Liam Coll

Liam Coll

Front-End Developer/Freelance Installation Artist
Bachelor of Creative Technologies

He loves seeing people enjoy the things he has created, says creative technologies alumnus Liam Coll who now splits his time between developing websites and creating installation pieces.

“As a front-end developer, I’m creating websites for large companies, using a variety of different technologies including JavaScript and Adobe Experience Cloud. I enjoy front-end development because it allows me to reconcile my technology brain and my creative brain. I’m still creating and making, while also enjoying the coding side.

“I also create installation pieces on the side for fun, and one of my installations was already publicly exhibited at MOTAT Night Lights. Freelance installations are super fun to make – it’s purely about creative technologies and communicating ideas through a 3D physical medium. Having my first publicly exhibited piece featured at MOTAT Night Lights was incredible and is definitely something to be proud of.”

Becoming a creative technologist
Studying creative technologies enabled him to explore and research whatever he was interested in, and equipped him with excellent technical and creative skills, says Liam.

“AUT has excellent facilities including the 3D labs or the mechatronics labs, making it an excellent hub for getting things made. I also created a wonderful network of friends and fellow creatives while studying, which has continued outside of university and led me into some great career opportunities.

“I also really enjoyed learning from Associate Professor Andy Connor and Dr Stefan Marks. Andy did an amazing job of breaking down advanced concepts while focusing on the ethical and human side of technology and research. Stefan taught me programming, Arduino/electronics and VR. He brings a raw passion and excitement to his classes, and makes everyone taking his classes feel the same way.”

His final semester is what stood out most to him.

“My final semester at uni was when I really became a creative technologist. After being in lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I had a desire to create physical things. I began experimenting with electronics in the studio, building synthesizer circuits, exploring interesting topics, creating interactive installations and learning lots. It really felt like everything from the past three years had clicked together.”

Advice for other students
Liam, who graduated from AUT at the end of 2020, has some great advice for other students.

“Keep an open mind to all ideas and opportunities that come your way. Make the most of your time at uni. Take classes that challenge you, and keep developing yourself throughout and after you finish your education.”

He has certainly managed to make the most of his time at AUT.

“While I was at AUT, I entered the X Challenge innovation competition and won the first phase, The Idea. My project was a VR educational tool for children, which was something I was working on during my virtual reality class. Although I didn’t win the second phase, The Accelerator, I was provided guidance to turn an idea into a fully-fledged business plan.

“I also had the opportunity to go on a student exchange in my second year, studying in Edinburgh, Scotland, and being able to travel across Europe. That was an unforgettable experience I’ll keep with me forever.”

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