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Instructor at MHC wins provincial award with interactive design installation

December 3, 2018

Photo of Digital Self...ish installation

(Image above: Design submitted by James Kuehn)

James Kuehn, instructor with the built environment engineering technology (BEET) and visual communications programs at Medicine Hat College (MHC), was recently celebrated at Digital Alberta’s 2018 Ember Awards in Edmonton, Alberta.  This event showcases digital excellence from individuals across the province.

Kuehn, who was the only non-studio recipient, was honoured in the digital installation category.

“I was thrilled that my one-person project held its own against major digital studios from Calgary and Edmonton. Digital is an industry with a huge amount of growth opportunities and it’s great to be recognized by an organization that is helping to move that forward.”

His submission, entitled Digital Self…ish, was a result of a final project for his Master of Digital Media Design program at the University of Edinburgh. According to the digital designer, this honour was a great way to “cap off an enriching period of study.”

“I like to call it a 21st century digital design project. It combines skills in areas like 3D modelling, programming and video to allow a new level of interactivity in design,” says Kuehn. “I’m also excited that this learning can be applied to projects in more traditional industries like archeology and architecture.”

Kuehn hopes that by winning this award, he will be encouraging other students to explore the opportunities that exist digitally and to have confidence in sharing their work.

“I hope this gives my students the confidence to get their work out there and to have fun while they explore what they love. Opportunities like these can be great ins, whether it be to connect with like-minded people or to just get some validation of the work you’re doing. This award is proof that you don’t have to have large budgets or teams, that if you’re passionate and you put the time in, people will acknowledge that.”

Dennis Beaudoin, dean of trades and technology at MHC, mentions that Kuehn has always sought opportunities to bring new ways of learning into the classroom.  

“James is a life-long learner and continues to pursue new technologies and new ways that he can prepare our students for the future workplace. He shows our students that education can take them in directions they might not have thought of -- and that’s exciting.” 

If you would like more information on the BEET and visual communications programs at MHC, visit