Design Philosophy

I have always been fortunate to have such an inspiring backcountry playground accessible when designing outdoor equipment.

New Zealand has an enviable network of hiking tracks through some of the most beautiful scenery in the world, along with a unique and testing mountain environment. Our inventiveness and ‘can do’ attitude founded our ability to equip early mountaineers and explorers with innovative, functional equipment and clothing that has nearly always been years ahead of its time. Through my design work I hope to maintain this New Zealand tradition of product innovation and integrity.

Empress Hut

Mt Cook engulfed by storm clouds, Mt Cook National Park, South Island, New Zealand

The following statements express some aspects of my personal design philosophy:

  • Product design is a personal signature, therefore I take all my design work seriously ensuring the products I design reflect the amount of care and effort I have taken.
  • A good product designer is part artist and part engineer, combining both aesthetics and function.
  • A good product designer will appreciate the wider processes beyond that of pure design, including manufacturing, sales and marketing.
  • A good designer will work with an open mind and seek to balance the creative dreamer against the realist while working within the constraints of deadlines and commerciality.
  • When designing, it is not only useful but extremely important to become the user to understand not only the functional requirements but also the relevant context for the use of the product.
  • As a designer I appreciate learning different brands’ values and marketing and product stories.
  • Having first-hand knowledge of a products end-use enables a designer to evaluate concepts and prototypes more effectively and to see beyond the status quo.
  • As a freelance designer I am free to optimise the design process and I constantly seek to improve it each time I undertake new design work.
Andy Milne Outdoor Design
Portfolios
Inspired and innovative outdoor equipment