How VUW’s School of Design produces innovative industry leaders

If you’ve always wanted to know how your favourite animations are made, or you want to be the next VR creator, a degree in Design Technology could be right for you.

Located in the cultural heart of New Zealand’s capital city, the School of Design at Victoria University of Wellington is the ideal place to embrace your creativity with a degree in design. Studying at this university means you will never lack creative inspiration—with breath-taking nature, stunning art and innovative projects happening all the time.

There’s never been a more exciting time to study Design Technology. As we progress towards an increasingly digital future, you’ll leave equipped with the knowledge and expertise needed to expand our world to new horizons.

At Victoria University of Wellington, you will study in a bustling student community 17,000-strong, with 3,000 international students making their home across four city campuses. Nestled within the center of New Zealand’s political action and cultural museums, the university has become a diverse and integrated academic hub.

There’s never a lack of things to keep you busy at this School of Design. Whether you want to represent your university on the sports pitch or find an off-the-radar comedy night, there’s always a plethora of activities to keep you active and engaged. The university has over 140 clubs and societies, from Acapella on Campus to the Sailing Club.

© Mike O’Neil, Te Papa

“As a creative and innovative hub, Wellington is an amazing place to live. With an abundance of emerging and established forward-thinking companies, there are a number of opportunities available to young designers,” says Master of Design Innovation student, Ryan Achten.

Mirroring the city’s innovative environment, the School of Design prides itself on its boundary-pushing research and dynamic course structures. The Master of Design Technology course allows students to understand the fundamentals of design technology under the supervision of leading academics and gain  valuable industry engagement.

“While we can’t predict the future, we focus on preparing our students for the unknown. At the School of Design we teach designers to think creatively, critically and independently, to appreciate the importance of having a strong core skill set, and to seek positive, meaningful change in all that they do,” said Associate Professor Douglas Easterly, Head of the School of Design.

Through the one-year Master of Design Technology, you can further your knowledge in digital technology and design to understand highly-technical design professions including game design, visual effects, exhibition design and multimedia design.

You will work with former Disney Feature Animation artist, Raqi Syed. Syed was a Technical Director on Bolt and a Lighting Artist on Tangled. She was also Senior Technical Director with Weta Digital on films including Avatar, Planet of the Apes, and The Hobbit Trilogy.

© Mike O’Neil, Te Papa

Syed has also been recognised as one of 100 industry professionals who can help fix Hollywood’s Diversity Problem.

Areito Echevarria, an Academy Award-winning visual effects artist with specialisation in compositing and effects animation, will also teach you throughout the course of your studies.

Echevarria was the Head of the FX Department at Weta Digital. His feature film experience includes War for the Planet of the Apes, Godzilla, The Hobbit Trilogy, Avatar and Black Hawk Down. He was awarded the Scientific and Technical Academy Award for his work developing Deep Compositing—a technology that revolutionised the nature of compositing workflows in the feature film industry.

Based at the new state-of-the-art Miramar Creative Centre (MCC), students have the opportunity to use world-leading technology and cutting-edge facilities for the duration of their degree. Set amid the Weta group buildings on Park Road, Miramar, the MCC building enhances the University’s associations with the film, animation and game design industries scattered throughout Miramar. Here, participants explore their respective mediums while receiving guidance and advice from the best creative minds.

“Having the opportunity to study in this facility in the heart of Wellington’s VFX [Visual Effects] industry is amazing! I’ve enjoyed being in contact with tutors and mentors coming from key positions in the industry. These people have a huge understanding and an immense experience in VFX. The programme has so far lived far beyond my expectations,” says Maurizio Vanolo, Master of Design Technology alum.

Undergraduate students can study the Bachelor of Design Innovation, while postgraduate students can choose to study the Master of Design Innovation, Master of User Experience Design, Master of Fine Art.

The School of Design’s international vision will be on display at FMX Conference 2018 in Germany, where prospective students will have the chance to meet the most influential minds in design technology and attend thought-provoking workshops.

“What I did get to see was absolutely spectacular. As always, you have crafted a community and event that brings together talented minds, fresh ideas and created a culture of sharing and collaboration,“ Brent Strong, Creative Director, Walt Disney Imagineering, said about the event.

You can visit representatives from the school at the conference, which showcases the best in Digital Visual Arts, Technologies, and Business.

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