Creative thinking set to be celebrated in the Capital at Mindset of Design Festival

Creative HQ pushes through COVID-19 to ensure Wellington’s annual design festival goes ahead

Group of people at the Mindset of Design Festival

Wellington – 12 April 2022

Creative thinkers, designers, innovators and entrepreneurs will be able to come together at the Capital’s annual design festival – Mindset of Design – from the 16th to the 20th of May as Omicron retreats from Wellington, and COVID-19 restrictions ease.

Creative HQ, Wellington’s innovation hub, is hosting the Mindset of Design festival which will feature dozens of speakers, multiple events, networking opportunities, DJs and more as the festival takes over Wellington in late May.

Mindset of Design was originally scheduled for November 2021 before COVID-19 pushed the country into a Level 4 lockdown. Creative HQ festival organiser Emily Dwyer says that planning the festival during COVID-19 has meant the principles of the Mindset of Design festival itself have been put to good use.

“People are readily seeking opportunities to connect right now after the challenges of COVID-19,” continues Dwyer. “Now is the time to make something extraordinary happen for Wellington and our residents need something to look forward to, to feel inspired by, to reset, recalibrate and shift their mindset into ‘what’s next’. Mindset of Design aims to deliver exactly that.”

Mindset of Design will feature daily breakfast sessions sponsored by some of Wellington’s finest cafes and coffee providers, world-class speaker presentations on design, creativity and innovation thinking, and evening events at the end of each day allowing people plenty of time to connect.

The full festival lineup includes sessions of varying levels – allowing attendees to build their own adventure and select sessions which match their comfort level. This includes more low key relaxing zones, and intellectually stimulating sessions, all the way through to a high-energy breakfast rave.

“All event organisers can attest to the fact that it’s been incredibly challenging to stand up events over the past few years, so we’re really thrilled that Mindset of Design can finally go ahead,” says Dwyer. “We’ve had to adopt creative thinking and come up with innovative solutions to host the event as COVID-19 restrictions change – meaning we’ve had to change too.”

The festival will adopt a dual format with both in-person and online attendance options available for attendees. The in-person events will take place at Te Auaha and at Datacom’s office. Speakers will attend from Wellington as well as virtually, which has led to new possibilities for speakers to join the festival line-up. Attendee numbers will be limited per official COVID-19 guidelines.

The Mindset of Design Festival is proudly sponsored by Wellington NZ with additional support from  Datacom and Kāpuhipuhi Wellington Uni-Professional who are each hosting a few days of the festival lineup.

“The team at Datacom is incredibly proud to co-host this year’s Mindset of Design festival,” says Husain Al-Badry, Associate Director of Innovation and Growth at Datacom. “As one of Australasia’s largest homegrown technology companies, thinking outside of the box to help our customers achieve their goals is in our DNA. We are excited to see Creative HQ forge on with this event, particularly given the challenging events climate, and look forward to experiencing the innovative way they’ve put together the festival first-hand.”

​​“Taking the hassle and complexity out of professional development and learning leading-edge, practical skills, from recognised experts is central to everything we do at Kāpuhipuhi Wellington Uni-Professional,” says Gary Ward, General Manager Engagement at Kāpuhipuhi Wellington Uni-Professional. “This empowering mentality is readily apparent in Creative HQ and the MOD ethos.”

“We are so looking forward to having a whole week dedicated to just the fundamentals of design practice with some of the world’s most interesting new thinkers in this space,” continues Ward. “After the past two years of uncertainty and instability, the Mindset of Design festival will be a welcome breath of fresh air, so that we can confidently take the next steps together towards whatever comes next for Aotearoa.”

Some of the dozens of world-class speakers featured at this years’ Mindset of Design festival include Ben Johnston, Katy Grennier, Audrea Topps Harjo and Chris Jackson to name a few.

“We’ll have dozens of New Zealand’s – and the world’s – leading design experts, creative legends, and innovation experts sharing their learning and sparking new ways of thinking,” continues Dwyer. “Now more than ever before, creativity and innovation are critical to designing the world around us and new futures – for the environment, cities, communities, businesses and even government.”

Alongside WellingtonNZ, Datacom and Kāpuhipuhi Wellington Uni-Professional, Mindset of Design is also partnering with other Wellington businesses keen to support the festival. Hype Entertainment are on board as the Mindset of Design festival production partner,  and Supreme Coffee are supplying complimentary coffee to attendees.

“It’s been a challenging few years for Kiwis across the board, and we’re really excited to finally bring Mindset of Design to the Capital. It’s more important now than ever to ensure that we nurture creativity, design thinking and innovation,” says Dwyer. “We can’t wait to see you all at the Mindset of Design festival this year.”

To find out more about the Mindset of Design festival and full lineup, or to buy tickets head to

Thank you to our sponsors Kāpuhipuhi Wellington Uni-Professional and Datacom

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