RMIT NAS Student Ideas Competition winner, Matias Reyes, sparked an initiative that has seen current and former RMIT students from different fields come together to run workshops each week.
The NAS Student Ideas Competition asked students how life on campus could be made even better following the completion of NAS and there was a strong theme to provide opportunities for students to come together in collaborative ways outside their studies.
Boxed Out was a creative brainstorming session where current RMIT students and alum perform or teach interactively, engaging their audience with experiments and exploration.
“The more perspectives you get and the more you are involved with experimentation and exploration, the more creative you become…I wanted an initiative that brought people together for something interesting and engaging every week, where we all learned and took home something new that could spark new ideas,” said Matias.
Each week, Matias organised different topics involving people who come along to showcase a theory or practice in their chosen field. Combining their knowledge and skills, presenters would work together to highlight their abilities by sharing what they do and attempt a small project, giving guests something to take home at the end of the session. The process results in joining two unlikely disciplines to think outside the box.
Project Manager of Student Experience, Kelly Bosman, praised the workshops, saying “the idea of bringing people together from different disciplines to workshop ideas in bright and innovative ways is a fantastic method for students to meet others outside their program.”
Four Boxed Out sessions were held, each with its own theme and different presenters.
In the first week, food and photography were brought together by Michelle and Sammy, turning everything upside down by crafting dishes out of pictures and ending with delicious chocolates for guests to take home.
Week two presenters Jeremy and Stephen experimented by combining art and medical science to understand the human body, practising different styles of representing it .
Josh and Max joined in for week three to bring the magic and maths, surprising everyone with how unpredictable things that are perceived to be certain are, handing out trick cards for everyone to keep.
The final session introduced Sadam and Matt, who explored how design can become more inclusive to diversity as they talked about the connection between spaces and senses, and how senses play a larger role in everyday life. People got involved to make their own small clay sculptures to take home.
“After beautiful bon-bons, elevator-riding skeletons, perplexing pendulums, and a home-grown patch of grass carried across the city, my favourite thing was how people from different careers, ages and positions (staff, undergraduates and alumni) all had a great time connecting with each other through learning and trying something new. I think this is what university is for,” says Matias.
Words: Fatema Hammoud