Student Success
a still image of an animated building design
Trista Johnson's Lethbridge College Island central building concept.

Using virtual reality and video game-like elements, Lethbridge College’s Architectural Animation Technology students are bringing their designs to life – most recently for a pitch competition involving Lethbridge College Island – a plot of land in the Aftermath Islands Metaverse.

Students were tasked with creating a central building, and all relevant spaces and furnishings, that would operate well in a digital environment to serve as a central hub for gathering, learning, socializing, meeting and marketing. The designs were to capture the essence of Lethbridge College – its people and purpose – and how the institution will exist and grow into the future.

After several weeks of work, students pitched their concepts to a team at Aftermath Islands Metaverse Limited that included David Lucatch, Managing Director of Aftermath and CEO of Liquid Avatar Technologies Inc., a publicly traded global blockchain, digital identity and digital services company.

a young woman sitting on porch steps with an ipad
Trista Johnson, second-year Architectural Animation Technology student. 

While the judging panel was impressed with all student submissions, Trista Johnson (second-year, Architectural Animation Technology, Medicine Hat) was awarded top prize for her ‘Roots’ concept that featured walls of windows and a hand-modelled tree-column supporting an extended upper-level roof.

“I wanted my building to connect a virtual space with the ground our college is situated on,” says Johnson. “I was inspired by Centra Metropark in Iselin, New Jersey – an incredibly gorgeous building – and I feel the centre tree support was the visual highlight of my concept video.”

Johnson says she spent a lot of time filming the experience and editing her clips, so the video felt like virtual reality in real-time without any lag. She notes it was challenging but rewarding. “When I first started this program, I had the most basic level of computer knowledge, and I’m so proud of myself for coming as far as I have.”

For placing first in the pitch competition, Johnson was awarded a $3,000 gift card to Aftermath Islands Metaverse. With the e-currency, she will be able to buy property, assets and more within the virtual world.

Lethbridge College’s Centre for Technology, Environment and Design (CTED) first partnered with Liquid Avatar Technologies in March 2022 to launch a unique work-integrated learning opportunity for students. Liquid Avatar Technologies provided 9,000 plots of land within its Aftermath Islands Metaverse – collectively named Lethbridge College Island – so CTED students could learn how to “build” on it.

“We are excited and honoured to work with Lethbridge College, CTED and the students. Their work rivaled that of seasoned professionals, and we were amazed at the level of consideration and detail by everyone who participated,” says Lucatch. “Trista Johnson’s designs brought out the best of the program and the college, and Johnson and the other participants should be exceptionally proud of their designs.”

Johnson’s building components and assets will also be used within the Aftermath Islands Metaverse as Phase One of the LC Island partnership plan continues.