Jason O’Hara

Jason O’Hara

Senior Lecturer, Ngā Pae Māhutonga - The School of Design

Jason’s practice-lead research explores visual storytelling and experience design. The fact that he has been variously described as a designer, artist, scenographer, photographer and documentary maker is a testament to his broad skill-set in creating visual narratives that persuade, inform, educate and entertain. 

His extensive industry experience and an enthusiasm for connecting people with heritage, science and the environment has taken him around the globe including the remote Kermadec region and Antarctica. 

Internationally exhibited and multi-award winning, his willingness for collaboration has seen him work with leading artists, designers, musicians and dancers. 

  • Expertise

    Visual narrative, human-centred experience design, brand and science communication, digital media, video and photography.

  • Research Highlights

    Kermadec - Nine artists explore the South Pacific, 2011 - ongoing
    Kermadec is an ongoing art project with other leading artists - Dame Robin White, Phil Dadson, Fiona Hall, John Pule, John Reynolds, Elizabeth Thomson, Bruce Foster and project curator/artist Gregory O’Brien. After sailing to the Kermadec region on the HMNZS Otago the group produced a major international touring exhibition Kermadec - Nine artists explore the South Pacific (National Library of NZ, City Gallery Wellington, Tuaranga Art Gallery, Tongaian High Commission, Easter Island, Museum of Contemporary Art, Santiago, Chile, Centre Culturel Tjibaou in New Caledonia) a smaller nationally touring show Kermadec - Lines in the Ocean (eight regional galleries to date) and significant publication Kermadec - Nine artists explore the South Pacific. The Dominion Post art critic Mark Amery said O’Hara’s work “... beautifully extends the documentary into poetic and elemental evocations of the experience”.

    New Zealand Symphony Orchestra’s “Morning Mood”, 2012
    A video exploration of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra’s Morning Mood which deconstructs not only the creation of the music but also the relationship between the audience and orchestra. It was a central component in an interactive promotion jointly produced by Insight Creative and the NZSO which O'Hara also designed. It was a finalist in the 2015 Best Awards.

    Various interactives and exhibition designs for Puke Ariki, New Plymouth
    Over the last 10 years O’Hara designed a number of interactives and exhibitions for Puke Ariki in his role as Design Director at Origin Design/Insight Creative. Of note were the 2008 Taranaki Whenua exhibition and 2011 Waireka interactive (Bronze Best Award).

    O’Hara and his design company Origin Design were fundamental to the early evolution of the brand design for the major clothing company Icebreaker. Projects included brand development, catalogues, advertising, packaging and website.

  • Qualifications

    Dip. VCD (Wellington Polytechnic)
    MDes with distinction (Massey University)

  • Professional Affiliations

    Designers Institute of New Zealand (DINZ)