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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Studio Tour: Mozilla Labs

(guest post by Andre Kuznetcov)

Mozilla is a perfect example of a modern, flexible, people-oriented organization. The atmosphere of openness and creative freedom is everywhere, from the humble smile of David Ascher, VP of Product for the Mozilla Foundation, to welcome us, all the way through to the beautifully designed production office, and the nice little gesture of a box of Ferrero Rocher next to the registration tablet at the end of our journey.

Although most people know Mozilla for their most successful product, Firefox, and as one of the larger market players on a similar level to Google or Amazon, Mozilla is actually a non-profit organization.  Surprised? I was, as well as most of our group.

The tour was awesome. People were nice to us and very kind in sharing their expertise and knowledge. The office is one of the more technologically advanced and well-designed places I’ve seen, and David’s presentation was simple, concise, and engaging.  During the talk, we learned about Mozilla’s vision which includes the struggle for the freedom and transparency of the Internet, and actively sharing a big chunk of its interactive work with the general public online through GitHub. 

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Congratulations VFS Digital Design Class 29

Congratulations to Digital Design class 29! On December 18th, we held our graduation ceremony and Awards Show for class 29. Red Borrowman, Program Manager, oversaw the ceremony and introduced each speaker. Louise Lee, Head of Department, delivered the keynote speech, and Nida Fatima, Motion Design Instructor, offered one last lesson as the elected instructor speaker. Henry Chu and Scot Kroon were the elected student speakers who represented the graduating class.

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Experimental Light Painting

Digital Design Class 30 students created some stunning light painting images as part of a recent lesson in the Experimental Practices course. Instructor Dougal Muir led the first part of the lesson on crafting a personal mantra, quote or positioning statement. This mantra provided the students a starting point for the light painting visual experiments. I guided the second part of the lesson where I provided some sources of inspiration and talked about the technical requirements. By using slow shutter speeds and various light sources in a dark room, we captured a series of interesting light trails and patterns. The students also “wrote” a piece of their mantras using light painting techniques with the intention of further post-processing. This lesson consistently produces great work, and it is always fun to take part in it.

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DD30: What’s the Big Idea?

Our DD30′s after thoroughly wow’ing our Canuck Place client.

“What’s the Big Idea?”

During their year at VFS, Digital Design students have the opportunity to work with a non-profit organization on a campaign based on their client’s brief as part of the “What’s the Big Idea?” course in Term 3. This course is designed to give students the opportunity to work on real client projects from inception to final delivery, based on a client brief that incorporates interactive, branding, and motion elements. The course is structured to closely mimic a real-world client project. Teams are set up, project management tools are put in place, and the course begins with a client presentation.

This time round, we were lucky enough to work with Canuck Place Children’s Hospice and support the great work they do for the community. Canuck Place provides specialized pediatric palliative care for children living with a life-threatening illness and support for their families throughout British Columbia. Read More