The renewed partnership will leverage the expertise of both institutions to support and grow Melbourne’s creative community, providing new and innovative pathways and research outcomes for students, academics and alumni.
A cornerstone of the partnership is the new ACMI x RMIT Audience Lab, which will act as a testing ground for moving image creators.
Open to videogame developers, film and TV makers, mixed-reality and moving image artists, Audience Lab will launch in mid-2020, upon the completion of ACMI’s major redevelopment project, and will be housed across the museum’s transformed exhibition and public spaces.
The innovative initiative will give makers access to audience testing methodologies including contextual play, biometrics, new media experiences, beta testing, and usability, while giving museum visitors the chance to engage directly with creatives.
RMIT Deputy Pro Vice-Chancellor of Partnerships within the College of Design and Social Context Professor Martyn Hook said the University’s partnership with ACMI had been a critical pathway of industry-focused learning and development for creative and entrepreneurial students.
“We are delighted that collaborations will expand over the next four years to advance knowledge within the moving image sector through applied, practice-based research,” Hook said.
Dean of the RMIT School of Design Professor Laurene Vaughan said she was excited by the opportunities the partnership offered researchers, students and alumni.
“The ACMI x RMIT Audience Lab collaboration is a great example of how the partnership will result in world leading research that extends our understandings of audience participation and experience in the digital realm.’
As part of the ACMI x RMIT research partnership, students from RMIT’s Games Design, Animation and Digital Design programs will have the opportunity to showcase their videogames through Audience Lab from 2020 onwards.
From this pool of student videogame makers, ACMI and RMIT will award a $5,000 cash prize to one promising graduate to help develop their game and prepare it for commercial release.
In addition, the prize recipient will receive their own dedicated Audience Lab where they can take advantage of valuable audience testing to refine their game prior to its release.
ACMI Director & CEO Karina Sedgwick said she was thrilled that ACMI will continue its successful relationship with RMIT.
“Through this exciting collaboration, ACMI and RMIT are fostering the next generation of local digital and moving image makers and advancing knowledge for the sector,” she said.
“Preparing makers to be leaders in the digital creative economy is at the heart of what ACMI stands for.”
The expanded partnership will continue to embed Victoria’s growing and influential creative industries directly into the fabric of RMIT.
Both Hook and Sedgwick are highly regarded creative leaders and have been appointed to a new advisory group that will help shape the Victorian Government’s strategy and investment in the creative industries from 2020.
Story: Jasmijn van Houten