Abhi Topiwala - learning in action

Abhi Topiwala

Currently studying a Bachelor of Creative Enterprise

What project are you involved with?

I’m taking part in the Learning In Action campaign, helping to create a totally unique beverage for Unitec and the wider community to enjoy. This hasn’t ever been executed before, and I am proud to say I’m a big part of it. My role in this project is being a creative observer/director – helping guide the look of the experiential aspect of this campaign. 

What attracted you to this project?

It seemed like an interesting project to jump on board with. 8 months in and I still am. It’s a great experience.

What’s it like working with Unitec on this project?

It is interesting working with Unitec as they are the client. At first it was a peculiar relationship to have, but in the end, it made sense. It’s a student-led project creating something for Unitec, and we need to make sure all concerns are addressed throughout the process. 

You are working with an industry partner Republik, what do you like about working with them?

The team are awesome and fun to be around. They have lots of advice to offer and it’s super cool to go in and work with them on this project. They have so much insight to provide and are really helping us to create a meaningful outcome. 

What are the challenges of working on this project?

The different groups of people involved in this project have been tricky to manage. For example, a memo would go out for a meeting but someone would miss it or be notified an hour beforehand. It can get quite messy and it’s funny seeing that even a professional project sometimes doesn’t go as smoothly as anticipated.

What’s been the best thing about working on this project?

For me, it is being completely immersed in the project from the get-go. It has been full-on from day one and I’ve had to juggle multiple parts of the project at once. It’s all very real and having been given this much responsibility helps me get used to what it would be like in a real creative agency. 

How do students benefit from working on projects like this?

It sets you up for the pace the industry moves. Something I do in 2 hours would take my mentor at Republik 20 minutes, so it’s interesting to see the speed of other designers. Personally, it’s been really beneficial working on this project.

What’s your opinion on the Think.Do ethos of Unitec?

I think it’s a great model and it should be incorporated widely in every study institution. The balance is ideal and should be a way of tackling all problems. Personally, it relates nicely to the creative process and how there should be a balance of both research and conceptual thinking. More broadly, I like to call it design thinking, and to me, that just means coming from a holistic point of view rather than one perspective. 

What type of work would you like to be involved with in the future?

If this is what the creative industry is like, I can’t wait to be a part of it! 

Would you be interested in working for a company like Republik in the future?


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