'Our students are going to have a huge head start'

Interview Manon Egging

Didactics for Creative Technology (DCT) is a professionalisation track for lecturers and employees inside and outside HKU. Participants investigate, based on an actual educational demand, how they can apply creative technology in their educational practice.

'Our students are going to have a huge head start'

One of those participants is Manon Egging; workshop assistant at Texspace in HKU location IBB. She guides students in their projects on the workshop, offers instructions and teaches skills labs to students from the Fashion Design course.

‘How can we combine VR with 3D fashion design software? Can we influence the motions and appearance of avatars?’ Before Manon got involved in the DCT track, she was already busy with developing ‘her own’ visual language in virtual reality. For example, by mapping her own motions, textures and motifs on virtual avatars. The track was therefore exactly what she needed.

Virtual you

Fashion Design students have been using CLO: 3D fashion software for several years now, for designing digital motifs. According to Manon, the programme is nothing less than a revolution in the fashion world, although it does have its limitations. ‘For instance, you have no influence on its appearance or how your avatar moves. The figures aren’t exactly diverse either (male/female) and their motions are a bit dull. At an arts academy, you should be able to give your own touch to it. Additionally, you can now create whole environments and work with more abstract avatars, thanks to the compatibility with other software, which I developed during the DCT track. You could even upload a digital copy of yourself.’

The track

With the help of her colleagues, mainly from the Blackbox and 3D-workshop, and some guidance from DCT, Manon succeeded in linking various software programs with each other. ‘We pick an avatar from CLO, provide it with a skeleton from another program, give the object the motions that we created in Blackbox by using mocap (motion capture), and then import it back into CLO. Students are already busy experimenting with in it the workshop.’

The DCT track consist of multiple meetings and reflection moments. It starts with an introduction to VR, creative technology and various digital programs, followed by an articulation of your particular learning goal. There is room for sharing experiences, work together and ask questions. There are also one-on-one sessions. You finish with a presentation of a didactic scenario.

Head start

Right now, Manon is exploring with HKU Design and other schools how these techniques can be implemented in education. A seminar and masterclass are some of the options. ‘Where else can you find a mocap, textile department, CLO and a whole bunch of students all at the same place? Companies don’t have that. And so, our students are going to have a huge head start when they enter the labour market.’

More info & registration

Read more about the learning track Didactics for Creative Technology (DCT). Interested in joining the track as HKU employee or external professional? Then contact Machiel Veltkamp, lecturer and project leader Extended Realities at the Expertise Centre Creative Technology, via machiel.veltkamp@hku.nl.