Digital Entrepreneurs succeed in international competitions

15 October 2012

The Faculty of Architecture, Design and Planning is proud to announce the achievements of talented student teams in the Bachelor of Design Computing program.

Two student teams have been awarded finalist places in internationally renowned competitions.

The Cycle Shift Media Facade team, consisting of Mark C. Mitchell, Hanely Weng, Emila Yang and Kendrick Khoo have won first prize at the Media Architecture Biennale Student Competition, hosted in Aarhus, Denmark. The students are now invited to present their winning entry to the Biennale later this year.

The 24-hour challenge was to develop a media facade - a dynamically changing, interactive wall - that promotes civic values or encourages changed public behaviour. The competition states that teams should also consider the impact on local communities.

Armed with only 24 hours and a range of digital equipment - laptops, tablets, video cameras and smartphones - the team rapidly conceptualised a way of promoting cycling as a sustainable and healthy means of travelling through Sydney's congested streets.

Their media facade raises the profile of cyclists by digitally displaying cyclists alongside public spaces, superimposing an image of a bicycle next to pedestrians. This encourages awareness of cycling and aims to break down some of the resentment road users feel towards cyclists.

The team explain that GPS data and smartphone use is key to the interaction and the facade's message:

"Cyclists in Sydney can contribute by utilising the GPS data from their mobile phones or other devices," Mark says. "This information gets routed to our media facade in the pedestrian thoroughfare of Central tunnel. This information turns into a visual multiplicity of cycle activity in Sydney - bicycles whizz past commuters in an artistic representation and multiplication of the current state of bicycles in transit."

A second student success was achieved at the annual OzCHI 24 Student Design Challenge. Mark C. Mitchell, Emila Yang, Morgan Carter and Adam Younis are through to the final round of the Google Australia-sponsored competition.

The team developed a reconceptualisation of what we expect of computers, making them able to intelligently understand the contexts of their work environments.

Their concept, named State of Mind, reduces the time professional collaborators need to spend on filing, organising and project tracking. It puts the focus squarely on efficiently producing the best collaborative work.

The team beat 32 other entrants in a from a field of 36 international teams. The four finalist teams will find out whether they have won the grand prize at the OzCHI Conference in Melbourne, 26-30 November.

Design Computing program coordinator, Dr. Martin Tomitsch, said that student works can turn into successful business ideas.

"The kinds of services and projects presented at these competitions are commercially viable. It's impressive that our students can produce such full-formed ideas in as little as 24 hours," Tomitsch said.

The Faculty congratulates these talented Design Computing students and wishes the State of Mind team well as the OzCHI judges come to their final decisions.

Contact: David Gunther

Phone: 02 9354 0941

Email: 0d343a11154b3040033d2b271c134717342212231c2f532d4f2c34