In response to student feedback in the Master of Design program, I have been looking for ways to increase industry engagement and experience in the Interaction Design specialisation. Many Masters students are studying with one eye on employment, and so it’s particularly important to make sure the skills and knowledge they are developing is going to be relevant for current industry practice.
Similar to the partnership I have developed with Studio Messa for Integrated Project in the Bachelor of Design program, I have established a partnership with the Nature Conservation Council (NCC) for students in the final Interaction Design specialisation course for Masters students: Tangible Interfaces and Interactive Displays.
We were fortunate enough to have NCC Chief Executive, Chris Gambian and Organising Director, Jacqui Mumford deliver a real world brief for the class: to propose an interactive experience for visitors to the NCC 65th anniversary dinner to be held later in 2020. Students were tasked with not only pitching an experience that would be interesting and engaging for the attendees of the event, but also communicated and celebrated some of the key events in the history of the NCC.
Each work also had to reference the central themes of NCC campaigns: nature, climate and people power. The scope and subsequent feedback provided by Chris and Jacqui of the NCC was fantastic in giving students a taste of working for a real client, with real constraints. Students worked in interdisciplinary teams to develop lighting sculptures, table-top tangible interfaces, interactive lighting projections and educational games.