interactive waka

What we do 

The School of Media Arts Research outputs exist in the world of creative practice, alongside a rich range of applied media practice and theory. The breadth of the school’s applied and academic knowledge, combined with a strong and well established postgraduate programme and a proven track record of industry and community engagement, results in productive research culture.

Research at the School of Media Arts is clustered around the wider Wintec research themes. These themes are as follows: Inclusive Culture, Language and Indigenous People; Innovation, Creativity and Design; Human and Societal Health, Wellness and Performance; Transformative technologies and the future of learning, workplaces and careers; and, Regeneration, Revitalisation and Transformation. These themes provide a focus for both individual and collaborative research practice and integrate our ongoing research practice into other elements of the School. We also are regularly exploring work which simultaneously explores a number of the research themes.

How we do it

In order to pursue our Research vision, the School aims to develop partnerships with local, national and international industry connections. We also direct support towards group research projects, and encourage broader research collaboration within the School, as well as with the wider Wintec Research Community, as well as with our direct community and industry partners.

We are actively engaged in the development of new researchers, with opportunities for them to work in collaboration with more established researchers to help facilitate the growth of research capabilities. This will also help to utilise the knowledge and experience gained through our research practice within teaching. This helps to ensure that the teaching remains current and that methodologies of industry practice can be developed through current research and development.

Why we do it

Research in Media Arts is primarily, but not entirely, drawn from elements of creative practice. We do it as a means to pursue original investigation which contributes to knowledge and understanding, while also exploring cultural innovation and/or aesthetic refinement. We want to create work that engages with both industry and community in various formats. We will strive to continue to explore more collaborative, multi-disciplinary and trans-disciplinary modes of research.

A majority of our researchers are also practising artists and industry professionals engaged in a number of internal and external projects. Their breadth of knowledge and experience, developed through research, will continue to inform the teaching practice, and various research projects will continue to be utilised as teaching tools in the form of examples, experiments and collaborative explorations. This also leads to a level of industry expertise that flows on to various commissioned works, collaborative projects and industry secondments.

Our researchers 

Media Arts Researchers have a broad range of expertise and knowledge. These areas include:

  • graphic design;
  • digital design;
  • contemporary art;
  • sculpture;
  • visual art;
  • installation art;
  • photography;
  • moving image;
  • creative writing;
  • interior design;
  • music (commercial, contemporary, sonic art and musicology);
  • journalism;
  • public relations;
  • and more.

Contact us

Do you have a research enquiry? Get in touch using the form below.


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Engineering firm takes mentoring to another level

Image: Wintec engineering students Nathan Reidy and Robbie Puncheon working on the prototype with Jemoal Lassey, project engineer at Longveld.

When six Wintec Māori and Pasifika engineering students volunteered for work experience at Longveld recently, they got to work on a very special project. Together they have made the framework for Hamilton’s Matariki Interactive Waka sculpture.

The work undertaken by the students on the waka ‘skeleton’ complemented their trade training  as it required them to weld and assist with cutting steel while experiencing a real-world workplace.

Longveld directors Pam and Les Roa launched their business with little more than a toolbox, a welder and some great trade skills in the early 90s. They celebrate innovation and believe very strongly in culture and wellbeing. Their adoption of mātauranga Māori principles added a welcoming, cultural dimension to the students’ experience.

“We’re no strangers to interesting projects, in fact at Longveld we relish the challenge. To work with students who are embarking on a career in engineering, and at the same time help to create something that is so culturally significant for our community, is really inspiring for our team,” says Pam.

The students have been mentored by Longveld engineer Jemoal Lassey who says he has a new respect for teaching and learning.

“Upskilling these students, who I hope will become part of a new generation of engineers, was a reminder of how important it is to get the basics right, learn by doing and to ask questions along the way and challenge better ways of doing things,” says Jemoal.

Wintec tutor and PhD candidate Joe Citizen is behind the multidisciplinary Matariki Interactive Waka project which to date has involved Wintec students studying trades, engineering, early childhood education and media arts working with industry partners and Wintec’s Māori Achievement team.

“I can’t say enough how awesome it is that Longveld are involved and through this project they are mentoring our students. It was just wonderful to walk in there and see how they’re getting top-level mentorship in making a prototype that informs the cladding process,” says Joe.

“It’s real hands-on stuff. What’s particularly cool is the way I’m learning from the students, as they could tell me what the hard parts were and what they think needs to be done next.

“The next part will be working on the illuminated access hatches, which need to be integrated into the cladding design.”

Looking ahead, there are exciting plans for the Matariki Interactive Waka project as  the sculpture nears completion in time for a June 2018 installation at Hamilton’s Ferrybank. Wintec media arts, business and IT students will work together to create an app with the sensor data from the waka project. Sustainable energy options have been researched by Wintec electrical engineering students and next year will see their implementation, using solar and wind solutions.

The multidisciplinary Matariki Interactive Waka project was developed by Wintec tutor and PhD candidate Joe Citizen. Joe envisaged this project as a public art installation that encompassed many of the disciplines and values related to his research.

The seven metre tall interactive sculpture is being built with a stainless-steel skeleton and clad in 3mm corten plate, and will utilise an interactive design that engages with the seven stars of Matariki through LED lighting and ambient soundtracks. The interactive sculpture will be activated by movement and its environmental sensor network will operate at dawn and dusk.

The sculpture will be situated at Hamilton’s Ferrybank, having gained unanimous consent from the Hamilton City Council at both its concept and siting stages. It is a collaborative, consultative, multidisciplinary partnership with Wintec’s researchers, Media Arts, IT and Māori Achievement teams, guided by Wintec kaumātua Tame Pokaia.

Current industry partnerships include Longveld, ACLX, and Taranaki-based MechEng. More than $100,000 of funding has been secured so far, with donations, grants, and in-kind support received from Perry Group, Trust Waikato, WEL Trust, Longveld and Wintec.

Follow the Matariki Interactive Waka Project on Facebook.

Homepage image: Artist's impression, the Matariki Interactive Waka sculpture at Ferrybank, Julian Smith. 

Above: Wintec engineering students Nathan Reidy and Robbie Puncheon working on the prototype with Jemoal Lassey, project engineer at Longveld.

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