Subang Jaya, April 21 – Student trio – Megan Ong, Linda Oktaviani and Jessica Yeap Phay Min – from The Design School at Taylor’s University clinched first prize for their creativity in designing the aesthetics of a card game around the Internet of Things (IoT) for Petrosains, recently. The real-life project for the national entity was for visitors to encourage a sense of curiosity and discovery in how the current world works, through play. The all-women winning team received a contract of RM10, 000.
The competition was exclusive, by invitation from Petrosains, of which Taylor’s University was one of three higher education institution to participate.
“We are extremely proud of our students in winning a competition of this level. This achievement is reflective of the calibre our students possess and the potency of the programme’s curriculum design,” said Vinod J. Nair, mentor and Senior Lecturer at The Design School. “Through this experience, they were able to demonstrate their capacity in taking on real-life projects for national institutions, corporations or organisations.”
“They also managed to deliver work that is professional and for the School, this means that we are living up to our promise of delivering creative problem solvers that can contribute to society, community and industry,” he said.
The all-women group, currently in their second year of the Bachelor of Design (Honours) in Creative Media, said their design inspiration came from a modern and minimalist design style known as flat illustrations. “We thought the minimalist style would be appropriate for the category of game cards, as the style combined with the right colours could bring a sense of joy, fun and integrity,” said Jessica.
Megan added that, “We decided to use the company’s corporate colours because the audience would easily determine Petrosains’ corporate identity. We also felt the colour scheme expresses the vibrant, exciting, and futuristic side of Petrosains.”
The team spent a month creating their designs to deliver 120 graphic illustrations in eight categories; one standard design for the back of the card; packaging design; 3-fold instruction sheet and die-cut artworks for the packaging and cards. Their confidence to take on this challenge stemmed from their specialisation in graphic design, offered by The Design School at Taylor’s.
“During our module, we were introduced to different designs like illustration, typography, packaging design and layouts,” said Jessica. “So, the project felt familiar to us, in a sense that we got the opportunity to design something we learned and applied the necessary knowledge and skills into this project.”
During the designing stage, the trio explored themes around IoT, “It was the first time we worked with each other and found that our team dynamic was quite seamless – especially in sharing ideas, opinions and helping each other out,” said Linda.
“Although we have different art styles, which initially showed some inconsistencies in the artwork, we managed to rectify this quickly,” she continued. “However, the bigger challenge was the Government’s recent announcement in the Movement Control Order after we took up the project and found that we could not meet as often as we liked to go over the designs in person. Instead we did most of our communication through text or video calls where necessary.”
Although the ladies initially felt intimidated going up against teams from other renowned universities, they decided early on that the best approach was to have fun with their designs. “We felt like we needed to try a hand at this opportunity,” said Linda. “We knew the opportunity does not come often but we wanted the experience, even if we did not end up winning. However, we are happy with our work and the recognition we received from Petrosains – it will certainly be a nice addition to our portfolio.” The next step is for Petrosains to produce and commercialise the product, making it available for future visitors.