RMIT Vietnam NewsDesign students lend a helping hand to Habitat for Humanity

Design students lend a helping hand to Habitat for Humanity

Friday, April 7, 2017 - 12:58

RMIT Vietnam Bachelor of Design (Digital Media) students have developed a suite of communications tools to aid the NGO’s mission of building homes in impoverished areas for the less fortunate.

An example of Work Integrated Learning (WIL), the University’s program for students to collaborate with industry and tackle real-world problems, the project encouraged students to realise how their design skills can benefit the community.

Head of the Design (Digital Media) department Khoa Nguyen believes that the Habitat for Humanity project was an essential part of the design course.

“As creatives we need to be exposed to a multitude of experiences,” Khoa said.

“Design is more than a job. It's a way of thinking and living. It's about using your craft to make the world a better place through the lens of the environment, sustainability, and social impact.

“We aim to produce graduates that are not only talented, but socially aware, responsible, and giving.”

Bachelor of Design (Digital Media) students prepare to build a house in the Mekong Delta.

Tasked with helping the NGO improve their online communication and spread their influence in Vietnam, the students were inspired by the positive impact they made when working with Habitat for Humanity.

“I loved the time we presented to the client because they gave us positive feedback, which helped us to improve our work and created a nice working environment within the team,” said Bachelor of Design (Digital Media) student Tang Ho Hong Diem.  

Diem worked closely with Habitat for Humanity as an account manager, liaising with the client and providing feedback to her team during the development process.

“I enjoyed working with my lecturer and my classmates and my team the most. I think they were very responsible and diligent with the task they were assigned,” Diem said.

A highlight of the project included a visit to the Mekong Delta, where Head of the Centre of Communication & Design Professor Rick Bennett, lecturers and students helped Habitat for Humanity build a house for an impoverished family.

The trip aimed to give the students perspective on how their contributions to Habitat for Humanity can aid society and those in need. The trip was particularly resonant for Diem.

“I was born and grew up in the Mekong Delta so I understand the family who we helped in the project, their situation, and somehow their thoughts too,” Diem said. 

“I believe that the project did bring many good things to their lives, especially in giving them new hope for a better future.”  

Story: Daniel Eslick