Andy Gibbons’ Class Beats The Hunger Games
Andy Gibbons' IP&T 664 class provides practical learning experiences
Every year IP&T professor Andy Gibbons’ Advanced Design class is approached by a different institution, publication, or business—ranging from Thanksgiving Point to the LDS Church’s Liahona magazine—and asked to design something unique. “This class has taken clients for the past six years, and every case is different,” said Gibbons. When they enroll in the class, students have no idea what their project will be or what they will be asked to design; every class is different. This semester, they’ve been asked to design for The Cultureworks, a publishing company responsible for five New York Times bestsellers.
All In, The Cultureworks’ latest book, leapt from #21 to #8 in half an hour on the Amazon book list. By the end of the day it was Barnes and Nobles’ best selling book, beating even The Hunger Games. Two or three months before All In was published, The Cultureworks approached the McKay School looking for a new way to be technologically relevant, and Gibbons’ 664 class went to work.
“We’re helping them understand the future of the book, and it’s not as simple as converting it to an ebook,” said Gibbons. “We spend about half of the semester isolating the real problem, and from there we start generating solutions.” The class consists of about 10 graduate students, who are split into groups and work on the project in sections. This semester they have been working closely with a representative from The Cultureworks, speaking with him about their ideas on how to make this book more accessible to people’s everyday lives by using technology. It takes research to devise these ideas, and topics on this project range from our changing culture to human nature.
By the end of this semester’s class, The Cultureworks has gained valuable information on how to market their book, and the students have had an extensive, hands-on experience with a client. “Every semester, we’ve had a new, challenging, and valuable experience,” said Gibbons. “Students learn more than just how to identify and solve problems; they really learn firsthand how to design.”
May 29, 2012