Students from both the graduate (MsID) and undergrad (BsID) programs recently had the unique opportunity to travel to Hong Kong and several cities in China as part of an Intercultural Innovation Short Course over Spring Break. This year, the focus of the trip was shifted from larger companies toward design entrepreneurship amd design for emerging markets.
Led by MsID Program Coordinator Tod Corlett, the group toured design firms, luxury retailers, factories, and trade shows where they were able to learn firsthand from innovative design, retail and fashion leaders.
In the new Zaha Hadid-designed Innovation Tower at Hong Kong Polytechnic University, students met with Professors Roger Ball and Ernesto Spicciolato to learn about microbranding for design, then attended a workshop on Asian consumer lifestyles and emerging sustainability priorities.
In Shenzhen, the group toured SEEED Studio, an open hardware facilitation-fabrication company, then met with the directors of HAXLR8R, an 111-day internet-connected-hardware startup accelerator based in the heart of the Shenzhen electronics marketplaces. Then it was on to Shanghai to tour WILD Design, an international graphics/product consultancy. The next day, the group went to Tongji University to meet Matti Hamalainen of the Aalto University Sino-Finnish Center and discuss an array design issues with the Tongji/Aalto students.
The group was also given plenty of unstructured time to hit the streets and explore Asian trends and markets as well as study Hong Kong’s 24-hour culture for themselves. Armed with their new understanding of global products and design, the students will now participate in an interdisciplinary grad/undergrad project that will be displayed at the 2014 PhilaU Design Show.