Develop a critical understanding of the role of design in complex media environments and designed channels for communication.
Media Design aims to develop a critical understanding of the role of design in complex media environments and designed channels for communication. In this field, theory, practice, and technology are profoundly intertwined.
Media Design research at the School of Design Innovation departs from classical design and design thinking towards computational design for networked media. We foreground relationships between the social and technical, between the material and immaterial, and between data and context.
Our current focus areas include interactive design for AR/VR and gaming, mobile media and the Internet, 3D modelling and animation, physical computing and wearable technology, and machine learning and AI.
|Research topic||Staff who can supervise research in this area|
|AI and machine learning||Areito Echevarria, Tom White|
|Walter Langelaar, Leon Gurevitch|
|Dana Fridman, Edgar Rodriguez, Leon Gurevitch, Tuakana Metuarau|
Indigenous game design
Anne Niemetz, Doug Easterly, Bobby Luke
Leon Gurevitch, Mizuho Nishioka
Anne Niemetz, Doug Easterly
|Social robots||Catherine Caudwell|
Design research labs
Data.Mine is a research cluster that deals with innovation in data generation, retrieval, analysis, and presentation. The goal of the lab is to further understanding of the cultural contexts, analytical techniques, and design requirements to extract meaning and insight from data.
For more, see Data.Mine.
Virtual Worlds Lab
New developments with virtual reality technology highlight a vast territory for immersive storytelling, gaming, and many other forms of interactive experiences such as simulated education, medical therapy, and scientific visualisation.
While Sony, Samsung, and Oculus Rift (Facebook) have delivered the hardware, start-ups and research labs are playing catch-up with the development of content. Local Wellington company 8i for example, has received over 20 million dollars in seed funding, and Weta Digital is also investing in this new domain.
At the lab, design staff and students will research new methods for storytelling, interaction, and immersive experience, presented via emerging technologies such as head-mounted displays.
For more, see Virtual Worlds Lab.
The following postgraduate programmes allow you to pursue research in the area of film, animation, and visual effects:
Master of Design (MDes)
The MDes allows you to further develop your critical thinking and discussion skills, increase your understanding of design, and learn to express your own ideas and conclusions within a theoretical framework.
Find out more about the Master of Design (MDes).
Master of Design Innovation (MDI)
The MDI delves deep into the process of innovation, from conception to design to construction. Through independent research, you'll gain the specialist skills and knowledge you need to be a successful professional in the design industry.
Find out more about the Master of Design Innovation (MDI).
On our PhD programme, you'll produce an original body of research that expands the design discipline. Your work will be largely independently driven, with two supervisors available to advise you. Typically the PhD is studied on-site, but in suitable cases it may be studied by distance.
Find out more about the PhD.