In 1987 Richard and his partner Tania Rodger set up Richard Taylor Effects Ltd. They provided a range of special effects and puppetry services for many clients including the TV series Public Eye. Inevitably they came into contact with Peter Jackson and Jamie Selkirk, forming Weta Workshop in 1994.
Numerous collaborative projects followed - Meet the Feebles, Brain Dead, The Frighteners and Heavenly Creatures to name a few. Weta Digital was formed and the New Zealand film industry took a whole new direction, one which led ultimately to the Lord of the Rings trilogy, putting New Zealand firmly on the world map.
The team at Weta have continued their inspired work with The Hobbit, King Kong, The Chronicles of Narnia, The Legend of Zorro, Kingdom of Heaven, Hellboy, Van Helsing, Master and Commander, Perfect Strangers, The Last Samurai and Black Sheep. A career highlight for Richard and Tania more recently was the creation of their children’s TV series ‘Jane and the Dragon’.
Richard and Tania have been instrumental in re-branding New Zealand’s business and creative talent. They believe it will be our vitality, inventiveness and imagination which will make New Zealand stand out in the 21st century.
In 2016 the College celebrated the 130 year heritage of the Wellington School of Design and honoured its founding director Arthur Dewhurst Riley (1860-1929).
Bill Toomath headed the Wellington Polytechnic School of Design for ten years (1979-1989), and was a key player in the development of modernist architecture in New Zealand for over five decades.
Grenville Main has made a significant contribution to the design profession and to design in general in New Zealand.