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Students organize pirate event

Posted on 12.11.2013

The experience design program at the University of Indianapolis hosted the event “Pirates: Which crew will you choose?” on Nov. 19. Participants chose a ship to be loyal to, played real pirate games, learned how to make hard tack and participated in other activities.

Freshman sports management major Trae Cole said that he enjoyed earning Lecture/Performance credit for becoming a pirate for a day.

“It was good. Everyone likes to learn about pirates—best L/P I’ve been to,” Cole said.

Freshman art education major Torie Howell is in the Experience Design 101 course that worked to put together the event. According to Howell, not only was the event enjoyable but doing all of the preparation and research for the event was just as fun.

“It [the course] is completely educational. I am a very visual person, so it aids my education,” Howell said. “I look forward to the class.”

Howell said that the class was set up like the event, so the students chose which crew they wanted to be loyal to. She said that as the class went on, a story developed with setbacks and blessings, just like a game of chutes and ladders. The students assumed roles and learned about navigation and how to tie riggings.

Howell said that the class is not just fun and games, though. It requires a portfolio as a final project that includes everything they have learned. They also have to develop a first-person composite character based on historical facts.

“It’s a lot of work, but I’m very glad,” Howell said.

Director of Experience Design and Associate Professor of History Samantha Meigs said that experience design is used in museums, event planning, themed hospitality and attractions. According to Meigs, experience design also is useful for interactive marketing, and the field in general is quite large.

“What I am doing in this class is one example of experience design. The field itself is bigger than just history, but it is a way of actually engaging people,” she said. “It is a way to engage, entertain and educate.”

Students can choose to major or minor in experience design or can choose it as a concentration. The option has been available for about six years and is interdisciplinary, so it is intended to be able to mix with students’ other interests. There are three tracks that can be chosen: design, research or management. The classes require no prerequisites, so anyone can take them as a general core credit.

Junior experience design major Austin Baker said that he enjoys how there is a new topic each semester, so he and his classmates have opportunities to create many different experiences.

Baker said that the courses are always unique because the students get to design completely different worlds each semester. Over the past year they have built futuristic distopias and recreated the crusades.

“It is a really good major, because it is interdisciplinary. You get people that are in theatre, communication, history or archeology,” Baker said. “There are all kinds of people, and it works well for events.”


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