Design School Interview #2: Interaction Design Degree

By Charles
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This second episode is an interview with Grégoire Cliquet, the course leader for Interaction Design at the Nantes Atlantique School of Design. After the student, the master speaks…

Grégoire, could you please introduce yourself?

I teach Real-time Interactive 3D  at the Ecole de Design Nantes Atlantique and for 7 years have been in charge of the school’s Interaction Design cursus.  Soon I will become the head of the “READI” laboratory for applied experimental research in interaction design at the school.

What is “Interaction Design” and what do you teach your students?

The five-year Masters cursus is divided into two cycles.

The first cycle is an undergraduate program that teaches the fundamentals of interaction design. It aims at developing our students’ creativity. It also helps them develop techniques related to graphical representation (2D/3D), computing skills through learning Web Standards (XHTML/CSS/JS/PHP), and software such as Proce55ing, Flash/Flex and 3DVIA Virtools.

We also teach students how to manage from start to finish interaction design projects by involving them in real projects with IT companies. They practice the design process under real conditions, from understanding the demand and generating creative concepts, to making functional prototypes that embody design concepts.

The second cycle of the program is divided into seven areas dealing with contemporary social and economic issues. I will cite just two of them:

  • “Tangible Interfaces” centers on new interaction modes  with information systems, ambient intelligence and ubiquitous computing.
  • “Virtual Reality” is about designing innovative virtual and augmented reality interfaces and services.

What profile should a student have to enter this school?

The prerequisite to our design curriculum is a baccalaureate (French equivalent to A-levels or high school diploma) and applicants have to pass writing and creativity tests, followed by an individual interview to assess their motivation.

Can you describe the typical or atypical career of graduates from your school?   

Many interaction students now hold a position in the research and development departments of various companies. For example:

  • Frantz Lasorne works on new means of interaction for Ubisoft.
  • Nicolas Guyon works for Lego on “new gaming” projects.
  • Pierrick Thebault is finishing a thesis for Bell Labs.

About 90 percent of our students get jobs during the first month following their diploma.

Why did you choose 3DVIA Virtools to develop virtual projects?

Virtools covers a wide range of needs from virtual reality (immersive environments), games and real time 3D applications to augmented and mixed reality projects. It integrates our software workflow, so students can reuse 3D models they made from 3dsMax.

For designers it offers different levels of programming. Visual Scripting language is designer-friendly and can be learned quickly, making prototyping 3D real-time interactive applications a relatively easy task. Students can therefore concentrate on their imagination and concepts.

What do you think about the future of 3D?

With stereoscopic and auto stereoscopic displays, 3D will become increasingly present in our day-to-day living as 3D images are erasing the borders between reality and virtuality.

Grégoire Cliquet, thank you for answering our questions.

You are welcome!

What do you think?  If you’re a student, does this inspire you on your professional path?

Does anyone have any thoughts as to how the Interaction Design profession will evolve?



Charles Bonnassieux works as Marketing Specialist for Dassault Systèmes

Design School Interview #1: Immersive Rail Shooter Game

By Charles
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To begin this Design School Miniseries, here is an interview of David, a young student and award winner… let’s discover what he has to tell us!

David, could you please introduce yourself?

Hello! My name is David Arenou and I am from Nantes. I study at the School of Design Nantes Atlantique, France. I am currently in my last year of studies and just did a 3D project. At the moment, I am doing my final internship at Alcatel Lucent and then I will graduate. And why not apply for a job at Dassault Systèmes?

Describe your “IMMERSIVE RAIL SHOOTER” project…

IMMERSIVE RAIL SHOOTER is my final School of Design project. What I came up with is a shooting video game. The central idea is that you have to hide to survive.  And to give the game a tangible dimension: you are in your living room or bedroom, where you place a video console, and the immersive rail shooter allows you to bring the belongings you have around you (chair, sofa, table, any object that you could use to hide behind), into direct interaction in the video game. You use these physical elements as real hiding tools. The only other thing you need is a camera for you to be detectable, and a fake gun or remote control to track your movement.

What is it about your game that really offers something new to a potential user?

The main evolution introduced in the game is related to the physical immersion aspect: you are completely in the game, with your body and your thoughts, and this is the huge difference with other projects. The game is a success when you forget that you are only in your room.

But how do you use the game?

You just put a chair in front of your body, and you imagine your body is in the virtual world; as I said before, you forget where you are.  You are in another world, you feel immersed.

Why did you choose 3DVIA Virtools to develop this project?

I chose 3DVIA for three reasons: first, because I learned 3DVIA Virtools in my school, so I was used to it and I already knew the software; secondly, 3DVIA enabled me to prototype my ideas very rapidly. Last but not least, I knew I needed a tracking system to detect the player, ARtoolKIT to track big markers. 3DVIA Virtools gave me the answer.  It made it easy and quick to compose and have access to a whole array of different choices and behaviors.

What does your winning Laval Virtual’s First Prize and Prize for the Best Interaction and Programming inspire you for the future?

I took part in the Laval Virtual Conference as a student competitor and I won the Virtual Fantasy Prize. It’s a great honor for me to have won this kind of award and I really want to express my thanks to the jury. This award tells me today: “Ok, David, this project is your thing, keep it up; maybe it will be your way for the future….”

David, thank you for visiting DS Campus and thank you for talking to us.

My pleasure !



Charles Bonnassieux works as Marketing Specialist for Dassault Systèmes

Design School Miniseries Coming!

By Remi
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Ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce to you a miniseries about education and more precisely L’école de Design Nantes Atlantique. We will talk about award-winning students like David Arenou (we already talked about him here!), his teachers and more generally 3D design.

As I don’t want to spoil the fun I’ll just let you with this teaser that regulars will recognize as it is a demo of David’s awesome job! Stay tuned, first episode to come early next week… ;)

Take care,


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