Tanya Marriott

Tanya Marriott

Senior lecturer, Ngā Pae Māhutonga - The School of Design

Tanya Marriott is a character designer who works in a variety of media including interactive storytelling, playful interaction and character-centric communication. Her work seeks to build meaningful experiences and storytelling opportunities between digital and tangible activities and objects. 

Marriott is the president of international consortia the National Institute of American Doll Artists. She has a background in industrial design and has worked for several leading toy design consultancies in the UK, and within the film industry in New Zealand and internationally. Marriott lectures into animation, illustration, play and experience design

  • Expertise

    Interactive design, experience design, play theory, game design, animation, film, character, doll and toy design, industrial design.

  • Research Highlights

    Sleep Shepherds (2013)
    Sleep Shepherds is a short film developed for the 2013 New Zealand 48 hour film festival. Tanya directed and produced the film, and co-designed the puppets with art director Garry Buckley. The film was awarded Wellington Regional Award for Art Direction and the Grand National Award for Art Direction.

    TweetMe (2012)
    TweetMe is an interactive forest which seeks to create a dialogue about New Zealand bird ecology with members of the public, through the use of augmented technology. Interaction with digitally augmented tangible artefacts provides alternative forms of playful experience generation and storytelling. TweetMe has been exhibited at Makertorium at Te Papa Tongarewa and Wild at New Zealand wildlife week at Pataka. TweetMe was awarded Bronze in the 2012 DINZ Best Awards.

    Richard Henry (2011) and Bullers Assistant (
    Richard Henry
    and Bullers Assistant are part of a series of character sculptures and puppets which explore the evolution of conservation techniques within New Zealand. Richard Henry was part of collection which enabled artist membership to international consortia the National Institute of American Doll Artists. Shown as part of The Doll Show at Expressions Gallery, Wild at Heart at Pataka Gallery, OldSchool NewSchoolan art and design history of NZ, Unscripted at St James Theatre andWhite Cloud Worlds vol.2.

    Storytelling Memories  (2010)
    The Storytelling Memories interactive illustrates ways to record and make available, memory testimony and artefacts of bomber command veterans. Storytelling Memories provides the framework for the user to synthesise a physical relationship with the memories and artefacts, which informs an emotional connection. Documented in an MDes thesis, a chapter in Museums etc, Science Exhibitions : Curation and Design. Exhibited at the 2010 Interactive Entertainment conference and UK Forces Day at Whenuapai Air base. Storytelling Memories was awarded Gold in the 2010 DINZ Best Awards.

  • Qualifications

    BDes (Massey University)
    Grad Dip Illustration (Massey University)
    MDes (Massey University)

  • Professional Affiliations

    National Institute of American Doll Artists (president)
    White Cloud Worlds (artist member)
    War History Heritage Art and Memory Research Network (WHAM) (founding member)
    Member of the Society of Animation Studies (SAS)