This is the transcript for Interested in combining your Design degree with the Bachelor of Creative Intelligence and Innovation?

Joel Meredith 0:10
So Hello, my name is Joel Meredith and I do a double degree in integrated product design and creative intelligence and innovation.

Joel Meredith 0:17
When I came out of high school in 2015, I graduated from the Scotts college I was definitely focusing a lot around design technology. I enjoyed the whole major work I had so much fun kind of developing that product over the course of 12 months that I thought I would take it into my Educational Studies, which is why I elected to do the product design and BCII double degree.

Joel Meredith 0:46
So I decided to take on BCII as a double degree because I wanted to gain the additional skills required to both understand these different kind of parts of the industry and more importantly to be able to collaborate with different stakeholders in these projects moving forward as well. So I thought BCII would give me the communication problem solving skills to be able to facilitate that.

Joel Meredith 1:11
I feel like okay, if I was going to describe BCII in three words, definitely collaborative. That’s it for me, like the biggest, biggest like vain in BCII. Second most would be, I think, forward thinking. I don’t know if that’s gonna be allowed as one word or two. But basically, I think all the ideas that I see my peers coming up with always feel like they’re ahead of the time, like, what’s it going to be in the future? Like, how are we going to innovate here or iterate on this. So forward thinking is a big thing and definitely the pedagogical on serendipitous, which is a term used throughout BCII and I think there are like a lot of lovely little opportunities that you run into throughout the degree. So for me, collaborative, forward thinking and serendipitous. I absolutely found BCII complimented my core degree, even after the first, the very first winter school that I partook in. So I found, I guess like mapping the course of my two degrees, I really found like I would learn these technical skill sets in product design, which was fantastic, can’t speak highly enough for that degree as well. But then I would kind of go and partake in the BCII school. And I would come back with these kind of like new perspectives. And I really found that as I was going through projects, particularly in the later years of product design, I was able to apply these different perspectives, these different worldviews and these different kind of workflows and ways of approaching problems just through like the sheer of osmosis of hanging out with all these other super switched on kids that were doing their own things in BCII and being able to bring back some of those learnings and workflows into product design. I thought that was really nice.

Joel Meredith 2:47
kind of elevated. I think it elevates like your technical skill set. Because Product Design gives you the skills to build things, and then BCII helped you apply those products to the real world. So I think for me, BCII was like the biggest bridge between what I technically learned in product design and the real world, I think if I hadn’t have partaken in BCII, I might have, you know, still gotten like the technical skillsets to get a design job, but I might not have necessarily understood as clearly like, the role I was playing as a designer in the real world, and how my products, like influence the things around me and I think that’s a really fundamental shift that I can definitely attribute towards BCII.

Joel Meredith 3:30
Particularly for product design, it’s important to learn transdisciplinary skills, because so often we find product designers playing the role of stakeholder manager. So for me transdisciplinary skills at their core are being able to communicate with people from different backgrounds, different mindsets and different worldviews and bring them together and organise them in a way which promotes like the maximum innovation and output or whatever that project might be. And my belief is that I think, like true innovation and real innovation, this gets generated from The relationship between two people, I think you can come up with X amount of innovation by yourself. And then, you know, just by adding one more person to the team, you can come up with 10 x innovation. And we’ll always get generated from the blurred lines between those two people in that relationship. So I think the better you are at communicating with other people understanding where people are coming from, and having a grasp on these transdisciplinary style skills, I think you can generate more innovation in your team.

Joel Meredith 4:33
I think the most rewarding project that I worked on was, most recently we did our industry innovation project, which is where you and a team of students partner up with a real company and they kind of bring a challenge or issue that they’re working on real time and you help collaborate and iterate that with them. So we’re working with a company called Live education, who are responsible for you know, a bunch of life education in Australia. And you know, we developed something Initiative’s for them and then to see them, you know, kind of like, respond positively to those initiatives and try and take them forward in the real world I think was positive because I felt like in my core degree, at least while you design a lot of things, and make a lot of products, often it kind of ends there at the end of the subject, which is, you know, normal and expected but to actually take a BCII subject, perform work with a bunch of students, put it out into the world and then see it kind of play out in real time and actually see a real company benefit from it. I think that was like really rewarding and a really nice stepping stone into like the workforce afterwards.

Joel Meredith 5:41
So now I’m completing I’m halfway through my final year of BCII. I’m also working in my spare time so I work for a company doing it’s kind of like, it’s half way between product design and BCII. So developing design systems and try to collaborate between different stakeholders, giving them the design tools that they need to prototype faster. And I’m also working for a startup as we’re working out of UTS startups as well. So it’s been really nice seeing kind of like the corporate and startup side, and how BCII can relate to both of those.

Joel Meredith 6:19
In my opinion,BCII, like definitely provided me with skill sets that increase employability a lot. I noticed like in all the internships I worked across my degree, and then the roles that I’m in now, I think, in like, particularly in the interview process, people will try and ask you questions to test like, how you think and how you approach problems is a really common in you know, like, most roles, but particularly product design ones, as well. And, I think I always felt like very comfortable answering those questions, because in BCII I am so used to trying to think about things outside the box. You’re trying to think about how you can solve things in a variety of different ways and you think about how you can leverage stakeholders or other team members and I think when an employer sees that you are like a more employable person, I think it’s like a really important soft skill that you know comes straight out of BCII and luckily applies to a tonne of different industries.

Joel Meredith 7:16
I would recommend anybody looking, for me, maybe most likely got a bias that I found product designers just like crushed it in BCII like excelled really well, because you know, the basis of product design at UTS is like design thinking design methodologies. And the basis of BCII is like design thinking and a lot of design methodologies. So I found like product designers happened to do really well in BCII. And most importantly, product designers always came back into product design with a bunch of really applicable skills that they could use like very tangibly on their products with their teams. So not only do you get the kind of like technical like design thinking skills, like how to approach problems, how to organise teams, like agile methodologies, lean startup methodologies, you also get this kind of like more conceptual world view on how product designers play a role in teams and how product designers play a role in the real world. And I found looking at my peers and colleagues that took the double degree path and didn’t I did find on average, the students doing the double degree appeared to do better in their final years of their product design, because of these views and technical skill sets they could bring to the table as well.