In summer 2013, the Department of Industrial Engineering and Logistics Management (IELM) collaborated with the prestigious Hangzhou-based China Academy of Art (CAA) to host a new course entitled Design Thinking, with the theme of "Technology Meets Art". The aim of the three-credit, one-month summer course was to offer a platform for students to learn through practical experience of how to think like a designer, train up their "Design Thinking" mindset and resolve constraints arising from technical, aesthetic and human factors, as well as business concerns.
The course was jointly taught by faculty from both institutions, namely HKUST's Prof Ravindra Goonetilleke and Prof Emily Au of IELM, and Prof Huamin Qu and Prof Pedro Sander of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering (CSE), along with Prof Yuan Chen, Prof Zheng Liu, Prof Wangni Xu and Prof Junjie Zhang of the School of Design at CAA, and Prof Li Fan, Prof Jin Tian and Prof Bo Zheng of CAA's School of Intermedia Art. The teaching assistants were Mr Thilina Weerasinghe (IELM), Mr Conglei Shi (CSE), Ms Huiyi Cai (School of Design, CAA) and Ms Chuan Ma (School of Intermedia Art, CAA). A total of 20 HKUST students, along with Mainland counterparts, took part, splitting their time equally between the two centers. The students benefited from the multi-disciplinary academic exchange and received instruction in the knowledge of design, with a focus on physical product design and media design.
As well as lectures and visits to a company and a factory, they were able to upgrade their design knowledge to an advanced level through a group project. Working in multi-disciplinary groups of two to four people, they generated and tested project ideas in Hangzhou, and developed the final prototypes at HKUST. Through this activity, they were able to gain hands-on experience by broadening ideas and integrating technology and art elements through the design process. The prototypes were exhibited in the HKUST Engineering Commons.
IELM 4320 Design Thinking is also being run in summer 2014.