An RMIT Vietnam student will travel to France in June to attend Cannes Lions, a global festival of creativity.
Nguyen Ngoc Tuong Minh, a Bachelor of Design (Digital Media) student at RMIT Vietnam who recently won the Roger Hatchuel Scholarship at the Vietnam Young Lions Awards, has taken an unorthodox path on his way to Cannes.
“About three years ago I was studying IT and computer science [at another university], but I dropped that in the middle of my major to change into design,” he says.
“My parents were a bit mad at me, but they still hoped that I had made the right choice, so they have supported me as much as they could.”
Though they were supportive, Minh still decided to keep his application for the scholarship secret. “I wanted to give my parents a surprise,” he shares.
“Also, there is a saying in Vietnamese that if you want to do something, but you don’t know if it will be successful, you should not shout it out.”
Therefore, on the night of the awards, Minh’s parents didn’t know what he was talking about when he called to share news of his win.
“But when I came home with a certificate and the trophy, my mom invited all of our family over, and it was good to see that they are proud of me,” he says.
In order to compete for the scholarship, Minh had to submit a portfolio summarising four examples of his best design work.
He was then chosen among the seven finalists, each of whom had to give a ten-minute presentation in front of a panel of judges.
Minh’s presentation was based on Superstrings to the Rescue, a book about string theory that he designed.
The 140-page book took 13 weeks to complete, and is what he calls a “science art book”.
“The first part is about traditional aspects of physics so I designed it to look exactly like a serious science book,” Minh explains.
“For the second part I played with the composition and the layout, so the main purpose was to help readers feel the context of string theory.”
Minh was shocked when he won. “I froze,” he says. “I didn’t believe that he had said my name. All of the other people were looking at me, but I didn’t know what had happened.”
He is now preparing to travel to France, where he will stay from 17-27 June.
He will attend workshops and meet people in the marketing and communications industry, in addition to supporting the Cannes Lions Vietnam team.
“I think it will be overwhelming, but I’m very excited,” Minh says.
“I think that it’s a chance for me to know more about the industry. It’s not just about design now, but it’s about how design, marketing and communication all overlap today.”
Story: Michael Tatarski