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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.

Speaking about the winning entry, 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.”

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 - if you understand everything people need from mining data via their internet searches, you have the power to change things.

She added: “If you stop making people want things, and you start making things that people actually do want, it’s a really interesting and existential concept.”

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.”

The next stage of the project will see the team work on further development of the storyboard, before moving towards the production of a short animated sequence to be used across the organisation’s website and social media channels.

Read more about BA (Hons) Graphic Design

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