After Digital Kitchen’s Matthew Mulder, Physio Control’s Sena Janky, Josh Kornfeld of Tactile, and I spoke about our respective firms, students had the chance to present their work to over a dozen of potential employers, among them, Artefact.
I spoke with quite a few students and am quite impressed, both by the portfolios I reviewed, as well as by the professionalism with which the work was presented… and just like last year, the event’s organization was impeccable.
I look forward to the 2016 edition!
For the first time, the University of Washington’s Division of Design will host a Career Fair and looking at the talent that has come from the department in recent years, I am excited to be part of the event. It will be held this coming Wednesday, March 19th, between 2:30pm and 4:00pm at the HUB South Ballroom.
Artefact will not only have a booth at the fair, but will also participate in the “Speaker Series” prior to the event. I’ll be opening the day with an introduction to Artefact and my talk will be followed by Tactile’s Josh Kornfeld, Teague’s Travis Lonigan, Steve Kaneko of Microsoft, and Tom Hobbs of Facebook.
The Speaker Series will take place between 12.30pm and 2.20pm in 291 PACCAR Hall and I look forward to it!
About eight years ago, while still working at Asus, I conceived the idea of an International Design Internship Program where we invited two foreign and one Taiwanese student to work together on regular projects and on design studies for the duration of six months.
The goal for Asus was to teach and to learn from young designers and it led to a few interesting outcomes, like the design studies around Green Asus and Asus Power, but also some successful products on the market like the Asus TLL 37 television set.
I had planned the program, then led what I called the “Asus Design Lab” for two years, and prior to leaving the company in late 2007, I trained my successor to continue to work with young international designers at Asus/Pega.
While hardly any of the products that I designed during my time at Asus are still in production, I just found out a few days ago, that the “Asus (now: Pega) Design Lab” proved to be one of the most long-lasting impacts that I have had on the organization. On February 19, Pega Design posted the above ad on Coroflot, looking to fill positions within their International Design Internship Program for the seventh year in a row!
While the bit of the text that introduces Pega Design has obviously changed quite a bit after the company spun off from Asus, I was delighted to see that the part of the ad that described the program’s vision and plan is pretty much verbatim what I had devised eight years ago.
Needless to say that I am very proud that the program is still going strong – 加油，Pega Design!
* Pega Design is a product design consultancy and a subsidiary of Pegatron, the former contract manufacturing department of Asus Computer.
The University of Washington’s Design Department has asked Artefact to give a “mini series” of talks as part of the department’s Evening Lectures. Three weeks ago, it was Research Lead Dave McColgin who introduced the students to Artefact’s concept of “21st Century Design” and this past Wednesday it was my turn to build on top of Dave’s talk with my lecture around what 21st Century means to me as a designer and what kind of impact it can have on design students and recent graduates.
The event was very well attended, and – judging by the fact that most students stayed for about an hour after my talk was over for the Q&A session and some more personal conversations – I take it that my audience enjoyed my presentation as least as much, as I enjoyed it myself.
I initiated, planned and led a collaboration between the University of Washington’s Design Department and Artefact. Combining Artefact’s expertise and interest in both industrial design and interaction design, Artefact wanted to both task the students with the exploration of “interactive objects” as well as to challenge the status quo and current presumption that every daily need “there’s an app for that.” ™
We posted two articles here and here that talk about the project in a little more depth.
It is nearly two years ago, that I first talked about an International Design Internship Program at Asus and just like that, two terms of the program have come and gone.
After I had polished out the organizational bumps in the first installment (visas, travel arrangements, etc.) of the “lab”, setting up the program for a second year in a row felt a lot smoother. This time around, we had changed the approach slightly, to enable more of an “intermingling” between our staff designers and our interns and to give “labbers” more exposure to “real life product design”. The overarching structure however had proved to be successful and remained largely the same.
The 2007 Asus Design Lab has just concluded last week and the three participants Chia-En (Taiwan), Christoph (Germany), and James (U.S.) have left. Next to Green Asus, we worked on one other design study, dubbed “Asus Toys”, that approached consumer electronics products from a more playful angle… I haven’t gotten around to adding it to the portfolio section of the site yet, but please feel free to check out the few images in the above slideshow.
So what is next for the Asus Design Lab? Spending a large part of my time on the program for the past two years, I am now ready to hand it off to a fresh mind that will hopefully help to grow the lab and make it more valuable to Asus by bringing in some new ideas!
Eleanor and I have stayed in touch and a few months ago, we came up with the idea for a shorter series of workshops around story-based design, rooted in Chinese and Taiwanese culture.
Our conversations led to a six week long project with about 30 senior industrial design students, that was centered around three workshops and a final presentation. The task for the students, that worked in six groups, was to identify a well-known legend, historic event, story, or fairy tale, and have it inspire the design of an object.
The group did extremely well and used such stories as “Butterfly Lovers” (梁山伯與祝英台), “Tomb of Three Kings” (三王墓), and “Chang’e flies to the Moon” (嫦娥奔月) as influences for their products. At the end, it was not only the students that learned from the project, but also yours truly. Coming from a completely different cultural background, I had not heard most of the stories that were used by the students… and not only did I enjoy the cultural immersion, but also the delightful and clever designs that the groups developed – well done everyone!
I am giving a Speech on “Integrated Product Development” at the Bayreuth Design Engineer Day, that is organized by the faculty of the same name at the University of Bayreuth.
I am feeling “comfortably uncomfortable” being the only industrial designer in a line-up of engineers…
A few months ago, I was pretty excited to speak about the Asus International Design Internship Program that I had conjured up…
A lot has happened since then – I drafted the program’s outline, identified the types of team members that we wanted to bring on board, drafted the Coroflot job posting and evaluated over 140 applications for the three positions that we were trying to fill.
I also made arrangements for compensation, benefits, travel and housing during our interns’ stay with Asus. AIESEC proved to be an invaluable partner, especially when it came to acquiring six-month-student-visas…
Last but not least, I also gave my project a name: The Asus Design Lab… and I am so looking forward to seeing how this thing is going to shape up!
Inspired by findings during my trip in Japan and the Electrolux Design Lab I am currently initiating and planning an Asus International Design Internship Program, that will bring several international design students or recent graduates to Taipei City for a six month period, during which they will work with the Asus Design Team.
Asus’s main goals for this internship program are:
- to give back to the design community by helping to train young designers.
- to get a fresh view and bold ideas from a new generation of designers.
I am proud to announce that I have gotten the go-ahead from Asus’s VP, that we have secured the necessary budget and resources, and that I have now begun more detailed planning and recruiting efforts.
This is going to be good… stay tuned!