Octave welcomes David Read as Senior Experience Designer

March 2, 2023

We love finding talented digital practitioners who started their careers outside of the digital space. We believe good problem solving requires a diversity of perspectives, and having a team with a breadth of experience that extends past the medium they work in is a powerful asset in that endeavour.

Creating connections

David Read’s journey is an excellent example of one of those varied and storied careers. His most recent post was with Chrometoaster as a Product Designer. Before that was the Creative Director for Manual Magazine and enjoyed five years at Fisher & Paykel Appliances, with the last few as Global Art Director.

David’s first love was (and still is) photography. His interest in documenting lived experiences and culture and how content connects people – on top of his 20-odd years of experience across experience design, content development and art direction – makes him an ideal fit here at Octave.

Designing experiences

“As a photographer, I’ve always worked closely with people. Connecting with them, understanding their lives to a degree, and building a relationship with them so we can talk freely, share ideas and create something together. This experience has informed my approach to design, placing people and their experiences at the heart of what I do.”

One of David’s favourite projects was developing an educational tool alongside the Ministry of Education for Social and Emotional Learning. This tool brought together teachers, researchers, psychologists, learning specialists and indigenous designers to help deliver more equitable learning experiences for children.

“We created something that addressed the teachers' struggles and could promote change. It could open up the conversation with kids in class about who they are, their experiences, and their identity. Helping them develop the social and emotional skills and strategies they need to reach their potential. It was an enriching journey.”

For David, it’s important for creatives to always ask the right questions and understand who they’re designing for.

The move to Octave

The great vibe of the Octave team and their strong desire to collaborate with each other and clients is what drew him to the role.

“I get a real sense of collaboration and partnership. Those are two things that I prioritise when it comes to working with people.”

The influence of whānau

When asked about the positive influences across his career, David was quick to say his children. They constantly inspire him to gain a significant understanding of the project at hand and how it can make the world a better place.

“They give me a daily reminder of what’s important in life. I’m glad to work for an organisation that supports that.”

Photographer Bruce Foster is also a key influence, as someone who really knew how to connect with people and truly make them feel comfortable enough to open up to the creative process.