Grow, Designed By Media Design School Students: Dannah Angela Soriano, Erika Marasigan, Logan Ware, Yancong Guo,

12 months ago by

‘Grow’ is a volunteer recruitment campaign that promotes volunteering to people who are passionate, eager to learn, and are willing to give back to the community. The initiative designed by a collective of Media Design School Students was recently awarded in the Next Gen NG: Digital Design category in the Good Design Awards.

Design Assembly spoke with Dannah Angela Soriano, Erika Marasigan, Logan Ware, Yancong Guo to learn more about the project, their ambitions and next steps.

What was the catalyst for this project and how did the commission with Auckland Art Gallery come about?

Grow Collective: The commission with Auckland Art Gallery was a prepared partnership with Media Design School. Even though they were real clients, the project was a simulation for a real project – meaning that every aspect of it was as if it were a real live project but was not to be released to the public as it was just an assignment.

Can you tell us about the Grow response and how you scoped the design within your group?

Grow Collective: “Grow” was originally called “Stem” as we wanted the name of our campaign to represent being a connector for an ambitious individual to their fruitful future. However, we had to change the name to Grow as Stem was an existing, well-known organisation (STEM for Science Technology Engineering Maths). The design was formed through a well-researched journey, with every member intentionally creating each element based on what attracts our target audience, what imagery works, and how clearly the imagery portrays the message we want to send – that message being growth in all areas of life: community, wellbeing, experience, empathy

What were some of your most exciting or unexpected discoveries to come out of this project?

Grow Collective: I think it’s safe to say we all were surprised that we got through this project without any conflicts or major complications! It was a normal worry that group projects don’t end well most of the time, but this group really grew together as the project developed further. We learnt a lot about each others’ strengths and weaknesses and played our cards strategically. We were most excited about winning this award as it was completely unexpected! We had a lot of fun making this project, and we’re incredibly blessed to have been recognised for our work!

Was there someone (or something) that inspired you to pick design as a career path?

Logan: “I was always into painting and drawing but as I came to my final year of school I wasn’t sure how I could turn my passion into a career. A classmate introduced me to the idea of taking design and I didn’t know much about it. Besides the fact it was a career where I could express my creativity so I decided to take a chance on it.”

Erika: “When I was 16, I attended an event that did not have promotion videos and so I took the initiative and created one for the organisation – without having any design knowledge or video production skills. It turned out well in my eyes during that time, and was well received by the people running that event; that was when I realised I had a passion for design.”

Yan: “Interest and hobby lead to me choosing design as a career path.”

Dannah: “It used to just be a hobby I didn’t know could turn into a career in the future. I was happily volunteering for a club doing design work while taking up a med-related course. Until I moved to New Zealand and my brother sat down with me and asked what I enjoy doing the most- that’s when I decided to explore digital design.”

Why did you choose Media Design School and what did you most enjoy about the programme there?

Logan: “A fellow art student told me about Media Design School as he was planning to attend it and become a graphic designer. It sounded really interesting to me and I thought I could give it a shot even though I had no previous experience with design. I think I enjoyed the community the most within MDS. I came from a very small high school where there weren’t many creatives but once I started MDS I felt like I found my community.”

Erika: “I was on the hunt for design schools to attend in my final year of high school, and I remember Media Design School, in particular, being the only one that stood out to me. A bit risky, but that design school was the only one I applied for because I really wanted to get in. Now a third-year in this school, I look back at the times I enjoyed learning new skills as it opened doorways to greater project outcomes and big opportunities with the wider industry.”

Yan: “A Chinese friend recommended this school to me. There were students from all over the world there and I communicated with them and shared different ideas about design and culture to each other.”

Dannah: “To be honest, I chose MDS because of its reputation as the #1 digital school in Asia Pacific. I enjoyed the collaborative culture the most and how the lecturers always see our potential and push us to go further.”

How has your ability and confidence progressed since the beginning of your studies?

Logan: “ I started MDS with little experience and confidence in my design. In my first year, I was intimidated by the other students in my class who had more experience than me, and, as a result, I felt like I wasn’t good enough to continue in this field. It wasn’t until year 2 that I started to push myself more with the help of my lecturers and classmates. From that point on, my confidence began to grow and it encouraged me to keep pushing to become the best designer I could be.”

Erika: “The ability and confidence I had at the beginning of my studies were little. I knew that I wasn’t the best at design, but I was incredibly determined to learn and improve! I kept getting inspired by my amazingly talented classmates and pushed myself to be as great as they are, while constantly working on my skills. My confidence in my skill is still continually growing, as my ability is, thanks to my wonderful and honest lecturers and my supportive classmates.”

Yan: “With the company and the help of my teammates as well as the encouragement from lectures, my language and design skills have been greatly improved, which has made me better, stronger and more confident.”

Dannah: “My confidence and skills grew so much since the beginning. Being with like-minded people helped me to grow and learn a lot. And having opportunities to explore our own crafts helped me find my purpose as a designer.”

How do you see your work and practice developing, and what are your main aspirations?

Logan: “It took a lot of experimenting and observing to find my design style. I try to practice the design skills I’ve learnt from MDS whenever I have spare time. I think constantly creating and repeating what I’ve learnt has really helped me to develop the quality of my work. My main aspirations are illustrating, graphic designer and user experience. I would love to one day find a place for me in the design world where I can combine all of my aspirations.”

Erika: “Media Design School has allowed me to grow as a designer, and helped me figure out my passion. I can see my work and practice developing into the industry of music as, being a musician outside of my studies, I’ve realised that both music and design gave me a platform to inspire others to follow their passion. I practice graphic design and motion design mostly at the moment, with most of my out-of-study projects being music-related. I aspire to be a creative director for music artists in the future!”

Yan: “My work is using illustrations and graphics to show a language and story and I look for more inspiration by constantly observing and learning good works from other designers. I hope that I can create a design studio can serve more people in the future.”

Dannah: “I see myself learning a lot more when I enter the industry bringing all that I’ve learnt from MDS, not just the technical aspect but more so the work ethic. My main aspiration as a product designer is to continue to design for good by making people’s everyday life easier.”

How can people get in touch and see more of your work?

Logan: Best point of contact: Instagram @logadelics_illustrations

Erika: Instagram Best point of contact: Email

Yan: Best point of contact: LinkedIn

Dannah: Best point of contact: Email


Designed By: Dannah Angela Soriano, Erika Marasigan, Logan Ware, Yancong Guo,
Commissioned By: Media Design School, Auckland Art Gallery
Winner Next Gen NG: Digital Design


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