Monday April 4, 2005
There are thousands of different ways people can help each other. A person could give their time, talent, money or simply a smile or word of comfort that makes a difference. But in Melbourne this March, multimedia students from Victoria University of technology (VUT) found a way to help that is, to say the least, a little different.
Students took part in a class project to produce an eCard - a series of animated digital images that can be emailed from person to person. They were asked to base their designs on the Australian Red Cross 'See Red' campaign to publicise Red Cross Calling 2005. Every year Red Cross Calling provides vital funding to support Red Cross programs and services in Australia, so of course Australian Red Cross is always looking for new and innovative ways to 'spread the word'.
New and innovative indeed.
Students taking part in the project produced a broad array of wonderfully creative and colourful entries, highlighting the diversity of services Australian Red Cross provides. Some were bright and positive, others had more of an 'edge', showing clearly the plight of vulnerable Australians. All entries reflected students' understanding of social issues, and a desire to make a contribution to people less fortunate.
The design that was eventually chosen was Laura Rodriguez's brilliant entry entitled 'Polaroids', which you can see and send by clicking on the link below. A delighted Laura said 'it was such a wonderful surprise. I guess you wouldn't have made any other person happier than me. I enjoyed working on this project from the very first minute, plus it is satisfying to help a good cause'.
Project coordinator and multimedia lecturer with VUT Alan Morgans was very happy with the outcome of the collaboration. 'The eCard project gave students valuable real world experience with a project that not only had a worthwhile practical outcome, but also involved consideration of themes and issues beyond the scope of their own experience' he said. 'Developing empathy for an unfamiliar point of view is one of the toughest jobs for any young designer. It was great to see students rise to the challenge and produce some well considered and dynamic designs. Considering the tight deadline I think it's one of the toughest briefs we have given first year students, but also one of the most rewarding in terms of a valuable contribution to a very worthy cause.'
Australian Red Cross hopes to continue to expand the project in the coming years, too. In this way, more and more people will get a feel for the services Red Cross provides in Australia, which can only benefit vulnerable Australians now, and into the future.