Online design students work on real world project for Red Cross

Online Bachelor of Design (Communication Design) students will work on a ‘real world’ project for the Australian Red Cross to encourage young people to undertake humanitarian action in their own communities. Final year Swinburne Online Design students will undertake this Capstone Project as part of their studies.  

Red Cross National Lead for Youth Engagement, Michelle Ewington, says whilst the overall objective is to have students deliver a design strategy and proposal that encourages youth engagement with the Red Cross, there are many ways in which the students will be helping the organisation.

“With the development of a new youth participation framework, we are embarking on a journey to increase the active and meaningful engagement of young people in all facets of our work.      

“Students will be asked to develop an innovative design solution to help engage and inspire young people to connect with the Red Cross, as leaders, volunteers, members and supporters and as beneficiaries.”     

Swinburne Online Design students are dispersed across all Australian states and territories, which Ms Ewington says will be an advantage to the project.

“This is a unique opportunity for us to learn from a “virtual” group of students. Their experience connecting with others online, offers a unique insight into the way in which many young people operate. This project allows us to work with the very group we want to engage across the country.”

Capstone projects have been a long running component of the Swinburne University of Technology Design on campus degree. Swinburne Online Design Program Director, Nicki Wragg, says this is the first time the program will run online. 

“We are excited to run the Capstone project for the first time online for our design students. Real world experience is essential for graduates and this project with the Red Cross will equip students with the right skills for the workplace,” Dr Wragg says.

“The nature of the Capstone is open, so students develop the experience of writing their own design brief, working with teams and a real client in a real scenario and a real-world environment.”

Capstone projects have been a big part of university and industry engagement, with many organisations incorporating student work into strategy. The success of this program online will hopefully lead to more capstone projects for online Design students in the future.