Designing for the eHealth and Wearable Technology Revolution!

Here is our brand new collection of connected and wearable devices, which we will be experimenting and playing with as part of the newest VFS Digital Design course – “Wearable Technology and eHealth” – which will be taught by Karen Whistler. We have JawBone and the UP band, the latest Fuelband, Hue and Sphero!

However, this course is about more than play—we will be using the devices for hands-on experience with emerging technology. Students will be using them to unpack and validate thinking behind the underlying tech and how systems like these will integrate into all aspects of our lifestyle in the near future. In this course, the final deliverable will be to prototype an eHealth solution.  This will be shown through a Case Study video that communicates the Big Idea, initial prototype and pitches where the project would head next if given adequate funding.

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Designer Toys: Not Just for Fun

DC munny design

As we’re starting a new term today, it’s usually the time to look for ways to kick start our creative batteries. Often, stepping away from the computer is a first step, and I am a huge fan of do-it-yourself products like Kidrobot’s Munny and MUNNYWORLD vinyl figures. They allow for creative expression that is completely independent of the reliance on plugins or digital filters. These vinyl figures also look great for decorating workspaces that designers spend so much time at.

This is a vinyl figure I recently customized. In terms of process, I normally start with a list of key ideas to help me focus on what type of character I’m designing such as cute, grotesque, robotic, etc. Following an image search to create an inspiration folder and a visit to an art gallery or book store, I’ll sketch ideas out using a template of the silhouette of the blank vinyl figure. After a few pages of thumbnail sketches, I will proceed with the actual application. Even though it is nerve-wracking, I enjoy the challenge of drawing directly with pigment liners pens without using pencil guides. It is difficult, but I try not to worry about making mistakes.

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Digital Design Talks: 2014 Digital Trends by Nik Badminton

On Wednesday January 29, 2014 VFS Digital Design presented another in its series, Digital Design Talks, featuring current and past students, as well as key industry representatives of the Design field. The theme for Wednesday’s talk was 2014 Digital Trends and the speaker was Nik Badminton, Principal at DesignCultureMind.

Nik has a background in psychology, human interaction and social network theory, as well as 18 years of experience, starting out in software and management consulting, moving into the world of advertising and finally opening his own Product and Innovation Consultancy, DesignCultureMind. The 3 areas covered in his presentation were; People, Business and Things.

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Do Bugs Need Drugs?

“The Do Bugs Need Drugs? program team had the privilege of collaborating with four VFS grads on the creation of two 15-second television ads which are airing on many networks in BC  and Alberta. While presented with several challenges along the way, the grads worked tirelessly and professionally, consulting with us, until the ads were completed to all of our satisfaction. Our team is very proud to be able to share their creations with the public during our television ad campaign.”

Kim Dreher | Program Coordinator, Do Bugs Need Drugs

During their amazing twelve months at VFS, students are provided the opportunity to give back as they near the midpoint of their year. VFS has had the privilege of working with some amazing local organizations and causes from the past year and we were especially pleased when we had the opportunity to team up with the Do Bugs Need Drugs group out at UBC. Abuse of antibiotics has become a global epidemic and so last year our 24th class of Digital Design stepped up to the challenge of creating an awareness campaign that addressed the issue, without spreading fear of an outbreak. They needed a*Big Idea*….

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Digital Exquisite Corpse by Macarena Poo Garcia

In term 5, students partake in a surrealist exercise called Exquisite Corpse. It’s an experimental exercise that happens in Experimental Practices. This is a course that began my teaching career at VFS and this is the longest running assignment I’ve ever set. (And maybe the most fun because I selfishly get to take part!)

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