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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Visit with Mozilla Labs


Mozilla Fox

A group of Digital Design students recently visited Mozilla Labs as part of an Industry and Career Prep course. Studio tours are organized at the midpoint of the program to provide a glimpse of life after VFS where students can connect with industry, experience different work environments, and explore career options. Students visit motion design studios and interactive agencies of different sizes and specializations. Mozilla Labs was conveniently located near the VFS campus, and the students were fortunate to have David Ascher, Director of Mozilla Labs, lead the tour. The office space inspired creativity with the colourful walls adorned with interesting artwork and the use of customizable modular desks. The students were very delighted to see a friendly fox as a fixture of the office.

Mozilla has sought to move the Web forward by creating products that promote openness, innovation and opportunity. David shared with the students some of the experiments and prototypes that supported this mission. He also conducted a Q&A session with the students and provided some insight and guidance on what would make the students more valuable when they enter the workforce.

Thank you, Mozilla Labs!

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Big Idea – The Finish Line

Team 7Degrees

From (Left to Right): (Back) Bill Sun, JK Shin, Scott Dutertre, Cesar Martinez, Kyle Vandekleut, (Front) Macarena Poo, Patricia Birch, Kris Roberts, Breanne Jansen. 

With Term 4 already begun for DD26 we’ve now had some time to digest and reflect on all the hard work that went into last term. Without a doubt Term 3 was the most demanding 7 weeks we’ve experience thus far at VFS and the “BIG IDEA” project played no small part in that reality. The BIG IDEA course demanded our very best in a number of different capacities. It forced us to focus our energies on the core of what we needed to communicate. It required a great deal of patience in properly handling the dynamics of group collaboration. And it introduced us, in a very real-world type scenario, to the realities of client-work.

If you missed our mid-point reflection for this project be sure to check out that article HERE.

We’d like to share with you the result of all our hard work.

On behalf of Team 7Degrees, here is our final result: DECIDE

DECIDE Microsite


What’s the Big Idea? — Our Experience So Far

From (Left to Right, Back to Front): Kyle Vandekleut, Bill Sun, Scott Dutertre, JK Shin, Macarena Poo, Breanne Jansen, Cesar Velazquez.

Term 3 is now well underway for us DD26′ers and, with that, we find one area demanding our attention more than anything else.

Throughout the first four months of our year at VFS we heard frequent mention of the “BIG IDEA” project that we would soon encounter. At that time, it was just another one of the many exciting things to come! Now in the midst of it, however, “exciting” probably wouldn’t be the adjective of choice for most of my classmates (see: demanding, challenging, stressful, etc.). But, all things considered, there is definitely light at the end of that tunnel.

Much like how training wheels provide stability and safety for someone new to riding a bike, so too do our instructors — Gagan Diesh & Tiffany Hamilton — provide that network of support and guidance, particularly when learning to work with real clients.

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Launch Pad: Digital Design Talks with Carter Gilchrist and Novita Prasetia

When starting a business, most of the owners will have a small client base already in place, but what makes your business successful and allows you to continue and grow is totally a different story. The theme of this term’s Digital Design Talks is Launch Pad. Our speakers will take you through their journeys as first-time business owners in the design world. As interesting as the business side of design can be, don’t forget that your design still has to be appealing and interesting.

As for our speakers, we have invited Digital Design alumnus Carter Gilchrist, and current Digital Design student Novita Prasetia, to present their amazing stories to us.

Carter Gilchrist has over 13 years of web experience and has worked on a diverse portfolio of projects. In 2009, he co-founded Unbounce with 5 other colleagues, and is currently the Director of Product and User Experience.

As a full-stack developer and designer, he is responsible for everything from the UX design strategy, through to UI design and development, as well as back-end implementation.

Previous to Unbounce, he lead the front-end web product development for, a revolutionary browser extension, and was a Co-Founder of Fire450 Internet Product Development. Prior to that, Carter worked with the User Experience product team at Bodog Entertainment.

Outside of Unbounce, Carter plays in a number of bands, and helps run an independent record label, Unit Structure Sound Recordings.

 Novita (aka Vivi) is a current student in Digital Design at Vancouver Film School. When she was in high school she was not sure which path exactly to choose for her future, but she knew that she wanted to be in a creative environment. After a while, she chose Film Production and got her Bachelor’s with Honors in Film and TV from Limkokwing University of Technology in Malaysia.

After about a year of working in the film industry, she realized that she has a strong passion for Interactive Design, and so she went to VFS.

While she was waiting for the program to start, she started thinking about her first step in the business world. She saw an opportunity in generating income using her other passion, which is Crafting, and got help from her parents to open her first Crafting store: Knit Knot Crafthouse. She was fortunate enough that the business took off after a month, and she launched the website. She converted her garage into a store and now, after about 7 months, the store is doing very well.

She is enjoying her time being a Digital Design student and learning about different approaches to problem solving. She hopes to get a job as an Interactive Designer upon graduation.

Digital Design Talks is happening this Wednesday, September 12th at 4:30pm in the Main Theatre of VFS at 420 Homer Street. The talk is open to public, so please feel free to come and enjoy listening to the story of these two brilliant speakers.