Robotic owl in black white and orange on a tabletop next to a phone

Hong Kong Polytechnic University spotlights 10 design projects

Dezeen School Shows: a project that encourages market shoppers to reduce their use of plastic bags and an AI-based solution to help care for the elderly are included in Dezeen's latest school show by students at Hong Kong Polytechnic University.

Also included are a speculative project concerning rising sea levels in Asia's coastal cities and a role-playing video game set in apocalyptic futures.


Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Institution: Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU)
School: School of Design
Courses: BA (Hons) in Communication Design, BA (Hons) in Environment and Interior Design, BA (Hons) in Social Design, BA (Hons) in Advertising Design, BA (Hons) in Advertising Design, MSc in Multimedia and Entertainment Technology, Master of Design (Interaction Design), MSc in Multimedia and Entertainment Technology, Master of Design (Interaction Design) and Master of Design (Design Practices)

School statement:

"PolyU Design has been an important hub of design education and research for Hong Kong since 1964. It is a place where east meets west, allowing students to develop their design expertise while gaining an in-depth understanding of industry and society, with a unique international and cultural perspective.

"PolyU Design attaches equal importance to design theory and application, integrates art with science, actively promotes interdisciplinary cooperation and learning, emphasises high-quality design education, conducts high-level research and provides consulting services.

"The school is leading in Asia and 16th globally on the Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) art and design rankings. Academic programmes are offered at bachelor's, master's, and doctoral levels in highly diverse design expertise.

"The research and academic programmes are based on five central tenets, including developing an open mind frame, steering positive change, establishing visionary entrepreneurship, practising authentic expression, and designing responsibly.

"Many design projects of PolyU students are human-centric, cultural-driven and embrace the latest technologies.

"In this school show, students from both undergraduate and taught postgraduate programmes explore a diversity of topics including environmental awareness, appreciation of local and traditional ways of living and excitements derived from technology application.

"These works come from a wide range of disciplines including advertising design, communication design, environment and interior design, social design, multimedia and entertainment technology, and interaction design. Scroll down to read and hope you enjoy the journey."


Pink 3D model of a city with blue rivers

Sinking Cities 2100 by Elaine Istanto

"By 2100, coastal cities around the world are predicted to be fully submerged underwater. Despite many factors leading to the sinking of a city, the current trend of sea-level rises reveals an alarming rate for metropolitan cities by the coast.

"This project explores various fictional scenarios in which the livelihoods of residents within these coastal regions are affected by the rising waters.

"Sinking Cities 2100 envisions the possibility of a reimagined contrasting future and drastic scenarios of each coastal region through comparing Asia's rapidly sinking with potentially sinking cities."

Student: Elaine Istanto
Course: BA (Hons) in Communication Design
Tutor: Ho Yin Fung


Artwork of people cooking on a gallery wall

Tessellating Culinary Culture by Janice Lok Ying Wong

"The project is exploring the tessellation of cultural and culinary practices of kitchens.

"Throughout the centuries, kitchen design has been influenced by social customs, traditional cooking methods, equipment and technology, demonstrating the impact of cultural heritage and culinary traditions in transforming interior layout and changing domestic lifestyles.

"This design is a reinterpretation of western and eastern cuisines, showcasing their spatial transformations based on time, different activities and equipment, their environmental setting, type of cuisine and cultural backgrounds.

"A narrative representation technique using different layers of information is developed into sequential stories that alternate between old and new understandings of what a kitchen space might be or become.

"The tessellation is created through the superimposition of different timeframes and interior kitchen layouts, and questions its future vision as a spatial agent."

Student: Janice Lok Ying Wong
Course: BA (Hons) in Environment and Interior Design
Tutor: Gerhardes Bruyns


Cardboard boxes with pamphlets in on a table

Talking Plastic by Wing Hei Lau, Wai Shan Cheung, Yuet Ting Hui and Ka Yi Wong

"Despite Hong Kong's full implementation of the Plastic Bag Charging Scheme in 2015, plastic bags at wet markets are exempted due to food hygiene reasons.

"This project involved in-depth research into the issue that found that there is plastic bag abuse at Hung Hom Wet Market. Customers hesitated to break their habit of using plastic bags due to misconceptions and lack of incentives.

"Talking Plastic aims to encourage them to take their first step in reducing plastic bags.

"An inclusive and progressive Green Market Pilot Scheme was introduced at Hung Hom Market, which had three different strategies for three types of people, including green shop vouchers, self-service boxes, and a demonstration of minimising the use of plastic bags."

Students: Wing Hei Lau, Wai Shan Cheung, Yuet Ting Hui and Ka Yi Wong
Course: BA (Hons) in Social Design
Tutor: Jonathan Yu


Corner of a city building with a red post wrapper the corner by student at Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Strengthen the Transparency, Survive the Fairness by Allison Ka Po Wong

"If you say fair trade has nothing to do with you, you will be the next victim being looted by the merchants.

"A brand from New Zealand was chosen to be the imaginary client for this advertising project. This company sells fair trade certified carbonated drinks and insists that its ingredients must be fair to the producers, land and consumers.

"Only products that are harmless to every stakeholder can be certified as fair trade," said Maria Cheung, the chief executive of Fair Trade Hong Kong.

"The project aims to introduce the brand and its association with fair trade."

Student: Allison Ka Po Wong
Course: BA (Hons) in Advertising Design
Tutor: Francis Hung


Green graphics printed on white paper and cardboard boxes by student at Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Occasional Ride by Patrick Chi Ho Cheung

"This is a rejuvenation exercise for the Hong Kong Tramways, which has 118 years of heritage. The brand is picked as an imaginary client for this advertising design's capstone project.

"It is easy to think that heritage is about historic information, old facts and archives, yet the true heritage of the Hong Kong tram lies in the accumulated perceptions from the locals.

"Those accumulated perceptions include the vibe and feel of riding the tram – a transportation experience that hasn't been changed in the past 118 years.

"By crystallising these perceptions, the beauty beyond its transportation function can be recognised and reaffirmed among the younger generations."

Student: Patrick Chi Ho Cheung
Course: BA (Hons) in Advertising Design
Tutors: Man To Yiu and KC Tsang


Model in white face paint and blue clothes holding a mannequin head by student at Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Que Pinta! by Jorge Luis Mejia Fuentes

"Que Pinta! is a multimedia magazine that combines many formats together and showcases them in an attractive, fun way.

"Through the use of storytelling and fictional characters, Que Pinta! builds a world of its own as an atemporal magazine stuck in 1985.

"At its core, Que Pinta! is a platform that unites creatives to create multimedia work with a cohesive vision – a catalyst of a creative wave."

Student: Jorge Luis Mejia Fuentes
Course: MSc in Multimedia and Entertainment Technology
Tutor: David Williams


Black laptop on a black background with student's graphics by student at Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Chaining – Link Up Left and Right Brain by Anthony Chun Ting Leung and Sin Tat Fan

"Chaining is an online collaboration platform that aims to connect art and digital technology through creative coding. While computer programmes are generally adopted to solve a specific problem, creative coding turns coding into a creative medium.

"It is an interdisciplinary approach to art and science. This project explores the possibility of employing creative coding as a bridge to connect designers and programmers.

"While designers have a strong sense of aesthetics, creativity and design thinking, programmers are proficient in logical, mathematical and computational thinking. Chaining aims to be a platform that connects these two types of people and trains their creativity and computational thinking.

"The platform's home page is a multiverse view, showcasing novel works created by users. Users can click into any node they are interested in and learn from its source code. Users can also fork from any node and create a new piece of digital art with creative coding."

Students: Anthony Chun Ting Leung and Sin Tat Fan
Course: Master of Design (Interaction Design)
Tutor: Kenny Chow


Two ghoulish characters sat next to each other with Codename Apocalypse text in the centre by student at Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Codename: Apocalypse by Ka Seng Chou and Wai Man Lam

"Codename: Apocalypse is a video game combining role-playing and rogue-like deck-building.

"While an unknown doomsday crisis is approaching, players have to live as a civilian and survive in card battles, experiencing the pre-apocalypse world and determining the endings of the characters.

"Integrating computer role-playing game (CRPG) elements, the cards are divided into more than 30 subjects. While building the deck, players can also accumulate the skills to trigger extra secret stories and options.

"Multiple story scripts will be available. Players may experience pre-apocalypse lives caused by cults, zombie crises and alien invasions."

Students: Yin Yee Ho, Zhongheng He, Fong Kei Lee, Sze Ho Fung and Wai Chun Wu
Course: MSc in Multimedia and Entertainment Technology
Tutors: Ka Seng Chou and Wai Man Lam


Black background with images of musical instruments and Chinese characters by student at Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Chinese Character Amnesia 提笔忘字 – An Interactive Cube to Enhance Interest and Memory Towards Chinese Character Amnesia by Yi Xiang and Wai Lik Tsoi

"Chinese character amnesia is a phenomenon in which experienced Chinese users forget how to write the characters that were previously well-known to them.

"The phenomenon is specifically tied to prolonged and extensive use of electronic input methods, especially for Chinese oversea returnees.

"The occurrence of Chinese character amnesia represents a disconnection from Chinese culture, history and spirit.

"According to questionnaires and in-depth interviews carried out as part of the project, the problem remains unsolved due to a lack of motivation and minimal impact.

"The project aims to raise the awareness of Chinese amnesia and further remind, rebuild and enhance the interest and memory development of Chinese characters through a multi-sensory and playful approach."

Students: Yi Xiang and Wai Lik Tsoi
Course: Master of Design (Interaction Design)
Tutor: Stephen Jia Wang


Robotic owl in black white and orange on a tabletop next to a phone by student at Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Carebase – AI-driven Solutions for Elderly Care Services That Also Help to Prevent Dementia by Kelly Cheuk Yu Tang and Zhengtong Lin

"The ageing problem is increasing. It can be observed that many seniors rely on caregivers to help and maintain their daily activities and face many limitations and problems when taking care of themselves.

"However, the help of caregivers is also usually limited. Therefore, choosing suitable healthcare products, services, and appropriate assistive design according to their needs is always important.

"The project aims to facilitate the elderly in leading to a healthy lifestyle. With the use of AI and big data, Carebase is an intelligent platform that evaluates the user's profile and provides recommendations or solutions for the elderly, their family members and caregivers.

"At the same time, Carebase provides an intelligent companion robot that assists the elderly in achieving a healthier life through daily reminders, entertainment and interaction, while providing companionship and collecting daily behavioural data for better user assessment through AI."

Students: Kelly Cheuk Yu Tang and Zhengtong Lin
Course: Master of Design (Design Practices)
Tutor: Newman Lau and Mohana Das

Partnership content

This school show is a partnership between Dezeen and Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Find out more about Dezeen partnership content here.