By Carson Deveau
For Heather McIntosh, the IDEA Sandbox boot camp gave her an opportunity to put her design skills to the test.
The first year interdisciplinary design student from NSCAD University was told about the boot camp from one of her professors, an applied for the six-week long program because she wanted to be challenged.
“I wanted to learn about it’s going to be like to be a product designer in the real world, and the IDEA Sandbox boot camp gave me that opportunity.”
Throughout the boot camp, McIntosh had to work on a variety of different problems that had to be solved with new, and innovative, product designing. This could be something as simple as creating a new self-feeder for one of the instructor’s pet rabbit, or could be something a little less simple – like creating and designing an interactive device that students with ADHD can use to stay focused in the classroom.
McIntosh wasn’t alone while working on these projects, as she was put into groups with other students in the boot camp who were form other educational backgrounds. This opportunity to work with engineering and business students was one of her favourite aspects about the boot camp, McIntosh said.
“It was great getting to know the different students in your group, and see how they look at a problem as opposed to how I see a problem. It was great working with them on designs that actual address real-world problems.”
Another reason why working with multidisciplinary groups was one of her favourite aspects of the boot camp was because of the communication skills is forced McIntosh to develop.
From having to constantly keep everyone in her group updated with what’s she’s doing on the project, to having to talk with teachers and students to gain research about her final project, McIntosh was forced to out of her comfort zone and it thankful of it, she said.
“It’s probably the best thing I got out of the boot camp. I will definitely have a newfound confidence and awareness in my communication with others in my future work and school going forward.”