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Blog - October, 2010

Engaging companies in the design conversation

Samantha Lefort

Design can be a powerful driver of business innovation and growth, but designlanguagecan take years to learn fluently. So how do you engage companies in the design conversations that can help them make their next leap forward?

That's the challenge that a number of Emily Carr students have tackled through their real-world immersion at Powertech, a division of BC Hydro. Powertech made Canadian history by creating Canada's first and only Level III Electric Vehicle Charging Station, the fastest way to charge electric cars.

But it takes continuous innovation to stay on the forefront of alternative fuel-source technologies and initiatives. Emily Carr's Social + Interactive Media Centre, funded by a 5-year grant from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, supports innovation through applied research.


The power of letter writing in the digital age

Samantha Lefort

Letter writing. When was the last time you wrote one? Hand-writing a letter is one of the most useful and informative ways to pass on information. But in this age of typing 40wpm the art of a handwritten letter has become somewhat of a novelty. Time, energy, and producing large quantities of communication information have been main deterrents from the age-old method, but what about their efficacy? Is having all this information effective? Or are we too quick to dismiss and disseminate information? How much of it are we actually absorbing, and what parts of this information is actually producing positive change? 

With the online social-media activism community all a-Twitter about efficient and meaningful change-making activism, it leads us to wonder if the most meaningful changes will occur on or off-screen. A project spearheaded by ECUAD Assistant Dean of the Faculty of Culture + Community, Duane Elverum, intends to gather the strength of the masses, and produce letters for social change. Duane writes:

"Shakespeare described the entire human experience using only 26 letters. This got us thinking…


Using technology for sustainable design: an interview with Emily Carr MAA student Karen Whistler

Samantha Lefort

Karen Whistler is a currently completing her MAA at Emily Carr. She has a particular interest in systems, sustainability, and getting to know Vancouver. Samantha Lefort sits down with Karen to talk design, SIM, and the future.

What brought you to Emily Carr?

Karen: I am from Seattle and grew up in the northwest. My husband and I enjoyed Vancouver every time we visited and were delighted to find out about Emily Carr. I was drawn to the emphasis on research in design, focus on sustainability and resources on campus.

Have you had a chance to explore the SIM Centre, and if so, how/why? What was your initial reaction?

Karen: I have worked in digital agencies and helped build social media strategies for clients and I can say that work was very flat. It was driven by technology as an end and sought to capture how people were currently engaging with media instead of pushing the concepts further. So, I think the SIM Centre is a working on a much deeper level.

What is your involvement with the SIM Centre?


Show + Tech: what I did on my summer vacation

Alexandra Samuel

Stinky socks. Talking dogs. Dancing jelly beans.

We got to see all of the above — and more! — at the SIM Centre‘s inaugural show + tech. Show + Tech is a chance for members of Vancouver’s business, art and technology communities to connect with the faculty, students and staff at Emily Carr, and to discover one another’s projects and passions.  Tonight's gathering included digital artists, web developers, curious onlookers and Emily Carr President Ron Burnett.


Welcome to the SIM Centre

The Social + Interactive Media Centre is a new research centre that supports a wide range of applied social, interactive and design projects. Funded by a 5-year grant from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), the centre offers BC companies a way to tap the design, creative and technical expertise of Emily Carr faculty and students.