Knowledge Integration’s annual third-year student exhibition, Knowledge Integration eXhibition 2018 (KIX2018), kicked off on Monday with a reception including remarks from University of Waterloo President Feridun Hamdullahpur, Dean of Environment Jean Andrey and Chair of the Department Rob Gorbet. Around 100 faculty, donors, community members and alumni, including program founder Ed Jernigan, attended the event to celebrate the students and their exhibits.
A highlight of the reception was the announcement of a 3-year partnership between the Department of Knowledge Integration and the City of Waterloo Museum. Museum manager Karen VandenBrink announced that starting in 2019 the museum would host several of the student exhibits from March till June after their March Break show on campus.
KIX2018 is the first year to feature a theme: The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Each of the 5 exhibits were connected to a specific SDG and were designed to educate and inspire visitors to take action related to the SDG. For instance, the exhibit entitled All You Can Eat? looked at SDG 2: Zero Hunger, educating visitors about food bank operations and ways to make the most effective donations. Another exhibit, WORKSCAPES, engages SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth by focusing on migrant workers in Canada’s Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program (SAWP) and encouraging visitors to consider the meaning of decent. The SDG theme celebrates the launch of the Canadian chapter of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) in May, which is being hosted by the University of Waterloo and led by the Faculty of Environment.
Other community partners engaged in this year’s exhibits were Waterloo Region Fire Chief, Richard Hepditch, who acted as an advisor for All You Can Eat?, and guest critics from industry and cultural institutions including Unilever Canada, THEMUSEUM, the Region of Waterloo Museums, the Ontario Science Centre, and the City of Waterloo Museum.
The students are proud to finally show off the 7 months of hard work to the university and community. KIX is a showcase of experiential learning which begins in second year with learning about museum design and how people learn, then traveling to a European city to study museums. This year’s group traveled to Barcelona last May to look at case studies and get inspired for their own exhibits. Then they spent third year working in groups of 6 to research their topic, design the communication and interactive components and bring their exhibits to life.
Students describe the whole project as one that teaches time management, communication, design and the best ways to overcome failure as a team. But the best part students say is when it all “magically springs up” and they get to see their brain-child become a reality. “All the plans and everything that was in our heads, seeing it in life as a tangible, physical object that not only we get to interact with but other people get to interact with is one of the most rewarding things I've done in my undergrad,” says one student.
KIX2018 is still open for two more days! Check out the exhibits at the St. Jerome’s University Siegfried Wellness Centre (gym) Friday from noon to 7 pm and Saturday 11 am to 4 pm. More information about the exhibits and KIX can be found on their website.