"Design education need to be radicalised" says The Hong Kong Polytechnic University's School of Design
Promotion: Hong Kong Polytechnic University's School of Design has set up a number of initiatives as part of its undergraduate programme that use interdisciplinary work to develop solutions to complex design issues.
The university established the initiatives as the past decade has brought more "unprecedented challenges than ever to the design community" and societal issues, such as climate change, have become too large and complex in scale for one design discipline to manage.
The school gives the example of the current issues in the healthcare and food industries and how complex systematic problems "cannot be resolved by one design discipline alone".
"Accordingly, design methods cannot come from any one single design discipline and may need to be radicalised entirely," said the school.
The university places importance on collaborative and group work in developing successful design solutions and as part of its undergraduate programme, it has set up a number of initiatives that aim to enhance students' interdisciplinary skills.
One example is the school's Integrated Capstone Project, where a number of undergraduates and staff from a variety of design disciplines such as communication design, advertising design, product design, environment and interior design, social design and interactive media, work together to address urban, social and ecological issues.
The students work in teams to develop solutions to current societal challenges – from how to recycle Covid-19 masks sustainability, to the future of air purification and reducing food waste.
"We take these challenges as our opportunities to lay out many new initiatives," said the dean of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University School of Design, Professor Kun-pyo Lee. "We believe that all different design disciplines should work together, learning from each other in an integrative manner, to handle the complex and systemic design problems."
"New methods created by team members together are far more powerful and valuable than the actual design outcome," Lee continued. "By experiencing the Integrated Capstone Project, students will have a more positive mindset to deal with any new design problems of any scale."
As part of the project, many design professionals from a number of fields are invited to give advice to the students via design clinics where the students learn from real-life case studies.
The school has also recently developed a Designpreneurship Project that aims to not only help students develop sustainable design solutions to complex issues but to also generate business opportunities.
Similarly to the university's Capstone Project, it involves students from various disciplines working on group projects but also the addition of business experts who provide consultation.
"By combining design with business, we hope to cultivate the entrepreneurial spirit, attitude, and perception in students so that they can put their design ideas into action and, ultimately, commercialisation," said professor of design practice, Bennt Leong.
To learn more about the projects, visit The Hong Kong Polytechnic University School of Design's website.
This video was created by Dezeen for The Hong Kong Polytechnic University as part of a partnership. Find out more about Dezeen partnership content here.