STUDIO TOUR: Giant Ant

(guest post by Miguel Barragan)

One needs to say something new, or at least say something old better…

Sometimes, when it comes to telling stories, it seems as though everything has already been said, every story has been already told, and it’s difficult to come up with innovative ideas.

Through exploring one inner-most layers and digging deep into emotions and thoughts, it’s possible to find valuable hidden treasures that can trigger the true potential of an authentic piece of art or design. The studio Giant Ant is aware of this, and they decipher their clients’ minds effectively, sometimes when the clients themselves are working out their own thoughts.

The Giant Ant team finds inspiration by going out of their habitual environment, starting projects in new and unusual places, talking to strangers, and hopefully gleaning that small missing piece of the puzzle.

They start projects right away, wherever they are, and even though not everything might be very clear at the beginning, things usually elucidate once they’re already in the artistic process.

Sometimes, it even seems as though the solution finds them instead of them finding the solution. They tend to experiment with serendipitous moments. Ask them how one of their projects evolved, and chances are they could barely describe it, not because they don’t want to tell the story, but because they let the process flow naturally, and stories often write themselves.

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Studio Tour: Sequence

(guest post by Daniel Molina)

Inspiring” and “enlightening” are words that describe our studio tour of Sequence. The variety of pieces of advertising, animations, titles, live action, and motion comics denote the creativity and passion that Sequence applies to every single project for its clients such as MicrosoftCapcomMarvel, and others.

After visiting two interactive agencies, it was time to visit a motion studio.  Personally, I was so excited to have this visit because I’d have the opportunity to know more about how the motion industry works and to get to chat with people that are really involved in this field.

Elisa Wolfenden, Production and Project Manager, was the person who guided our visit. She brought us into a cozy and modern conference room located on their first underground floor where she shared with us some recent motion pieces from the Sequence studio. The first motion piece was a cinematic piece for HALO that exemplified the level of teamwork they have. From producing the original concept and illustration, through to production art and animation, Sequence demonstrates the capability to offer stunning visuals in a variety of styles for game and film properties alike.

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Digital Design Talks by Nikolas Badminton: 2015, A Year of Alternatives

Nikolas Badminton, Futurist and Principal, DesignCultureMind and Regional Director, North America, Freelancer.comvisited our campus recently to give a presentation on the theme of 2015, A Year of Alternatives as part of our regular speaker series, Digital Design Talks. He spoke about the collaborative economy, recent developments in wearables, virtual reality, and privacy issues related to our data. Here are some images from his presentation. Thanks, Nik!

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Studio Tour: Habanero

(guest post by Yoojung Lee)

We were excited to visit the Vancouver office of Habanero for our second studio tour of the year. It was located only a fourteen-minute walk away from the Digital Design campus. Greeting us upon our arrival was Bradley Smith, a Senior Interaction Designer at Habanero and also a VFS alumnus from the very first class of the DD program.

After Bradley guided us into the large main meeting room, we were introduced to some of the other members of the team, including Christopher Parsons, a Senior Front End Developer, and Zak Woytowich, another graduate of the DD program and now an Interaction Designer. It was very interesting to see a number of our alumni actively working in the digital design industry throughout the city, giving us inspirational and realistic advice that we can truly make use of. As we were introduced to the different designers in the group, Steven Fitzgerald, the President of Habanero, walked into the room to give us a brief talk about Habanero and their vision. Steven greatly emphasized how they always work as a team with their clients, endlessly communicating and collaborating upon every step of their work process, in order to bring about the most effective and suitable digital solutions as possible. Likewise, the work culture at Habanero seemed to be strongly based upon supporting and respecting each individual members’ perspectives upon their own career phases. At Habanero, they all worked as a team in a flat hierarchy, where all employees were consulted regularly for custom-career options that would best suit the members’ interests in terms of their skills, preferences, and aspirations. This meant that not only each employee would be able to build upon their own individual career pathways, but also that they would have the passion and openness required to generate the best outcomes together as a company. Building upon their amazing people-centered work culture, another very interesting aspect of Habanero was their long and thorough hiring process. It was clear that Habanero is more interested in establishing a strong team of warm and trusting minds, rather than merely recruiting any skilled body who can finish the given tasks.

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