Ellen Crane

Meet Ellen, a student with a passion for industrial design, and find out how that earned her a foot in the door at Weta Workshop.

A bed side table made of plywood and wire

Fil, for INDN 342 Digital Fabrication, by Ellen Crane—a bedside table made with a CNC wire bent frame and routed plywood.

From a young age Ellen was always doodling and making arts and crafts so she knew she wanted to study Design.

“The Design Innovation programme allowed me to try a little bit of everything so I could figure out where my skills were, what I enjoyed and what I didn’t.

“Choosing Industrial Design was an easy decision for me—it is a passion and where I have thrived.”

Ellen has completed two Summer Research Scholarships and an independent study course, bridging the gap between university and the design industry. She has worked with brain surgeons at Wellington Hospital and at Weta Workshop.

“It had always been a dream to work at Weta.

“As part of the summer scholarship we moved around departments so we could understand the whole process. I spent most of the time in the props department making, creating and fixing pieces. I learnt a huge amount about different products, tools, ways to tackle issues and not being afraid to ask questions.”

Following the scholarship, Ellen has been working at Weta Workshop.

“I encourage all new and current students to make the most of the resources and opportunities Victoria University of Wellington has to offer—you never know where they will lead. Take chances with projects and ideas, and be bold. When you feel out of your depth, this is when you learn the most. Ask for help, ask questions and learn from your peers—they are smart too!”