Welby Ings (PhD; MA GFA; B. Graphic Design; Adv. Dip. Tchng, FRSA)

Professor Ings completed his PhD in 2005 on the structure and profiles of narrative music videos and television commercials. He is a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (UK), a member of the Designers’ Institute of New Zealand, and the New Zealand Screen Directors’ Guild. In 2002, he received the Prime Minister’s Award for Tertiary Teaching Excellence and the NZ Government Award for Sustained Tertiary Teaching Excellence. In 2013 he was awarded the inaugural AUT medal for his contribution to learning and research. 


His practice is primarily concerned with film design (screenplay writing, directing and production design). Beyond this, is a body of work associated with the pedagogical implications of working with narrative designers in advanced research degrees.

Still from the short film boy (2004)

Welby has just completed writing, designing and directing his feature film PUNCH. Preceding this, in 2005, his first short film ‘boy’ was shortlisted for 2005 Academy Awards and his next film Munted, won numerous international festivals. Released in 2017, his third short film Sparrow accrued over 70 juried selections and 20 international awards. 

Poster image for the film Munted (2011)

Poster image for the film Sparrow (2017)

For Welby, drawing is a mode of thinking. It is a fundamental method that he uses to process sensory knowledge. This is explained in his keynote address at the Art of Research conference (2014), in Helsinki his concerns with drawing as thought may be partially explained by the fact that until the age of 15 he could neither read nor write. As a consequence, he has developed a deep interest in visual intelligences and the ability of certain creative thinkers to translate knowledge between the senses. Accordingly, he is also dedicated to the development of practice-led inquiry. 

Prepratory drawings for the film Sparrow (2017)

Portrait of my Brother – Oil on wood (2019)

Welby’s work in design education focuses on educational reform, and how minority indigenous and queer voices may be facilitated and extended in advanced research degrees. He also publishes and speaks internationally on teaching, relationships between creativity and mental health, and the nature of ethics and moral behaviour in the academy.

In addition to working professionally, designing title sequences for film and television, Welby is currently the primary supervisor of 10 PhD students who are developing research in the fields of design, pedagogy, typography, linguistics, and indigenous approaches to methodology. Since 2004 he has supervised 20 design-based PhDs to successful completion and 22 Masters theses, that have all been awarded First Class Honours. He also mentors numerous other doctoral candidates and examines theses both in New Zealand and Australia

Still from the titles sequence of TV1s drama When We Go to War (2015)

Centre for Design Research
Te Kura Toi a Hoahoa
School of Art and Design

Te Wānanga Aronui o Tāmaki Makau Rau,
Auckland University of Technology


Susan Hedges susan.hedges@aut.ac.nz
Mandy Smith mandy.smith@aut.ac.nz

Authors are responsible for obtaining permission to publish images or illustrations with their papers in CDR; neither editors nor publishers of CDR accept responsibility for any author’s/authors’ failure to do so.

© Centre for Design Research, AUT University 2021