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The Ward One project gives humanities and computer science students the opportunity to become digital storytellers. For Herman Phillips, it was an opportunity to learn how to work across disciplines—an important experience for his future career.

Find your fit

"I chose to major in Film and Media Studies. While I am primarily interested in the physical production side of film, I still want to learn about the historical and theoretical frameworks for understanding productions."

Expand your options

After being introduced to the project in high school, Herman decided to enroll in the Ward One project. The project is part of an ongoing, interdisciplinary course where students develop an interactive, geolocative app that guides the interactor through the historic Ward One district in Columbia, SC.

"As a film and media studies student, I had little to no knowledge of how complex coding worked for apps. But I did know from my experience in physical production what elements we would need to bring together in order to make the app the way we had envisioned it."

Herman's approach to filmmaking provided important insights that helped shape the interactive components of the app, specifically, the radio station WOCI.

"I joined the Radio Design Team and became the producer for the radio station. I facilitated the practical and logistical means of making WOCI come to life."

Discover new approaches

According to Herman, WOCI would not have been possible without collaboration from different disciplines. In fact, the same could be said for the entire project.

"Media, music and design students worked with computer science/engineering students on how to organize the information in the app, and computer science/engineering students worked with humanities students on the general look and feel of the app. The Ward One app needed both the creative and technical elements to work together in order to create the best possible version."

Herman discovered that he was able to bring together the production of a well thought-out, directed and coded radio station that helped illuminate and communicate the history of Ward One. The ability to shape the way a user senses the juxtaposition between time and place is particularly satisfying and an experience that will help him in the future.

Prepare for the path ahead

"I plan on going into film and television production after graduating. It's an industry that is extremely interdisciplinary, from working with editors, attorneys and writers to accountants, historians and engineers. It is important to work with people outside of your area of expertise. I think the Ward One class gave me a glimpse into what an interdisciplinary career will look like. It was invaluable to work across different disciplines and communicate our ideas to one another."

Will you be the next to drive the future of information, design and computing? Learn more about becoming a Rhodos Fellow.