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Source: Massey University

His inaugural professorial lecture on the subject of Collaboration: forging a foundation for creativity will be delivered to a capacity audience at the theatrette of the Museum Building, Buckle St, on the Wellington campus at 6pm on Thursday August 16.

Preferring to be known without the honorific Sir, Taylor, who is co-owner and co-founder of award-winning design and effects company Weta Workshop, is an alumnus of Wellington Polytechnic – a forerunner institution to the college.

In accepting the honorary professorship Taylor said Massey University, and the College of Creative Arts in particular, have played a significant part in shaping the ongoing creative capabilities of the team at Weta Workshop.

“Many of our best and brightest have graduated from this learned institution – just as I myself did, back in the University’s former incarnation as Wellington Polytech – and our workshop has the great fortune of being situated just a short distance from the campus. It is therefore a great delight to be acknowledged with this honorary professorship. It is my hope that my ongoing actions and enthusiasm for inspiring the young creative students of CoCA will justify this most prestigious honour bestowed upon me by Pro Vice – Chancellor Claire Robinson and the Massey faculty.”

At the time of his appointment, Professor Robinson said Taylor’s active and continued association with the college, including its latest collaboration in concept design with Weta Workshop, was reinforced with the announcement of his honorary professorship. In 2007 he also became the first person to be inducted into the college’s Hall of Fame and in 2011 he was conferred with an honorary doctorate of Fine Arts by Massey University. The honorary professorship, however, is an appointment offered to distinguished members of the community with relevant professional qualifications and experience, and to people who have achieved the highest level of vocational or professional achievement, and proven capacity of leadership in their field.

“Sir Richard has played a key role in the development of New Zealand’s creative reputation. He is internationally recognised as a leader in concept design – bringing stories to life by creating conceptual worlds and immersive gaming experiences,” Professor Robinson said.

Next month, a new phase in the relationship between Weta Workshop and the college begins when the first intake of postgraduate students will be welcomed into The Weta Workshop School at Massey University.  It gives students a dynamic range of skills to start their career in concept design and visual storytelling in the entertainment industry.

The partnership of award-winning Weta Workshop and the internationally recognised Massey University delivers an exclusive educational experience, Professor Robinson says. Students learn from and engage with some of the industry’s finest concept designers as they work towards a Master of Design (Entertainment) qualification from New Zealand’s premier Design School, ranked in the top 100 Art and Design Schools in the world.