School of Design Innovation launches programme to nurture and celebrate Future Designers

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington’s School of Design Innovation have launched their second Future Designers Challenge for high schoolers. This time they’re asking students to design their own looping animation, using whatever media they’d like, with prizes of $500 and $250 up for grabs.

future designers challenge 2

The challenge, Furious Frames, will be judged by Laura Yilmaz, Programme Director for the Animation and VFX programme at the School of Design Innovation, Phyo Thu, founder and Creative Director of Fox & Co. Design, and student judge Tomas Hess a second-year student studying animation and visual effects at the School of Design Innovation. Not only can students win cash prizes and have their work judged by industry experts, but they’ll also have the chance to see their work featured in the School’s End of Year Exhibition.

The Future Designers programme was started as a way to create an engaged, connected, design community that spans both high school and university students.

“We have so many talented high school students in New Zealand,” says Helen Andreae, Lecturer at the School of Design Innovation and part of the Future Designers team. “We want to create a space for them to show off their talent and eventually help them connect with other designers in high school, university and industry.“

The idea for Future Designers first came about during the COVID-19 lockdown, where the benefits of connecting through technology were emphasised.

“As we adapted to connect our university students, we realised we could better connect with high schools too. Generally, we can visit a few schools, but the further away they are the harder it is, and we don’t have the resources for many repeat visits. But now with everyone online, physical distance is no longer a key factor. So, if we could build a community for our staff and students using technology then surely, we could build a community of young people interested in design,” says Helen.

As the programme grows, the School hopes it will become a space to showcase high school students’ work and celebrate their success—not just within Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington, but also within their high school community. Future Designers is a way to strengthen the ongoing connection of the School of Design Innovation and high schools, by recognising that students’ journeys start long before they come to university

Throughout the year there will be range of Future Designers challenges that let high school students explore different design disciplines. In September, students will be challenged to explore lighting design, a classic industrial design project.

“We hope that these challenges encourage students to explore their creativity and see if design is something they might like to pursue, regardless of their experience or the classes they’re currently taking,” says Helen.

For more information about the Future Designers programme, or to join their Teachers’ Community for high school teachers, visit their website.