Digital Design Talks : Review

Still from Surface Presentation

Digital Design Head of Department, Miles Nurse, said it best after the latest edition of Digital Design Talks: the bar has been set very high. It was truly an awe-inspiring evening. Each presentation represented the theme Layered Experiences perfectly, iterating it in different ways, while showing correspondences in each case.

Digital Design students, Ryan Ali, David Calderon Navarro, Ivan Aguilar, Alejandro Davila, with sound design by Logan Smith, and with critical technical assistance by Colin Gray, presented their Projection Mapping Project Surface.  This amazing piece of work was a grand collaborative experiment conducted by the team over a number of months outside of any specific program requirement, but wholly in the spirit of the program’s principles.

Surface Creative Team

When asked about the experience, this is what the creative team had to say:

Ryan Ali:
“The collective effort that was put into this project was massive. It was a fun challenge to work with such talented designers representing different styles, and to watch our vision come to life over the past year.”

David Calderon Navarro :
“It’s great to work on something you have passion for, surrounded with talented people and, most importantly, good friends”

Team Surface presenting at DD Talks

Alejandro Davila :
“Surface represents a huge monster that has been living inside of our heads since the beginning of the program. We let it out together, and the result was unique and something people will remember, all thanks to the Surface Team.”

Team Surface presenting at DD Talks

Ivan Aguilar :
“It’s incredible how our team was able to divide the tasks and double the success, no matter how big the challenge was.”

Logan Smith:
“This was an exciting project to be a part of, with all the creative energy that went into it. The process had its own unique challenges, but the late nights and long hours were definitely worth it.”

Check out this beautiful video of the presentation:

The next presenter was Mark Raham, who is Creative Director of the Vancouver Canucks.

Mark Raham with slide Vancouver-Canucks-Layered-Experiences

Mark Raham creates Layered Experiences for the live audience at the Canucks home games. These spectacular presentations map projections onto a variety of surfaces at different points in the 3D space of the arena (including some rather tricky ones like ice, as well as hanging scrims).

In Bowl Experience Vancouver Canucks

The Layered Experience isn’t just restricted to these projections, however, it goes right to the way the exterior environment is lit, and how the crowds’ entry into the space is shaped emotionally with light, image and sound to build anticipation and envelop them in the experience. It is actually a very subtle potion that Mark and his team are mixing together to get this effect, and necessarily so, for if it’s too obvious then the magic doesn’t work.

Mark Raham speaking at Digital Design Talks

Of course, nothing beats actually being there for this kind of immersive experience, but for those of you who have never been there for it, you can at least have a preview of it here. Try to consider what actually goes into make something like this work — the calibration alone is tricky, but beyond the technical considerations, the real success is in the way it makes the audience feel. From the look of it, it would seem that they feel pretty good!

Projection mapping was definitely a consistent element between the Surface presentation and Mark Raham’s, but so was design. Design itself was shown to be a layered experience, both at the level of process and product. In this respect, Ana Carrizales, Volunteer Coordinator from Cineworks (and VFS Acting for Film & Television grad) also demonstrated an important layer of that experience: collaborative networks. Ana mentioned in her introduction to Cineworks that once she had graduated from VFS she found herself missing the vibrant collaboration with her diverse group of peers. She joined Cineworks to reestablish that kind of connection. She came around to invite the audience to Cineworks’ Monthly Film and Media Showcase, which features screenings and group discussion about a variety of moving image and visual work by local members.

All in all, it was a fantastic evening — and definitely, as Miles said, one difficult to top, but we look forward to trying!

Leave Comments