Introducing Charlie, Debate’s new Graphic Designer


From kōwhaiwhai patterns to Aldous Harding, Charlie shares with Debate everything we wanted to know, and more!


Nam: Nō hea koe?

Charlie: Nō Tāmaki Makaurau ahau. Ko Ngāpuhi te iwi.


What did you study?

I graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts majoring in Graphic Design, and I've recently received a certificate in Raranga Toi.


Was the goal always to be a designer?

I wanted to be an astronaut for most of my childhood, be amongst the stars.


That’s awesome! Was there anything that swept that dream away?

I realised I was bad at science. I think I dropped science as soon as I could and picked up art, design and media studies.


Is there a specific part of doing design work that speaks to you the most?

I'm studying whakairo (wood carving), and learning about kōwhaiwhai patterns. Recently, I’ve been thinking about design in a decolonising way; I've had a very Western design education. That's kind of speaking to me a lot at the moment, how / can these intertwine? Thinking about what defines graphic design and challenging the 'rules'.


With gigs picking up again, got any tickets already booked for anything?

Big Thief at the Powerstation! Looking forward to going back to that venue.


Any specific mems from the Powerstation?

I used to live like four doors down from it so it kind of became a bittersweet time. There’s my memories of attending and then memories of trying to get home and there being a crowd of drunk 18 year olds on a post-concert high looking for a place to piss…


I’m going to put you on the spot here a bit - what is your dream festival lineup for this coming summer?

Great question. To open the festival I'd have Roy Ayers to sing ‘Everybody Loves The Sunshine’, to get into the mood.


I'd have my Australasian sister love of Aldous Harding, Julia Jacklin, Bic Runga, Courtney Bennett. Followed up by Anika Moa just to sing her version of ‘Purea Nei’.


Then Marlon Williams to steal my heart once again with his hoiho song. I was lucky enough to watch him perform it last year at The Hollywood - it was amazing. A shitty version exists on the internet for those who don't know.

Next is Dido to sing [her album] Life for Rent start to finish, while I call my mum to tell her I love her.

Shintaro Sakamoto as the sun is setting - a prelude to the evening lineup.


Then Ms. Lauryn Hill, Erykah Badu, Solange next, before closing the show with a Lizzo and Harry Styles collab.

I just need to see Harry Styles sing 'You better come get your man, I think he wanna be way more than friends'.