Each summer DA profiles a selection of the top design graduates coming out of our tertiary institutions. We welcome these talented emerging professionals to our industry, learn about their passions, final projects, developing creative confidence and ambitions for the future.
Today we speak with William Shaw, one of Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington creative graduates. You can find out more about Aotearoa NZ creative study options by visiting our design schools page.
Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I grew up in Wellington, and love making creative work. I am particularly interested in audio-visual and sound design. After finishing my Bachelor’s degree, I decided I wanted to continue studying and complete my Master’s of Design Innovation.
What did your graduating project focus on?
For my master’s project ‘Synaesthetic Sanctuary’, I developed an audio-visual design system capable of visualising New Zealand bird song. I primarily used the procedural software Houdini to develop the system, which uses the audio input of New Zealand bird songs to generate comparable visual outputs. I have always had an interest in birds, and felt particularly inspired by the wide variety of bird song you can hear around Wellington.
Why did you choose to study at Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington?
I chose to study design at Victoria University as it offered a variety of subjects to study, and also offered a course in audio-visual design which I have always been interested in. I enjoyed how the design courses at Victoria explored the entire design process. Having a developed idea of how and why I was making something allowed me to feel more satisfied with my creative outputs as I felt as though they had more meaning behind them.
What did you enjoy most about your course, or what do you feel you can take away now that you’ve completed it?
It was great to spend time researching my personal interests and developing them into an academic research project. What I really enjoyed about the course was conceptualising and developing a creative project from start to finish, and getting to spend time learning skills I hadn’t had a chance to previously. I also got to meet some great people, and see some really interesting work that helped inspire my own.
Were there any exciting or unexpected discoveries to come out of your studies?
It has been amazing to get such a positive reception to my Master’s project. I never saw myself getting a Master’s degree, but it has been a very rewarding experience and it is great to have completed a project I am truly proud of.
What’s next for you?
I am currently working in visual effects. It is great to get some industry experience at this stage of my career. In the future, I want to continue to create and develop audio-visual projects, and would be interested in applying my ideas to music videos. I also find artificial intelligence very interesting, and would like to explore how I could integrate it with the work I have done already and future projects.
How can people get in touch or see more of your work?
My website is: www.williamshawdesign.com, Instagram is: https://www.instagram.com/