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.
When I arrived on the little island in the South China Sea in early 2001, the plan was to stay here for two or three years and then move back home…
Little did I know how charming, challenging, and life-changing the experiences that I’d make would turn out to be! I loved nearly every minute of my time here, and the few minutes that I didn’t love, I had very strong emotions on the exact opposite end of the scale…
After nearly seven years in Asia, today is my last day in Taiwan and I will – after a brief stopover in Singapore and a few weeks in Germany – begin my new job in the wild west in January 2008.
This however is at the present time beyond my horizon. The many goodbyes, and parties, and chats with old friends over the past few weeks and months make me miss this magical place already.
So, I can only say 台灣,謝謝你… 再見!
I will be back!
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!
Reuter’s Sheena Lee has published a story on the value of innovation and design for Taiwan’s contract manufacturing businesses, in which Sheena quoted me from a recent interview…
Today Medion unveiled their GoPal S2310 personal navigator that I worked on last year… pretty proud of it, and here’s how the press talks about the product:
The smaller S2310 touts a 3.5-inch LCD, curvaceous design, shock-resistant casing, route tracking system, and an ability to export to Google Earth.
The GoPal S2310 features a 3.5-inch colour TFT touchscreen and comes bundled with a pair of Sennheiser headphones, as well as preinstalled Western European Navteq maps with over 60 points of interest and an integrated GPS receiver alongside an MP3 player, photo viewer and Bluetooth technology.
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…