Congratulations to the winning teams from our recent 45-hour SLAM. These intense and fun collaborative design challenges take place three times per year. They provide great opportunities for students to test their design skills and to learn from each other. Slams also allow students to delve into cutting-edge techniques or technologies such as projection mapping and augmented reality. This Slam introduced students to the concept of geocaching.
Hunter-Gatherers (from left: Paul Goerne, Stacey Krayzlyakh, Miguel Angel Barragan Arevalo, Julien Herras, Yoojung Lee, Roger Luo)
Digital Nomads (from left: BT So, Fabiola Ruiz-Ortega Perez, Ignacio Osorio, Ana Julia Nieto Colina, Pedram Rafie)
Our recent Digital Design Slam produced some amazing work. Here is what Head of Department Louise Lee had to say about the results:
“Our Slam events are exciting because they allow students to go through a rapid project within a compressed timeline. At VFS, students are used to going through projects that last 7-8 weeks, so our Slams give them the opportunity to complete a project within 48 hours with the compressed learning outcomes that such a tight turnaround time can bring. We encourage our students to have fun with their Slam projects, and they delivered that with this round – particularly embracing and using new constraints around projection mapping that they’d worked with before. I’m constantly amazed and impressed with what our students can produce within 48 hours, and this round was no exception – check it out for yourself!”
The Digital Design program knows how to promote a party. To prove this, we held a 45-hour SLAM to design a campaign for a party experience for the social media age. On Wednesday, July 23rd, a kickoff meeting was hosted by Head of Department Louise Lee and instructor Christopher Quine. The images of the two of them were projected onto the screen as they delivered the brief. It was a precursor of the challenge that awaited the students.
The creative brief revolved around promoting a party of the students’ choice. They were tasked to use all their skills as designers drawing on what they had learned up to this point about project management, branding, motion design, interactive design, social media, and art direction to craft a campaign to promote their party. A new element for this Slam was a projection mapping component. The Digital Design program is no stranger to projection mapping. We have had guest speakers and an award-winning student group project recognized by Applied Arts.
Required deliverables for this design challenge were to include a marketing strategy that promoted the party, a projection mapping experience that complemented their chosen event theme, and a combination of motion and interactive design assets. This Slam was conceived by Christopher who leveraged his extensive experience with interactive installation projects. The event catered to the skill sets of both the Interactive and Motion Design students. It got them thinking of designing for a physical environment as well as web and print-based media. For almost all of the students, it was their first foray into creating assets for a projection mapping experience.
Digital Design Slams are intense. They offer opportunities to test skills and to add another project to students’ portfolios in a short time frame. Teams were formed from the three classes at various stages of their school year. This allowed the students to strengthen ties between the classes and to build their network.
July 10th marked the first time the Digital Design and Entertainment Business Management programs collaborated on a 45-hr SLAM. Sebastien de Castell, Director of Strategic Program Development and Acting Head of Entertainment Business Management, kicked off the Slam by delivering the brief that revolved around a theme of “The Entertainment Experience.”
The brief was gleaned from Sebastien’s history with experience design for interactive campaigns for television series such as ReBoot and Heartland. Students were challenged to design a new positive reality-based or lifestyle television show with an interactive audience engagement component. The goal was to create a pitch package to convince investors to fund the show while staying true to the mandate of positive TV programming.
The pitch package needed to include the following components:
1. A detailed bible covering the show, its audience, the competition, and the strategy for success
2. A segment of a sample show (2-5 minutes long) with a show package (bumpers, lower-thirds, etc.)
3. Identity package for the show (logo and/or wordmark, colour palette, typefaces, applications)
4. A demonstration of the interactive engagement strategy (web mockups, functional prototypes, or simulation)
5. A PechaKucha style presentation using 15 slides
Teams were formed from classes at different stages in the two programs which offered opportunities to build valuable contacts and to learn from each other. Immediately following the kickoff meeting, the teams were supplied a pizza dinner to fuel their creative juices as they brainstormed concepts to pitch to a panel the next morning.
Ask any VFS Digital Design students or alumni what SLAM means to them. They will tell you it is the most challenging and grueling 2 days (or 12 hours, if you ask graduates of the 20th graduating class and before) of their life. It tests their creativity and problem solving, as well as team player skills, to the max. It is also one of the activities I miss the most after graduating from Digital Design back in Dec 2011. Which is why, when a few of my coworkers decided to compete in NASA‘s International Space Apps Challenge hackathon at the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) in Toronto, I jumped at the opportunity.
We were given 25 challenges to choose from, which all required different skill sets: There were challenges that asked you to plan a cubeSat trajectory; Innovation on how to make Mars livable for human; Aurora localization; and many more. Since our strength lay in interactive media, it made sense for us to choose a challenge where we could showcase our skill. That’s why we chose Adopt a Spacecraft: Voyager 1.
The NASA International Space Apps Challenge hackathon started Friday, April 19th at 7pm, with an introduction of the challenges and team building for those who had yet to join one. We officially started with our challenge at 10pm.