APPLIED ARTS 2016 STUDENT AWARDS

Five Digital Design graduates were named winners of the 2016 Applied Arts Student Awards competition yesterday. The work was judged by a panel of senior communications professionals, and the winners were selected based on creative merit, technical excellence and suitability for end use. The following is a list of the six projects and names of the winners:

FRAME
Ainara Sáinz Gutierrez

Dear Stranger
Hanna Cortés

Poiesis
Ignacio Flórez

Quintessence
Jay Lee

Bikeit
Maggie (Juei-Hsuan) Wang

Rune Branding
Maggie (Juei-Hsuan) Wang

The winners will receive the following:

  • Their work published in the November/December 2016 Student Awards annual
  • Their work published online in November
  • A complimentary copy of the November issue
  • Digital tear sheets of their published work
  • A personalized award certificate signed by the founder of Applied Arts, noted graphic designer Georges Haroutiun
  • Their work displayed at the Creative Futures Expo, November 8-9 at the Toronto Centre for the Arts, where more than 1,500 aspiring creative artists, high school students and their teachers will visit

Congratulations to all the winners!

INDUSTRY IQ STUDIO TOUR: TRIBAL DDB

(guest post by J-P Crowe, DD35)

We were finally going to meet DDB! And I had many burning questions deep in my soul. Did you make the interactive Christmas tree for Canadian Tire? What are the salmon facts? And what the heck is going on with Translink?

But there were serious questions as well. One of my close family friends has done public relations for oil companies and tobacco companies, trying to defend people with a bad rap. How do you do that? What is it like in this day and age, when your corner candy shop selling fair trade Camino chocolates has become the neighbourhood McDonalds selling McWraps, and every guy has got to survive?

When we sat down, they were eager to elaborate on the Our Food, Your Questions campaign they did for McDonald’s where they promise to answer any question you have about their food. We also learned about their work for BC Hydro encouraging the public to curb their energy consumption in order to meet the needs of a growing population.

Their physical space is incredibly impressive. With few separating walls, it’s mostly an expanse of desks and computer screens with people dressed in chic business casual clothes. Surrounding this space are windows from ceiling to floor gazing upon the surrounding grey apartment buildings in every direction. Maybe it’s the futurist in me that can’t help but think about each mind behind each window in each of those buildings that designers try to understand and reach. As we headed back down the graffiti stairwell I was reminded that this digital agency is business on the outside and human on the inside.

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Industry IQ STUDIO TOUR: AXIOM ZEN

(guest post by Ana María Posada, DD34)

With rain on our backs we eagerly entered the underground building of Axiom Zen. Amy, a UX designer, welcomed us with a friendly smile. Axiom Zen is a Vancouver-based innovation company that develops apps and experiments with new technologies working with industry giants like Apple, Google, Baidu, and Facebook.

The first thing that struck me was the stillness in the office and the people who work there in an atmosphere of calm and concentration. I stood in awe watching employees working in front of their screens, some standing, some sitting, typing lines of code. They were so immersed in their work that few noticed our sizable presence.

We joined Amy in an open-spaced corner of the studio and sat down on Molo-designed seating for a brief introduction about the studio. She explained to us the dynamics of the work environment, their creative process and the types of projects that have been developed in the studio. Later, Amy was accompanied by Brian, Dieter and Nick to explain more about Axiom Zen and to answer all of our keen questions.

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Van UE Design Awards Gala

(guest post by Jordan Barber)

I’ve heard it said that designers should be loved, not understood. I can’t say if that’s true, but I’ll wholeheartedly admit we’re a strange breed. We obsess over form, font, color, and composition. Some of us communicate ideas through storytelling, and others spend countless hours unraveling complex systems to build better experiences.

When I entered my undergraduate design program, a professor told me that I would never see the world the same again—later another instructor called it a curse. I never knew how true these statements were until I entered the world of user experience design. In the Digital Design program at VFS we learned the tools to transform our obsessions into a problem-solving skillset by letting the problem dictate the solution; not the other way around.

For our graduate projects, we drew inspiration from our lives and the world around us. We learned to observe, hypothesize, validate, and examine our ideas while always keeping the user at the center of our designs.

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2015 Vancouver User Experience Awards

Congratulations to DD alumnus Henry Chu for winning at the Vancouver User Experience Awards. Henry’s graduate project, Kinforman Android mobile and smart watch application that enables geographically separated families to share and to track their health information, won in the UX by Students category. Finalists also included DD alumni Juhi JaferiiKelsey Hemphill, and Jordan Barber. The awards gala was held this past Wednesday, and entries for the UX Awards were judged based on five criteria that included joy, elegance, simplicity, innovation and impact.