Students and lecturers from the Communication and Multimedia Design (CMD) study programme at Avans University of Applied Sciences in Breda have developed the website Time100. The website went live this afternoon.
The Time100 is a list of the one hundred most influential people in the world. The internationally renowned Time Magazine compiles the list every year. The collaboration with Time Magazine originated when CMD lecturer Frederik Duerinck attended a Time presentation in Amsterdam. He took the plunge and approached a staff member of the international magazine to ask whether they would be interested in a collaboration with Avans University of Applied Sciences.
“I told them that we have very talented students and lecturers, who are interested in the latest developments in media and design. And that resulted in this succesfull collaboration. says Duerinck. “Also, the location where you work plays a less prominent role these days. An educational institution in Breda is suddenly perfectly capable of taking part at an international level”, collegue Luuk Bouwman adds.
As Time Magazine needed a new interactive website for the Time100 (www.time.com/time100) they contacted Avans University. After a number of Skype sessions between the two lecturers and Time's head office in New York, specific development plans were made. The pressure was high, because the process needed to be completed in just two months. In addition, the Time100 is a major annual publication for Time. Immediately after the launch, the website is one of the most visited websites in the world.
The lecturers secretly formed a group of students who have worked hard over the past months to get the new website ready in time. “We set up a separate room for the project that could only be accessed by those involved. We even taped up the windows, because we needed to ensure that the ideas and the design remained strictly confidential until the launch. We succeeded”, says Duerinck.
The creation of the Time100 website has become the pilot project of the media lab set up by the two lecturers. The NetLab will be the platform for interactive news stories and documentaries. Bowman explains: “We came up with the idea for the media lab at the end of 2013. This led to the CMD NetLab. The Time100 website has therefore become our pilot project. We carried it out together with students of Avans University of Applied Sciences.”
Communication & Multimedia Design, where creativity and technology meet
Communication & Multimedia Design (CMD) brings communication, design and technology together. In this interlinking of multimedia and communication disciplines, CMD students are required to adopt a generalist approach and gain an overview of the entire cycle. At the same time, it should be possible to deploy CMD students in their capacity as art & technology specialists, in each phase of the development cycle for new (digital) media, from concept to analysis and design to implementation. ‘New media’ includes innovative communication solutions such as serious games and simulations, smart objects (objects incorporating an invisible computer), events, experimental marketing campaigns and interactive installations.
Jack of all trades
A good CMD professional is a jack of all trades with a broad range of interests. CMD students will evolve into people who like to work with others, while also being capable of performing assignments independently. They use their analytical skills, enjoy investigating, are always open to experimentation and have the creativity needed to design new media solutions.
CMD professionals acquire their knowledge and skills at Avans University of Applied Sciences. They take classes from lecturers who are or have been active in the world of communication and multimedia design. Practising professionals will act as visiting lecturers to share their knowledge with students and help them discover where their talents and preferences lie. As students advance in their studies and work increasingly independently, they will develop a style of their own.
The study programme
During the first two years of the study programme, students will become acquainted with all the disciplines they will need within the broad CMD playing field. They will thus develop a solid basis for future collaboration with other professionals. The conceptual aspect forms an important area of focus within the CMD domain. This means that students must really be able to conceive and realise innovative concepts that meet users’ concrete wishes and requirements. We attach great importance to societal involvement. For instance, in healthcare we are seeing the consequences of ageing, while greater awareness of the natural environment is required. In education, new ways of learning are being explored based on games and simulations.
All these aspects require creative new media specialists. A new topic from the practising profession will be covered each quarter. Students will work on projects as a team, just as they would in real life. They can assume different roles, such as designer, strategist or programmer. These quarterly projects mirror the practising profession well, partly because students will work regularly for real principals. During the classes given in support of this process, students will acquire all the knowledge and skills needed to carry out the project properly. They will learn to operate increasingly independently, while staying abreast of the latest developments. Subjects taught during the first two years of the study programme include interaction design, look & feel, usability, multimedia design, strategy, technological trends, visualisation, audio design, scenario writing, sensorial design, 3D and 4D design, culturally determined communication, game design, gaming and narrative theory, and tools such as Photoshop, Flash and Dreamweaver.
General disciplines such as art, design and music history, ethics, psychology, interviewing skills, presentation techniques and English also form part of the study programme. We will cover developments within our specialisation as well as developments in media and technology within a societal context. Entrepreneurship and the business aspects of the practising profession will also be addressed. During the third year, students will delve into Creative Technology, Information & Interaction, Interaction Strategy or Multimedia Design for six months.
These are the so-called in-depth minors. During the final stage of their studies, students will embark on a six-month work placement to put the knowledge and skills they have obtained into professional practice and to develop them further. They will then follow a broadening minor (a study topic of their own choosing). Students can take this minor internally at CMD or at another educational organisation in the Netherlands or abroad. Examples of minors offered by CMD include Natural Interfaces, Mixed Reality Gaming, Visualizing Information and Cross-media Campaigning. Students will conclude the study programme by writing a thesis and producing a graduation project.
In 2009, Communication & Multimedia Design will also be launched at our Den Bosch site. One of the differences between the programmes at the two CMD Avans locations is that students in Breda will first take the in-depth minor and then embark on a work placement, while students in Den Bosch will start with their work placement and then take the in-depth minor.
After the study programme
After completing their studies, CMD students will be able to create interactive products in the interlink between principals, end-users and financiers. As the media domain is experiencing strong development, CMD graduates will encounter a host of employment and business opportunities. Depending on his or her study path, the student might start working as a media consultant, multimedia designer, information architect, web developer, interaction developer or game designer. As CMD professionals, graduates can find employment at companies operating in interactive media, such as communication agencies, design studios, publishing firms, broadcasting agencies and game development companies. They may also join companies or organisations where innovative media is used in support of the core activities, for instance banks, telecommunications companies and government agencies. Many graduates are also successful in starting their own businesses. CMD graduates have an excellent career outlook.
Possibilities for international students
Instead of following a four-year study programme in Dutch, international students can opt to study Communication & Multimedia Design at Avans University of Applied Sciences for one or more semesters. One of the options is listed below.
Students interested in following a study component at CMD are invited to send a covering letter along with an individual grades list and their (digital) portfolio (which can include a paper, visual assignments or projects). The faculty will then contact the student.
For more information, please contact:
International Relations Officer
Avans University of Applied Sciences
Academy of Communication & User Experience
Attn N. Huitenga
PO Box 90.116
4800 RA Breda