World class design in New Zealand as Facilities Integrate presents Michael Sturtz


On his next visit to New Zealand, world-renowned designer, innovator, educator and land speed record holder Michael Sturtz will share his views on technology, design and user experience in the built environment.


Sturtz is recognised as a leader in the convergence of technology, education and design and has spoken in multiple high-profile locations, including a presentation at TedX Stanford when he was a lecturer at the famous American university. He is also a familiar figure in this country, having acted as lead consultant in the design of Wellington’s The Learning Connexion Ltd.


He’s delivering a keynote at Facilities Integrate 2018 which examines technology, design and user experience. “With so much technology entering every aspect of our lives today, the real challenge is balance: finding that elusive point between technology, which can be overwhelming, and practical advantage,” says Sturtz


While architects tend to obsess over how a building looks and engineers focus on structural issues, he adds that users themselves are often at best an afterthought. He therefore encourages design that places user experience at its core.


“It’s hard to be an expert in everything; even world class architects who know how to create a stunning building tend miss the human element. It’s either not considered or not valued. And that should change,” he says.


Sturtz strongly believes space dictates behaviour (the design and construction of a building will influence, for example, mood and ambience), and argues that designers should consider how people find their way to, enter, and move through spaces, as factors influencing overall user experience.


With a stunningly diverse range of achievements to his name, Sturtz provides unique perspectives on multiple issues. In 1999 he set out to reinvent arts education by founding the United States’ largest non-profit industrial arts facility, The Crucible.


Next, he led Stanford's ReDesigning Theater Project to turn theatre on its head within the world-renowned dSchool, moving on to chart the future of making and learning while leading Stanford’s Creative Ignition Lab at Autodesk in San Francisco.


These days, he spends most of his time at Google X, the internet giant’s prototyping lab where uncomfortably ambitious, potentially world-changing new ideas are transformed into early-stage proof-of-concept prototypes. Now in his second year at Google X, Sturtz has begun leading his own ‘moon-shot’ investigations, and has joined an elite team poised to pioneer the future of automated manufacturing.


And if all of that wasn’t impressive enough, Sturtz leads an active life as a performing artist and sculptor. He even has a land-speed record to his name (and recalls encountering the spirit of Burt Munroe at Bonneville Salt flats), having piloted a custom-built motorcycle ‘Die Moto’ to a new top speed powered solely by biodiesel.


Facilities Integrate Event Manager Matt Garty says Sturtz’s presentation is a must-attend. “We’re thrilled to secure a speaker with Michael’s credentials. For everyone attending the show, this is a great opportunity to hear more about the cutting edge of design and integration in an age where technology surrounds us every day.”


Facilities Integrate is a trade-only event and takes place at the ASB Showgrounds on 25 and 26 September. For more information and to register for free entry, visit or pay $25 at the gate.


Media contact:

Leandri Smith – The Mail Room Communications

027 365 9003 |