Learning for Tomorrow
STUDIO / DESIGNER
Brett O'Mahony, Emmett Ryan, Adam Barry
Design for Screen
Brett O’Mahony (Art Director)
Emmett Ryan (Lead Designer & Sound Design)
Adam Barry (Copywriter & Strategic Designer)
Bien Studio (Development)
Allan Pooley (Development)
Design Challenge and Design Ideas
“Learning for Tomorrow,” is a playful research project by Studio Saol commissioned by the University of Limerick. The brief required the creation of a digital experience that would act as a means to understand the attitudes of the student body towards the future, as part of a university-wide strategic foresight program led by the Centre for Sustainable Futures & Innovation. The challenge involved the creation of an engaging yet data-driven digital experience.
Our solution involved crafting a playful digital experience that simultaneously engaged users and collected quantitative data about their views towards the future and education’s role in it. We approached this challenge by creating a piece of design fiction, depicting a future where students have personalized AI Learning Mentors guiding their learning journeys. This vision came to life through an interactive survey, inviting you to discover your future learner persona.
How the brief was fulfilled
Using design fiction in our approach, meant that the narrative served as a tool to transport users into a future where education was reimagined. In this conceptual landscape, students were equipped with personalized AI Learning Mentors, guiding them into unique learning journeys. We envisioned that the AI mentor’s first step would be to understand each student’s perspective on the future of education and their individual priorities within it.
To start, we ideated on what type of quantitative data would be effective for the research project to be underpinned by. We drew inspiration from sociological and psychological research on how individuals relate to the future and the core values that shape their perspectives. From this, we devised a questionnaire based on studies such as “Evaluating the structure of human values with confirmatory factor analysis” by Shalom Schwartz and “The Polak Game: Where do you stand?” by Peter Hayward and Stuart Candy.
The design and art direction of the interactive experience were deeply influenced by our vision of what the next generation of AI tools might look and sound like. Collaborating closely with a development team, we conceptualized a ‘living AI’ in the form of a digital orb. This AI reacts in real time to users’ responses, both visually and auditorily. The AI Mentor’s soundscape also dynamically changes in response to user interaction, with shifts in color, form, sound, and vibration, progressively tailoring itself to each user’s unique journey.
Our ultimate goal was to establish a personalized connection between each user and the AI Mentor. To achieve this, we concluded the experience by presenting users with their unique ‘Future Learner Persona.’ These personas were rooted in sociological research and complemented by distinct AI visuals and melodies, ensuring that each user felt the AI Mentor was speaking directly to them, resulting in a novel and engaging experience.
In our efforts to engage a broader audience, we created a series of provocative posters strategically placed around the University campus, each featuring a question & a QR code directing students to the survey.
Experience it at https://learningfortomorrow.ie/.
Brilliant to hear sound used on a digital experience as it adds a sense of calm."