Today the Design Tour began. Mr. Sam picked us up at the hotel and laid out our day, Hong Kong Polytechnic in the morning, the Hong Kong Design Center in the afternoon.
Hong Kong Poly is amazing. It is clear that the upper administration not only supports the design areas, but is actively building them. The front room had an exhibition on Chinese and American Typography. This contained both wall pieces and digital projected loops. Then we saw the school. The facilities are great. Students had “clean” and “dirty” process areas where they work throughout the year.
Martin Smith, an Industrial Designer who had been at Art Center for years, has just joined the faculty. He showed us around the school and gave us some private insights into the workings of the institution.
One of the most impressive things about the place was the way they support faculty research. The offices are very spacious, and well stocked, and they all have separate research labs that they work in.
One of the leading research projects is Size China: sizechina.com
Size China is creating a database of the measurements of the heads of Chinese people for use by industries that create such products as sunglasses, motorcycles helmets and hygienic face masks. Currently, these industries are using data from Western sources, and this has created problems with fit for most Chinese when purchasing these products. By developing this custom database for China, the team has already generated interest from other countries that have faced similar problems (India, in particular). With projects like this, generously supported by the University with space, assistance, and core materials, the faculty are being positioned to be seen as design leaders both in China and internationally.
We were also able to meet with the Chairs of Advertising and Digital Media. Again, two amazing programs, really well conceived. The careful thought behind the programs and the research is cause for much careful thought. Much more careful thought than I have time for now. We are running around like mad.
We left HK Poly and went to lunch.