dong 

Max Cadenhead 

Reghan Anderson 



Fedrigoni Paper 

Spicers NZ 

AUT School of Art and Design 


Centre for Design Research
Te Kura Toi a Hoahoa
School of Art and Design

Te Wānanga Aronui o Tāmaki Makau Rau,
Auckland University of Technology


Susan Hedges
Mandy Smith

Authors are responsible for obtaining permission to publish images or illustrations with their papers in CDR; neither editors nor publishers of CDR accept responsibility for any author’s/authors’ failure to do so.

© Centre for Design Research, AUT University 2021