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Visiting Professors: Meet Laure Casalini From Rubika

May 15, 2019 By Crissy Campbell

In addition to our Industry Partnerships, the Centre for Digital Media is proud of our numerous Academic Partnerships, both with our partner schools and with educational institutions worldwide.

Last week, we had the pleasure of hosting Laure Casalini, who is the Head of Development, Editorial and Innovation for Rubika—a highly regarded animation, video game and industrial design school in Valenciennes in Northern France.

Associate Director Larry Bafia says,

It was a pleasure to host Ms. Casalini and learn more about the programs at Rubika. The visit resulted in a number of possibilities for our students and faculty to find common ground for collaboration and inspiration. The French Consulate of Vancouver has been instrumental in connecting our like-minded counterparts.

Laure was at the CDM to experience what we do here—including what students are taught in the MDM program, the projects they work on and how they learn—and to explore how Rubika students can partner with the CDM.

I sat down to talk with Laure about what she does at Rubika, her experience visiting CDM and how she sees MDM and Rubika students working together.

1. Tell us a bit about yourself.

I am now head of Development, Editorial and Innovation for Rubika. I have been working for Rubika for the last nine years. I started as the Director of Supinfogame which is a school dedicated to videogames. Then I moved on to become the Dean, where I worked on a new curriculum so that students from video games, animation and industrial design would work together.

Rubika is a school that started 30 years ago in 1987 with Animation (formerly known as Supinfocom) and Industrial Design (formerly known as ISD). The Video Game component started in 2001. The school is a 5 year program and we deliver Bachelor and Masters degrees (a 3 year bachelor degree and a 2 year master degree). We have 3 different masters degrees recognized by the French government:

  1. Digital Director for Animation
  2. Video Game Director for Games
  3. Manager in Design Engineering for Industrial Designers

We have campuses in Valenciennes in Northern France, in Montreal, in Pune in Western India and we’re launching in Nairobi, Kenya in 2020.

Rubika has a total of 1200 students worldwide and most of them (975 students) are in Valenciennes.


Rubika campus in Valenciennes, France.

2. Can you explain what you do at Rubika?

Today I am in charge of International Development so I take care of the campuses in foreign countries—mostly India and Nairobi. On top of that I’m also in charge of Innovation for the school, which means that I’m working on the future of our different industries and on how the students (because they're coming in for 5 years) have the skills required by industry when they graduate.

We currently have a very streamlined curriculum, but we’re moving to opening the curriculum up. What I appreciate here at the CDM is an openness to learning all skills dedicated to digital mediawhether it's for education, entertainment, architecture or AR/VR.

What I appreciate here at the CDM is an openness to learning all skills dedicated to digital mediawhether it's for education, entertainment, architecture or AR/VR.

Today I’m working on how our students who mainly focus on one discipline can broaden their learning so that they can be more open minded to address different topics and industries.

3. Tell us about your partnership here at CDM.

I was invited by Larry as part of a program that he set up with the CDM and the French Consulate.

Vancouver is becoming a big place for entertainment and new media development. Companies like Netflix, Google and Apple are moving into Vancouver so there will be more and more need for the specific skills that our students are learning.

The idea is that Vancouver will need more and more talent and Rubika will be working with CDM on an exchange program. We already encourage our students to experience at least one semester in a foreign country, whether it’s at a foreign school or an internship with a company. I want to make my students aware about the opportunities that are in Vancouver if they want to come and work here.

I was very impressed with MDM’s curriculum which I think is super strong with its approach to new media and where students are really learning those soft skills which are going to be more and more required in the future.

I was very impressed with MDM’s curriculum which I think is super strong with its approach to new media and where students are really learning those soft skills which are going to be more and more required in the future.

When I attended the rehearsal [for the Student Showcase], I was very impressed by the quality of the projects and the it was very eye opening to see what can be done with new media like virtually visiting archeological sites or learning neuroanatomy.

Whereas at Rubika we are really focused on entertainment only—and it’s ok, we’re good at it and our students are really passionate—it’s very important to also raise awareness about all of the different applications that can be done with these technologies and how broad the applications can be.
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Thank you Laure!

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