UCL News


Spotlight on digifest

21 October 2014

This week the spotlight is on Alex Hanrahan, Anuka Teggart, Hani Samion - the digifest team (UCL E-Learning Environments).

digifest team

What is your role and what does it involve?

We're here to help organise digifest, UCL's first digital festival, a week-long celebration of all things digital at UCL. We want to show off the great work that UCL does, so a large part of what we do is finding out what people are already doing that deserves a wider audience and connecting like minded people to run sessions at digifest. There's also a lot of behind the scenes work: running the website and social media, designing marketing material, booking venues, etc.

How long have you been at UCL and what was your previous role?

We've all been students here for about a year but have quite different backgrounds: Hani studied in Malaysia first, Alex worked in IT for a few years, and Anuka is in her final year of environmental biology.

What working achievement or initiative are you most proud of?

At the moment we're still revelling in our HintHunt victory: we escaped with 1:20 to spare, which is pretty good going considering another team in the office didn't make it out! The new skills we've acquired as part of this project have made us quite proud. Between us we've learnt video and photo editing, web design, deploying applications using Heroku, and mocking up designs in illustrator to name a few.  We're also quite proud of the venues we've managed to secure given how pressed for space we are at UCL. In fact, as space is so tight, we've had to be creative which has led to some really interesting venues: we're using a double decker London bus, for example! But most of all, I think it's the quality and variety of the sessions we've managed to pull together for digifest that have made us most proud. We've got everything from 3D printing and scanning, making your own video game or musical instrument, to new media art work and debates around online identity and privacy. It's shaping up to be a really exciting festival.

Tell us about a project you are working on now which is top of your to-do list?

Well digifest, obviously, but at the moment our top priority is getting more students involved and running sessions to complement the great stuff we've already got confirmed. It's been a bit tricky over the summer but we're excited to get stuck in at the beginning of term.

What is your favourite album, film and novel?

Alex: I think my favourite novel would have to be Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby.

Hani: My favourite album is Nocturne by Wild Nothing

Anuka: One of my favourite films has to be Castaway - Tom Hanks was fantastic!

What is your favourite joke (pre-watershed)?

Two atoms are talking to each other and one says,

"I think I've just lost an electron!"

"Are you certain?" the other replies.

"Yes! I'm positive!"

Who would be your dream dinner guests?

Alex: Bit of a cliché but I think I'd want Oscar Wilde, I think he'd love Twitter and digifest.

Hani: Steve Jobs.

Anuka: Dara O'Briain, David Attenborough and Quentin Tarantino.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Alex: Worry less, do more.

Hani: Don't be afraid to try new things.

Anuka: Accept the now and fret less of the future.

What would it surprise people to know about you?

Alex: Well I used to play the violin and piano, which most people don't realise, especially working on digifest.

Hani:  I eat like a horse! I'm tiny, but I can eat anyone under the table.

Anuka: I can recite the Thai national anthem still to this day after living in Bangkok for a couple of years.

What is your favourite place?

Hani: Home, where my family is.

Alex: Same for me, but as London is my home I suppose I should pick a spot. I really love the ruins of St Dunstan in the East.

Anuka: The Scottish Highlands: desolate, rugged and beautiful.