Rocco Bombardieri. Photo taken by Alex Tsui

The CCK is giving Rocco Bombardieri a chance to work on something he always thought would be out of his reach, an interactive gallery. He’s working on a project for professor Matthew Tiessen whose research is focused on natural landscapes in cities, especially the Don Valley Parkway. 

“It’s kind of one of those things that people never do. It’s just out of their reach and they always wanted to but never did,” Rocco says.

The second year new media student started working at the CCK last summer and he says that the CCK has given him a great portfolio.

We interviewed Rocco to find out what his experience has been like since he started working at the CCK.

The Interview

Alex: What have you learned at the CCK?

Rocco: Most of my work for the summer term was graphic design. I did the branding and identity for the CCK. A lot of the time it was about getting better at presenting my ideas and showing my train of thought. Jacky told me that I had the design sense, but I couldn’t explain it well so I had from May to August to learn those communication skills. I had to present my ideas through several stages. Each step of the way there were a lot of questions towards what I was creating because it can look good but if it doesn’t strictly solve a problem it’s useless, so everything that I made I had to think of it as a solution to a problem. That’s opposed to just, oh this is a nice logo or some badge that looks really good except it doesn’t represent what the company does. So that was my summer, it was a really great summer to learn all that.

Alex: What was your first project?

Rocco: My overarching project for the summer was the branding and the identity of the CCK, however we got sidetracked almost immediately.  I think it was the second week when St. Michael’s needed a 70 to 80 page pdf completed and that was an interesting project. It was a pdf but they wanted it set up like a booklet, but they weren’t going to print it. That brought along a lot of challenges. It was the first time that I was creating something for the health sector and, if I’m being honest, it’s not an entirely interesting field because there are a lot of specifics that need to be done and a lot of consistency. Of course that translates to all design but you really don’t have a lot of room to be very abstract, and especially with a new media background that’s contemporary art, it’s very cookie cutter. Like, that’s going to be an image here and then text that’s going to fill in and have some infographics and that’s all you do. You just do that for 70 pages.  


Alex: What has it been like getting experience in terms of interacting with clients?

Rocco: Well I think it’s very important, especially since it’s something I’m learning in school now. When you interact with clients… I wouldn’t want to call them the problem, but they’re kind of the guidelines that you’re designing around because they have this great idea in their mind and you need to go in and extrapolate the important pieces because you’re the designer and they’re hiring you as a creative. You need to find the way that almost ties in both sides. I would generally consider myself creative and if I’m not creating something that doesn’t correlate to their thinking then it’s useless. You can’t use it if it has no relevance to them. Again you can’t just go make something that’s entirely their idea because I feel like design, especially with a client, is about collaboration. They have these ideas and they want you to bring it over the top and bring it to the next level.

Alex: What has been your favorite project so far?

Rocco: Oh man! The project that we’re working on now is awesome! Matthew Tiessen is a professor and he’s a client who’s been exploring the effects of natural landscapes in juxtaposition with the urban landscape. Matthew took me and Jacky over to the Don Valley where we filmed 360 videos for interactive videos. It’s like really really nice there and it feels like you’re in a completely different area. Right now we’re pitching a gallery exhibit show to show that juxtaposition in a gallery space… We’re trying to get the people to interact with the space and show the harsh transitions between them… First semester was simpler times. We just did virtual reality goggles and now we want to make it more of a gallery.

Check out Matt Tiessen’s Biking the Don Valley Trails with VR!

Rocco testing out the 360° camera for Matt Tiessen’s VR project 

Alex: How do you think your work at the CCK will help you in the future?

Rocco: One of the main things in all creative fields is that it’s all about your portfolio. So the CCK has given me branding projects, hospitality experience and now it’s given me creative lead on an interactive museum. That’s something that I never imagined myself doing, like ever. It’s kind of one of those things that people never do, it’s just out of their reach and they always wanted to but never did. I’m doing it and it seems really cool that we’re actually making this. In the future I have something to point to that says I made a gallery exhibit, this is why it works, this is how it works and I have all the documentation and all the experience I need to now go into that kind of project. The budgeting the planning and all that and I feel like that looks pretty good on a resume and a portfolio. So yeah I’m very happy with this project.

The gallery will be ready to show sometime around the end of April.

Getting to know the CCK

Get to Know is a blog series spotlighting the students who work at the CCK. Each entry details their learning experiences based on work that they’ve done.