MIbD Overseas Experience 2020 – Jiangnan University, Wuxi, China

The MIbD experience was held in Jiangnan University’s (JU) School of Design in Wuxi, China from 13 Jan to 17 Jan 2020. 30 MIbD students, joined by 20 JU students, came together for a week long experience, with an opportunity to develop a project in mixed teams, visit some product design companies, and present their findings at the end of the week with a prototype.

Associate Professor Arlindo Silva (Right), programme director of the Masters of Engineering in Innovation by Design (MIbD), kick started the week long experience with a mini Design Innovation (DI) workshop, first sharing about the 4Ds of Innovation by Design, followed by pair work (1 SUTD, 1 JU student) for students to better understand and familiarize themselves.

  • Professor Arlindo Silva, Programme Director of the Master of Engineering in Innovation by Design (MIbD)

Students were then separated into 10 groups (3 SUTD, 2 JU students), and the challenge of the week was as follows:

Design a personal mobility device for the last mile to cater for users in *CITY X* with the following profile:

  • Young professional in a rising business
  • Married, 25-30 years old
  • One child

Students, using the 4Ds as a guideline, worked on understanding the demographics of each city assigned to them before they could move into developing ideas for the prototype, and regular presentations were scheduled to share on their research as well as thinking process.

2 company visits were also arranged for the students. The first visit was to Roidmi, a subsidiary of Xiaomi, with their focus being in the cordless vacuum cleaner industry in China and students learned about the challenges they faced and how they achieved their success today.

The second visit was to Midea Group, where their focus was on developing and designing washing machines where the staff shared on their development of washing machines over the years, looking at customer needs as well as the development of technology, and lastly also implementing new designs to keep up with current trends.

After understanding the demographics of each city and developing many ideas from scratch, groups decided on 1 prototype which would be a best fit to their assigned city, and developed a physical prototype using 3D printing to conceptualize their ideas from paper.

In conclusion, the week-long experience was benefical to both SUTD and JU students where both parties were able to share ideas and different methods that were taught in respective schools, and bring them together to develop a prototype for the given challenge.