The University of Newcastle, Australia

Industrial Design students Kickstart their career in final year

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Wyn Jones is ensuring his Industrial Design students take their ideas and designs beyond university assessment.

The lecturer recently organised for his final year cohort of students to have a live videoconference with two Kickstarter Community Managers, Nick and Julio, in New York.

Students were taken through the process of creating a Kickstarter campaign and were given unique advice as to what strategy they should use with their prototype, demonstration video and product description. Julio and Nick also explained how to effectively connect with the Kickstarter 'backers' to ensure ongoing success of the campaign.

To complete the experience, Wyn also organised a workshop for his students with Rollingball, a local video production company, to get their 'Kickstarter' videos up to scratch.

Rollingball Productions workshop

The team from Rollingball set the students up with real equipment and gave valuable advice on how to craft succinct answers that are relevant to their target audience. Students were also given tips on framing, lighting and effects to ensure their videos were top notch.

"Kickstarter requires a video to run a campaign, I wanted to get the students used to making videos so that they could potentially develop this project into a Kickstarter campaign, and also so they've got awareness of making videos for future career opportunities," Wyn said.

Wyn made sure students considered all factors when creating these videos and had them cover the entire design process including research, development and manufacture.

"It's not just a sales pitch... it's just as much about communicating the research and development as it is about the final product."

The students' videos were all viewed at a public Product Launch, which created more of a 'screening' experience rather than your typical university project presentation.

"I wanted it to be as contemporary as possible for students leaving the program and their transition to industry, and I also want them to be thinking entrepreneurially beyond the project and potentially create start-up businesses."

These experiences are invaluable to students, they have been able to interact with big players in the industry and gain skills that will contribute to their future careers. Wyn has big plans for future students of the Industrial Design program.

"What I'd like to do is next year have them as live Kickstarter campaigns directly from the Industrial Design program.

"We would also like to build on it from a multidisciplinary point of view, make stronger links with engineering and business to really advance each project's feasibility in the marketplace."

The students will be hosting an exhibition of their final works at The Edwards in Newcastle West from 25-27 November, which will feature all of their prototypes, marketing posters and project videos.

Learn more about the Bachelor of Industrial Design program at the University of Newcastle.


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