Manchester group Code Computer Love scooped the Grand Prix at the British Interactive Media Association Awards last week for Future Proof, an educational CD-Rom created for Keele University.
Future Proof targets 14- to 16-year-olds from lower socio-economic groups and deprived families. Keele University’s aim is that the CD will encourage teenagers from these sectors to enter higher education.
The judges thought the work inspired and educated the ‘notoriously critical and often cynical’ youth market, using humour and interactive content to depict university life, degree information and career choices. Future Proof also took top honours in the Best Use of CD/Kiosk category.
‘The graphic design and illustration were just right for the audience and we needed lots of interactive content on there to make it engaging for kids,’ explains CCL director Louis Georgiou.
The Bima Awards recognise exemplary use of digital and interactive media, across a range of sectors. In a public vote – dubbed the Expert’s Choice award – Apple Computer’s coveted iPod was a clear winner.
Interactive design consultancy Poke won in all four categories for which it was nominated. One of these was Arts & Culture, in which the group has triumphed for three consecutive years.
Its winning Room 10101 design was developed as a ‘home-grown’ project that Poke first exhibited as part of its sponsorship of Designersblock. Visitors to Room 10101 were asked to text a word or phrase to a telephone number, which then linked to a Google image search. The results of the search were displayed in a large mosaic on the white walls, creating an interactive gallery.
‘It was based on the idea that everyone has a mobile phone, but most people think that it’s just for speaking,’ explains Poke partner Nick Farnhill. ‘Increasingly, you can use it to interact with your environment.’
The Bima panel of judges was drawn from design, advertising, film, music, broadcast and photography, along with clients from the telecoms, broadcast, publishing, hi-tech and fmcg sectors.
Christian Ruland, interactive design creative director at BBC Broadcast and a judge at the awards, says, ‘There was a definite lull after the [dotcom] bubble burst, but this year was very positive. A lot of great designers previously seemed not to be going down the interactive route, but we saw a lot of new talent at the awards this time.’
Ruland also believes that interactive work is beginning to underpin other areas of design, claiming ‘it is definitely more at the centre of things’.
Alasdair Scott, creative partner at Filter and chair of the awards, sees renewed positivity in the sector. ‘It is great to see the industry focusing on capturing the imagination of its users with greater innovation and a better understanding of effective design,’ he says.