Born in Lautoka, Fiji, Shabnam Shiwan grew up by the Pacific Ocean, near tropical rainforests and colourful marine reefs. Being Indian, her family carried with them traditions of a place journeyed from generations ago, no longer home, but forever in their hearts. Emigrating to South Auckland, New Zealand, in the 1980s, Shabnam experienced a rich melting pot of cultures, within a city that was beginning to evolve in new and culturally diverse ways. This continues to influence her work today.
As design director at Alt Group and Saatchi & Saatchi Design Worldwide, Shabnam has created memorable work for clients including New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, Fisher & Paykel, Better by Design, Spark NZ and ASB Bank. Her work has been recognised in New Zealand’s Best Awards and AGDA (Australia), for which she has also been a judge, as well as internationally, in the Red Dot Awards (Germany), Clio (USA), ADC (USA), TDC (USA), AIGA (USA) and One Show (USA).
Shabnam’s work has been exhibited in Objectspace and published in Graphis (USA), I.D. (USA) and Page (Germany). Her most recent projects include Karen Walker, Godavari Diamonds, Atamira Dance Company, Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, Euro and Taupō Tourism. Shabnam was a participant in the Womentor 2019 program, a global mentorship for women in design and represented New Zealand on the One Club’s Young Guns 17 (USA) jury.