Backpod co-designers Nick Laird (left) and Andrew Wallace
continue to reap international rewards. Photo by Craig
Bodystance New Zealand has some ambitious targets for the
future, including being a $20 million company by 2020.
The Dunedin-based company was ''absolutely on track'' to
achieving its goals, director Andrew Wallace said.
Bodystance produces the Backpod, a self-treatment for neck
and upper back pain, and has other other products and
services in the offing.
Last year, the Backpod earned an honourable mention in the
Red Dot international design awards in Germany.
Now it has been nominated by the German Design Council for a
product excellence award.
That was an ''invitation-only'' accolade which placed
Bodystance in a ''very select group globally'' and among a
handful of New Zealand companies to have been nominated, Mr
The Backpod was also being launched for sale through EBOS
this week, so physiotherapists, chiropractors, osteopaths and
other medical professionals would be able to buy it at trade
price, he said.
Bodystance has three directors - Mr Wallace, who is an
industrial designer, design strategist Nick Laird, and
physiotherapist and inventor Steve August, who all live in
What the company was achieving globally was due to its
strategic design thinking. It put design first, Mr Wallace
Mr Laird said it was a design-led approach ''to an epidemic
most people don't see''.
Upper and lower back problems cost billions of dollars in
lost productivity and caused ''misery'', he said.
Being a design strategist involved integrating design
thinking and human-centred design into developing new
products, processes, systems and services.
He introduced Mr Wallace and Mr August, who spent 30 years as
a physiotherapist, specialising mainly in the treatment of
backs and necks.
For any project, the real test of success was how the skills
''I can't believe how helpful people are if you've got a good
idea and are serious about it,'' he said.
Mr Wallace said the Backpod, which was manufactured in
Canterbury, had some ''pretty serious'' design values. It was
designed for sustainability, did not have any batteries, did
not need servicing and it was 100% recyclable.
As well as producing ''a world-class and brilliant piece of
industrial design'', the company was scalable. It could
manufacture in any country in the world, he said.
Some companies in New Zealand failed because they did not
''team up''and share information with other businesses so
they could collaborate and co-create design solutions, he