A chance meeting in Toronto led to a collaboration between the University of Oxford in the UK and students in Humber College’s Graphic Design program.
This past fall, third-year students in the program worked with PhD Computer Science students from Oxford to rebrand and create a new digital strategy for Oxford Hack, the annual hackathon hosted at the university in November.
“Vojtech Havlicek, a Computer Science PhD student from Oxford visited Toronto in the summer, and came into contact with someone who ultimately put him in contact with me,” says Bianca DiPietro, program coordinator and professor in the Graphic Design program. “We started chatting about the opportunity and decided it was a great fit.”
All of DiPietro’s third-year students participated in the project, with one winning team eventually selected to execute the rebrand: Konor Abrahams, Stephanie Conner, Nicole Fratesi, Ethan Lewis, Malcolm McKee and Shaelyn Miller.
The time difference made things challenging, but ultimately resulted in a successful collaboration – one DiPietro hopes will continue.
“When students have the opportunity to work internationally, cross-discipline, and with real projects, the outcome is far more beneficial than a self-propelled project that doesn't push boundaries and present challenges,” she says. “Students learn the most when they are pushed outside of comfort zones and encouraged to take chances. Industry is searching for these skills more and more.
“These projects are fun, can be spontaneous and also challenging to organize, but the rewards and experiences are well worth it.”