A perspective unique to Manukau

25 Oct, 2016

Communication Design students from Auckland University of Technology (AUT) South Campus exhibited their end-of-year work at the gala opening of the Original Art Sale, being held at the Vodafone Events Centre in Manukau from October 14-16.

The exhibition, which flanked Auckland’s largest art market, melded elements of virtual reality, moving image and graphic design.

The third-year Bachelor of Design students on show are poised to become the inaugural graduates of the Visual Communications pathway, which is only offered at AUT South Campus.

It focuses on the creative process of visually communicating ideas and messages.

David Sinfield, Programme Leader for Communication Design at South Campus, says the pathway was developed in response to industry – both in terms of what it wants and where it’s going.

“Our students need to be more adaptable and able to turn their hand to multiple skills. We give them the traditional skills in graphic design, but also advanced skills in virtual reality, augmented reality and moving image,” he says.

“They can create short films, documentaries and television ads, as well as graphic design for print.”

Since its inception in 2014, the Visual Communications pathway has constantly evolved.

“Each year, we’ve developed new papers and projects. We’ve integrated more with the local community and run projects where we ask students to analyse areas of South Auckland, particularly Manukau, and reflect that in their design. So, they’re engaging with the local community in their work,” says Sinfield.

International student, Abdulwahab Alkandary, is studying Communication Design on a scholarship from the Kuwait Government.

“I think it’s a unique programme. It’s very flexible and most of the briefs are self-directed, so it’s a great opportunity for students to work on what they’re really passionate about,” he says.

His experience of being transplanted from Kuwait to New Zealand has been entirely positive.
“It’s been very chill and I’ve met some great people. I like my Manukau experience,” says Alkandary.

Sinfield says one of his students described the programme as ‘whanau-style’. 

“We’re like a family, so we teach like a family. We know all of our students. Our students know one another and they look after one another. So, we’re a community, within the broader context of Manukau,” he says.

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