“After the party and all the rubbish remaining, we decided to CHANGE, and we decided to build a society to conquer waste to live more sustainable...”
The master class of 2018 from the Department of Innovation & Management in Tourism at the FH Salzburg (Salzburg University of Applied Sciences) set out to welcome the new master students of cohort 2019 in a memorable way through a themed LARP experience revolving around a fictional story of a student society, known as M.I.A. This event is a project part of Experience Design Case Study course, guided by FH-Prof. Dr. Barbara Neuhofer.
Immersive LARP Experiences
LARPing (Live Action Role Playing) is an embodied design method that aims to create rich and immersive physical and situated experience by incorporating the context of gamification and experience design. Within a fictional world, the participants experience the story as player characters and interact with each other in the community.
Team spirit, fun, acceptance and sustainability
In the past year, there were numerous memorable experiences created and shared by the master class of 2018. Now, they are attached to each other and appreciate the time that had been together. That was the moment when the master class of 2018 realized that acceptance, a sense of fun and good team spirit are the key elements among them. However, apart from that, the class came to realize that being master students is more about the connections they create and about the influences they make to the world. Every time after a party, the food and alcohol were overflowing, and not to mention the trash and food waste. Even though concepts like sustainability are often mentioned in class, the students started questioning whether they are living up to what they were taught about sustainability…
To improve the well-being for all, students intensively discussed about how they can be more mindful and use their power to change the world. They therefore created a student society called as MIA. MIA represents “mine” and “ours“. It is to remind the community to stay united through team spirit, to be accepting, to take care of the environment by living sustainably, and to not forget the importance of fun in the meantime. Of course, students were aware that they might not be the superheroes who could save the world, but they took a first small important step through a pledge through MIA to try their best and make little effort day by day.
MIA society – a society to live sustainably
The new master students of 2019, as the participants, were challenged to go through a series of different activities which would help them engage with and build upon four essential values: team spirit, fun, acceptance and sustainability. The morning journey through the immersive experience spaces was dedicated to the core values. This continued with a lunch in nature to showcase the beautiful surroundings of our campus, where the “no waste” philosophy was adopted. The day came to an end with a treasure hunt through the campus where the students have found different surprises for a final sustainable party. Building on the principles of experience design, it has been an engaging co-created experience where the seeds for strong friendship bonds and mindfulness were planted for what is to come on the way of being masters students.
Four interactive experiences awaited the participants…
Participants experienced four interactive and immersive spaces. Each of them stands for a value and a way of how they should treat the earth, including Fun Space, Teamspirit Space, Acceptance Space, and Sustainable Space.
The fun space was based around creating a purely fun experience for the participants. By finding their way through three tourism themed puzzles, the aim was to find three hidden numbers to unlock the treasure chest. Through exploring the globe for the right country, finding secret messages in documents and using Morse code, every team successfully unlocked the treasure chest and had a lot of fun on the way.
In teamspirit space, participants had to build the Rube Goldberg Machine. The goal was to demonstrate the importance of team working. The first group started to build it and the second one continued working on the machine. In this case, participants had the opportunity to build it bigger since working in teams is more productive than working alone.
The participants meditated and focused on what their fears were at the start of university, followed by writing the fears onto a paper along with soil in the paper pot. In the second round, participants were asked to focus on their goals and planted a seed, symbolizing that their goals will outgrow their fears in the future during their time at university. Finally, the participants shared their thoughts in a safe atmosphere to connect with each other.
The participants created art with colors made from food waste to design a flag for MIA. Upon completion, the participants had to read a few sentences regarding the food waste problem and shared their thoughts. The goal was to emphasize a global problem and to understand that there are certain creative ideas that can help the crisis faced by human beings today.
The story continues…
The best way to welcome our newcomers to the FH community is by immersing ourselves and change. Acceptance, team spirit, fun and sustainability. How do you put this all together? You prototype and co-create a whole day!
Have a look and see the highlights of the experience