Plans for the Interact Exchange Project exhibition at London Design Festival 2017 (LDF17) included showing student work and observations about the differing academic environments. There would be 4 Interact exchange students in London at that time. It therefore seemed opportune to take more students from the other institutions to London to participate in the exhibition and experience the diversity of design on show through LDF17.
Eighteen students from RMITs Communication Design program participated in the study tour. The LDF17 Studio was an enquiry into interaction design framed around a study tour to London in September 2017, to engage with the events of the London Design Festival and to participate in the Interact Exhibition based at UAL.
There were a variety of experiences students were interacting with: global and local travel; London, the city; UAL London College of Communication; and the London Design Festival, which takes place across London in over 400 separate events, from the V&A to the Isle of Dogs, from Upmarket to DIY Market.
The act of taking students beyond their familiar environments served as a platform to challenge what they know. Their understanding of what design is and how things work. The breadth of events and activities provided inspiration for students to expand their own practice. The students intensive shared experiences also created conditions from which a strong, supportive, creative community emerged.
This global intensive study tour will serve as a pilot to inform future interaction design studios at RMIT, the next studio is Design+Prototype running in Semester two 2018, leveraging the idea of a Melbourne Design Festival to replicate some of the beneficial experiences of the LDF17 study tour.