MDM Students Win Online Publishing Award

MDM Students Win Online Publishing Award

MDM student team Timber took home Gold for Best Use of Video/Multimedia in the Canadian Online Publishing Awards (COPA) Wednesday night, beating out the Toronto Star, The Canadian Press, La Presse and Winnipeg Press. The COPA Awards recognize Canada’s best editorial and design work in digital publications. 

Last spring, MDM student team Timber teamed up with UBC School of Journalism students and developed a multimedia platform to create awareness about the effects of illegal logging.

MDM students, Yvonne Hu, Stefan Finseth, Neshat Piroozan, Alana Thorburn – WattPatrick Truman and Melissa Wong took research and reporting collected by the UBC students and created the CUT website, where users are brought into a loft and encouraged to click on various items to find out the story behind common consumer goods. 

CUT website's interior where users find out about effects of illegal logging

Visitors to the site learn about how our everyday products have disastrous effects on the world’s natural environment. For example, our demand for wood and paper products—such as toilet paper—from Indonesia has cost the country almost three quarters of its natural forest. This displaces the orangutans on Sumatra and Borneo—the only two islands in the world where wild orangutans remain.

Patrick Pennefather, the faculty advisor for the team, was very pleased with the project.

Our work with UBC was a great example of working with a client to both identify and solve a design problem. Our team iterated solutions until they were in alignment with the UBC team. We are thrilled to have designed and iterated on a site that we think is critical in this day and age—to have done so with an international team with talent from Iran, Canada, Denmark, and China is the cherry on top.

The COPA awards were presented Wednesday night in Toronto and the students were thrilled to hear that they had won.

"It’s really great to have helped create something so successful—and with such meaning and significance attached to it," said Patrick Truman, the Project Manager on the team.

"When we first got an opportunity to see the concepts and footage the UBC students were working with, we knew it would be a great project, but we couldn’t have imagined it would get the kind of traction that it has. I’m really proud of the both the UBC team and our development team at CDM."

Alana Thorburn-Watt, the Artist on the project, said, "This award was very exciting news for me. I am absolutely thrilled that the project has gained momentum and people are paying attention to it. [Illegal logging] is such an important issue and most people are unaware of or know little about it."

"I'm also really proud of this project. Every time I see the site I feel that it has the intrigue and beauty that our team had hoped for."

Visit the CUT website.

Watch the CUT Behind the Scenes Video