World ranking success for Wellington design school

Tuesday 26 August 2014

2013 Red Dot Luminary winner Stacey Kenny with a scale model of her urban hen house.

World ranking success for Wellington design school







The success of Wellington-based design students in international awards has seen Massey University leap into the top four rankings in the Asia-Pacific region.

 The ranking puts the School of Design well clear of any other school in Australasia and helps cement Wellington's place as New Zealand's creative capital, Massey Vice-Chancellor Steve Maharey says.

 The global design award agency, Red Dot, now rates Massey fourth in Asia Pacific, up from 11th two years ago.

Massey has consistently been the only university in New Zealand and Australia to be ranked within the top 15. Red Dot rankings are based on student success in design concept awards over the five years from 2010-14.

 Singapore-based Red Dot President Ken Koo describes Massey as “one of the top universities in Asia-Pacific for continuously and progressively producing cutting-edge and forward-thinking product concepts".

 The School of Design beat strong competition from leading universities in Taiwan, South Korea and China. Zhejiang University (China), National Taiwan University of Science and Technology (Taiwan) and Shih Chien University (Taiwan) were ranked first, second and third, respectively.

 Massey is also the only university in the region to have been awarded "substantial equivalency" from the United States National Association of Schools of Art and Design, meaning its art and design degrees are certified as on a par with qualifications from some of the world's most prestigious institutions, such as Rhode Island School of Design and CalArts.

"This is huge achievement," Mr Maharey says. "It is further independent corroboration of what we have know for some time – that the design school is not only the best in New Zealand and Australia, but absolutely world-class."

 College of Creative Arts Pro Vice-Chancellor Professor Claire Robinson says Red Dots are among the most sought-after design awards in the world. “It really is a delight to see our students flourishing on the international stage. So much of what they are doing reflects Massey's mission of taking the best of New Zealand to the world.”

In the past five years, Massey design students have won dozens of Red Dots, for designs ranging from a digitally fabricated chair and an electronic sheep drenching unit to typographic work for adult literacy learners, a poster campaign about autism and a comic about the tormented life of scientist Nikola Tesla.

 Last year, industrial design graduate Stacey Kenny won Red Dot’s top prize, the Luminary Award, for a system to re-home spent battery hens.

 Globally, more than 10,000 student projects are entered in Red Dot competitions each year.