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An assortment of designs and posters for Poole Museum, including a logo with text reading 'Our Museum', an open laptop and smartphone, and four different posters with text 'Believe', 'Discover', 'Experience', and 'Uncover'.

Graphic Design students re-think consumer behaviour in data science and visualisation competition


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AUB Graphic Design students have recently hit the drawing board to think about how smart communications could change industrial and consumer behaviours for a new competition ran by data science company Kaiasm.

The graphic designers were challenged to think about how communications could be done differently in the modern world; changing the ways in which industrial and consumer behaviours are impacting on pollution, waste and natural resources.

The creative challenge was set by knowledge creation company Kaiasm, who believe that there are better and more sustainable ways that economies can function. Kaiasm Chief Scientist Liam McGee and Founder Steven Johnston were tasked with deciding which ideas most suited the brief.

Liam said: "We were thrilled with the standard of creative response we got from the students to our brief - a difficult one, of simply explaining what we do in a one to two minute animation. There's a lot of talent at AUB, and we think they all have very bright futures ahead of them."

Kaiasm were really impressed by all the presentations and the student’s professionalism, but after careful consideration, the pair chose Deep Dive by second-year BA (Hons) Graphic Design students Cynthia Porta Fernandez and Simona Dimitrova as competition winners.

The winning students had an additional challenge in working collaboratively across virtual environments while developing their ideas under lockdown from their homes in Bulgaria and the UK to produce and animate a two-minute sequence for the companies website and social media channels.

Speaking about the Cynthia and Simona’s pitch, Liam added: “The Deep Dive concept and analogy felt like a perfect match with our company’s principles and ambitions, as well as visual connections to brand values of being transformative, revelatory and valuable.”

Speaking to the students Cynthia Porta Fernandez said: “This project was an amazing opportunity which allowed us to experience a real life client-designer interaction. It was really eye-opening to learn about what Kaiasm does, and really fun to get to tell their story through a motion graphics sequence. This project also allowed us to develop our After Effects skills, which will prove very helpful and valuable in future projects.”

Simona Dimitrova added: “We are so thankful to Kaiasm and AUB Human who gave us the opportunity to deep dive into the world of data and science and to gain an industry insight over this unusual summer. We not only acquired new animation skills but also got insight of how it is to work with a client on a real live brief. This was really beneficial to our personal development as graphic designers since we learnt how to describe our ideas to non-designers and to understand their ideas as well. It was also a real challenge to communicate and develop ideas virtually, but we managed to overcome this obstacle and to create a finished animation.”

AUB’s Steph Horan, Graphic Design Pathway Leader and Alice Stevens, AUB Human Founder & Senior Lecturer, both acted as consultants on the project.

Alice said: “We were delighted that Kaiasm came to AUB and challenged us to find a way to communicate what they do in a simple, compelling and understandable manner. Industries are making products that we don’t need and don’t want, draining precious resources from the planet and making demands that just aren’t sustainable.

“At AUB, we’re always keen to tackle tricky problems and use design as a means to solve or mitigate the problem in hand. The fact that this challenge has such big implications for sustainability is what particularly interested us’

She added: “We are really proud of Cynthia and Simona and how they have managed this complex project which demonstrates their professionalism, ability to collaborate virtually, conceptual thinking, storytelling and digital skills’.

Steph Horan said: “It’s been a great experience for everyone involved in the design challenge. The client has been fully engaged and has provided useful feedback throughout the process. Furthermore, the project continues to provide an exciting opportunity for Cynthia and Simona to work with the client in realising the project, whilst also being paid a competitive fee over the summer.”

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