Tom Hackshaw

Tom Hackshaw

Designer in Pōneke, New Zealand, He/him


I am a designer and web worker with a background in the arts and education. I have experience in visual arts and design teaching where I developed my leadership and communication skills.

My experience in making learning more accessible and equitable across a range of students from different backgrounds and abilities built the foundation of my human-centered design practice.



Developed and deployed a centralised knowledge hub for students and staff to educate them on what tools and machines were available in the school maker space. The hub is continually added to and improved, with a large selection of video tutorials and text guides available.

Binaries for software packages are hosted on our own secure CDN, so that students and staff can safely download and install the tools that they need.


Sophia was designed as a tool and platform that would grow and change with the user, allowing users to record, learn and meditate all in one convenient location.


Hapori is a responsive web app that enables students to manage their study with peers, facilitate the sharing of resources and feedback, and provide a centralised means of communication on shared projects.

Side Projects


The Imaginary Museum (Atlas) is an ongoing archive of reference material, designed for both online and offline (print) use.

Inspired by Gerhard Richter’s "Atlas" project, I wanted to create a research archive of different images and media using the API.


An idea for a performance is a web experiment and channel that displays random ideas for performances, built using the API.


TXTRNZ is a text-only site which serves news items from the RNZ website.

When New Zealand was hit with heavy flooding earlier this year, many people were faced with interrupted and unreliable Internet connections. RNZ maintained a text-only page with live updates over this period for users with limited mobile data which was fantastic to see. Inspired by this effort, as well as that of existing initiatives such as Text NPR, I wanted to create a text-only version of the entire RNZ news site that removes images, JavaScript, favicons, tracking and non-critical CSS.

Built with Flask and Python, this web app scrapes and builds static versions of RNZ news articles every hour. As well as stripping non-text media, it uses system fonts to prioritise speed and accessibility for the end user. Should users wish to view the full original article, there are links at the top of every page that takes them to the source URL as well.

This was my first major foray into using the BeautifulSoup Python package and web scraping in general. My knowledge of Python is limited, so I hope to continue improving this site over time.

I would like thank RNZ for allowing me to be able to scrape their site freely without limiting or blocking my connections.


gARden is an AR publishing tool.

It was built to provide a fast and easy way to create AR experiences for free with nothing but a 3D model file (GLB). Upon uploading, users receive a QR code that takes them to an AR view of their model when scanned.


The Museum Without Walls was a project for the first ever Merveilles Hyperjam, created over a three day period within an emulated Macintosh Plus environment. While the sequencing is fairly basic, it was great fun to make work using Hypercard and watch what other people created.


Whitecubes is an online a map of public art galleries in Tāmaki Makaurau, Aotearoa using Leaflet JS. Each gallery is represented by a marker, and clicking on a marker reveals a popup with the gallery's name, description, and address. It was intended to be used as a tool for young art students wanting to explore and gain a greater understanding of the gallery scene that exists in NZ.


Philemon is a private online research archive containing documentaries and papers relating to or about the Swiss psychoanalyst Carl Gustav Jung. I created the archive as a personal resource to further my understanding and research of Jungian psychology.

Back to the Basics (BTTB)

Back to the Basics (BTTB) was framed as a web studio or atelier where I conducted my practice while at the Elam School of Fine Arts. Anything that was made or done was recorded and documented on the site for a semester, and was submitted as my final assignment.

The site contained easter eggs, deliberate bugs and various acknowledgements to net-artists of the past and present.


Lovers was a web experiment to set the length of a webpage to that of the Great Wall of China, 21,196 kilometers (or 13,171 miles). Inspired by the final 1988 Abramović and Ulay performance.

2015 was a simple web experiment to generate and display an instruction for a performance based on Richard Serra's "Verb List" (1967). I used this tool as part of my performance practice while at Elam.



This thesis seeks to give voice to the process of thinking and making that informed the body of work to be presented at the end of this year. From the outset, it must be stated that the work presented is the result of an ongoing collaboration between myself and a fellow student at the Elam School of Fine Arts. The works, which form the material aspect of this, are thus synthetic remainders or traces. My approach to this essay is to begin highlighting several works made last year, in relation to key texts from this year, and how their respective ideas have continued to shape both my Honours project and work in 2017. While there are a number of different ideas and processes at play, I have chosen to speak from the position of a trickster.

Work Experience

2023 — Now

I work as part of the website team, managing and its associated digital properties.

One part of this role is content design, where I work with stakeholders to improve the user experience on the website and ensure things such as plain language standards are met. Planning the information architecture and maintaining a separation of concerns is also a large part of this.

Our work is often guided through digital analytics and heatmaps. Utilising a combination of Google Analytics and Looker Studio, we use this data to measure the effectiveness of the website, as well as creating bespoke dashboards for stakeholders so that they can self-service their analytics needs.

More recently, I have been working alongside the development team and UX designers to build frontend components for different digital services managed by Wellington City Council. We mainly use Next.js and Typescript for all development related to this.

2021 — 2023
Takapuna, Auckland

Teacher of Visual Art, Design and Technology across junior and senior levels. Specialising in Digital Art using Adobe Creative Cloud products as well as Figma.

Helped to establish and grow Te Wāhi Auaha, the school maker space. Developed and deployed a centralised learning hub for students and staff. Also created and maintain digital infrastructure such as a CDN and a virtual exhibition space.

2020 — 2021
Forrest Hill, Auckland

Contract position, teaching Design and Visual Communication to students across junior and senior levels, specialising in the use of the Adobe Creative Suite and Fusion 360.

2017 — 2018
Grafton, Auckland

Part-time lecturer and tutor. Supported senior lecturers at the Elam School of Fine Arts in the delivery of the first and second year studio programme. Specialised in sculpture, design and video, and supplemented with regular art history lectures to aid in student learning.

2014 — 2016
Henderson, Auckland

Part-time creative assistant for leading New Zealand artist Michael Parekōwhai. Highlights include helping to install and organise major retrospective show in 2015, “The Promised Land”, at QAGOMA, Brisbane Australia.


2019 — 2019
Epsom, Auckland

Secondary Visual Art and Design teacher training.

2014 — 2017
Grafton, Auckland

Graduated with First Class Honours.



Credential ID LLLD3JTUG6SY