Hercules Cambridge

T Thomason
3 min readSep 25, 2020

A new design network and platform for Cambridge students and innovators.

We’re proud to introduce Hercules Cambridge, an online network and platform created at the heart of the Cambridge student community. It aims to provide students up for a creative challenge with access to design experiences and projects that will nurture their skills throughout the year.

And, as referenced in the platform’s name, we take inspiration from the twelve labours of Hercules — hard work, clever thinking, as well as a touch of creativity always yield fantastic results.

So — how does it work?

The interface takes on a galactic theme, using a gamified model. Each planet centres around the Sun — the designer’s personal stats. Each planet remains a distinct part of the interface, one planet for events, one for accessing the designer network, and crucially one for the various “missions” students can go on, as well as the “Starters’ Game” planet.

Key Solar System Interface Design: “Black and White Solar System” by Pedro Tribizon, all rights reserved.

The Labours

Although Hercules is often remembered for his almost supernatural strength, a quick look at his twelve-labours show that most of his tasks were completed through patience and quick-wit.

The “Starters’ Game” or “The Labours” helps students from all levels — but especially those just starting out — to learn and refine the skills that will equip them for missions and other design projects. These include tasks from programming (C++, Python, JavaScript, etc.) to workshop prototyping (3D printing, basic metal work, laser cutting) to CAD and even to the theory that drives these projects (market research, material science etc.)

Like any other game, student “stats” are broken down into consistency, versatility, vision and so on. This helps students refine their skills even further, allowing them to track their progress. “Badges” are collected by reaching certain milestones — quarter project milestones, competing in a design competition or even simply by attending events. These stats are a crucial part in HC’s selection of different members to participate in certain projects organised by sponsors. These projects fall under the following two categories: those set by silver sponsors — that is, one time projects where students apply to form a team picked by senior HC members — and gold sponsors — open competitions that anyone can submit to.

Missions

The student mission board is perhaps the most exciting part of HC for individual students. This takes the form of a constellation, with each star representing a different mission, i.e. a project the student can take on. Each star represents a real-life project for students to apply to from an HC sponsor — many of these are social impact projects which will challenge the student’s design skills to bring out the best in them. Some missions are only open applications for a few weeks a year, so it’s important to keep an eye out for them!

Other Perks

Far from only offering networking events, HC also provides panel discussions, featuring talks by industry experts and fellow students and giving insights into the future of manufacturing and design.

Above all, HC fills a much needed gap in the student landscape at Cambridge by providing aspiring designers and new students with both an intellectual challenge and an online network of like-minded, passionate people — giving us all a much needed inspiration boost during these uncertain times!

More about Hercules Cambridge

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