I have just completed a rollercoaster studio ride with the Nonfiction Design studio, a collaboration between Communication Design and Media students. After this experience I am (well and truly) hooked into the integration of design methodologies and methods into professional media production as part of working out how documentary practices can be applied to different contexts. In this studio there was a lot of reference to Human-Centred Design (HCD) (or design thinking more broadly). I plan to explore some of the crossovers that documentary design has with HCD at a later date.
RMIT publicity article “Design and media students making a difference with Lentara”.
The studio was a roaring success with plans by Lentara to implement all of the students’ projects.
The studio, which named itself the ‘Idea Collective’ and part of the book cover shown here brings the collective cross-discipline collaboration together.
Overview text about from the book produced on the studio:
In semester 1 of 2016, the Communication Design and Media Programs in the School of Media and Communication at RMIT University were presented with the opportunity to collaborate with the not-for-profit ‘Lentara United Care’, known as ‘Lentara’ a community services organisation affiliated to the United Church, Australia. Lentara was looking for new ways to communicate the social service work they do to their volunteers, supporters and the public.
The industry partnership with Lentara was established from a studio model of teaching and learning, which aims to foster interdisciplinary and real-world engagement with industry practices. In this studio titled ‘Nonfiction Design’ there was an opportunity to explore how the two disciplines of Communication Design and Media could work together. The envisioned outcomes from this interdisciplinary collaboration was some prototype ideas that mixed together graphic design, advertising, branding, film, television, radio and new media practices.
The collaboration with Lentara went through three distinct phases over a 12 week period, which was set around the establishment of six project groups working on: Asylum Seeker Housing, United Women, Men’s Shed, a Shower Bus initiative, Recycled Clothing and the Lentara Winter Appeal. The first phase involved project groups liaising with the client to clarify a creative brief and carrying out global research. In the second phase, studio participants worked towards presenting several concepts to Lentara. Feedback from these presentations was then used in the final phase to develop ideas into working prototypes.