What’s the Big Idea?

What's the Big Idea?

In the Big Idea class, Digital Design students are introduced to real world project workflow. They work on developing meaningful experiences for a target audience by creating campaigns that potentially have long lasting positive impacts.

The project is about using information design to transform unpalatable data points into narratives and visualizations that actually mean something to people. The students conceptualize campaigns and deliver integrated design experiences using multiple platforms. It is one of the touchstone projects of the year at VFS.

In 2011, students Paul Belen, Luis Francisco, Felipe Dos Santos, and Tamish Aswani created a massively successful anti-bullying video called Cyber Aware, which went viral, getting over 6,000 hits on youtube alone.

The 25th Digital Design class tackled this challenging project with their trademark gusto. The following groups each took on different briefs:

Signature7 — Ismael CosioChris ChanJaime Ugarte, Craig WilsonMatt CoadyNatasha Tentes and Seerat Bawa 

When It's Gone

Signature7 tackled the wastefulness of water, particularly in BC as compared to the rest of Canada, and created a visceral series of adverts around the tagline “You’ll miss it when it’s gone…”, which featured washing up with undiluted industrial strength chemicals, a waterfight with soft drinks, and, most cringe-worthily, a poor chap brushing his teeth with orange juice. Yuck!

Digital Design Client Proxy Tiffany Hamilton, the instructor on this course said: “Signature7 team devised an innovative, professional and beautiful design campaign for what would happen when our fresh water has gone in our lives. Instead of taking a conventional approach to PSA environmental issues, which tend to lecture to us, they asked the audience to imagine what life would be like without fresh water and provided some moving, subtle but thought provoking graphics and videos.”

SpokesPeople — Kayla CherkasIan BradyZak WoytowichDee CaseyMax LinSebastian Guerrero Almaguer and Skylar Lange

Chain's Gym

SpokesPeople took on the government initiative to get people cycling. Their core concept revolved around the laziness of your bike being the thing that keeps you from cycling. To tackle this slothfulness, they developed Chain’s Gym, The Ultimate Gym For Bikes. Their website takes you, step by step, through the basic requirements and knowledge for cycling.

Hamilton commented:  “The Spokespeople team took a fresh humorous approach to capturing people’s attention as to why they may not be using their bike in the city. They came up with the idea that their bike was lazy (not them!) and by going to Chain’s Gym For Bikes online they could learn more about tuning up their bike, discovering convenient bike lanes and to demystify other obstacles that may be holding them back from taking their bike out more.”

SandBox — Cole DerochieLaura HernandezVictor TranEvan BashirSandi Leticia Ramirez Tirado and Ryan Furlot


Sandbox created a digital strategy to activate the Vancouver community. They wanted to “gamify Vancouver’s daily routine” by envisioning Vancouver as a post apocalyptic world through which you have to gather supplies, food and shelter by going to new places and meeting new people.

Hamilton’s response: “Sandbox team took a modern approach to connecting Vancouverites through the use of a mobile game, that motivated people to learn more about the city through game play, discovery, collaboration and competition. They made it fun and relevant to connect to the city and other inhabiters!”

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