Historic First Graduation by Strategic Design & Innovation Class in 2017.

Starting in 2011, we finally have achieved our first big goal: graduating our first Advanced Class of Strategic Design & Innovation (SDI) at the DeTao-Studio Esslinger within SIVA (Shanghai Institute of Visual Arts). During the last 6 years, we have built a state-of-the-art studio incl. a world-class model shop with German machinery and tools – thanks to the generous support by the DeTao Group. After trying in vain to establish a Master program for design due to lack of qualified graduate students by our standards, we started our undergraduate program in 2013, and in close collaboration with SIVA, we created a program which is on par with top design schools in Europe, United States and Japan.

Back in February, our Seniors chose themselves the topic of their graduation project and, within less than 3 months, they had to develop innovative design solutions. Coherently with our broad view on design, we let them work on a wide range of issues: from social tasks like children’s health and personal safety, to sports equipment, autonomous mobility, robotics, and entertainment. The graduation finals were honored by the presence of Gong Xueping, founder of SIVA and John Xia, CEO of DeTao Group. Our jury included two teachers and three outside jurors:

Prof. Ping Ye, SIVA, Shanghai

Lidan Liu, designaffairs, Shanghai

Lei Ten, Ark Design, Shanghai

Rain Huan, The Makers, Shanghai

Prof. Dr. Hartmut Esslinger, DeTao/SIVA Shanghai

Two of our students earned extra honors with their projects we are showing here:

“Biky”, a safe child bicycle by Wang Jiaqi.

“Biky”, a safe child bicycle by Wang Jiaqi.

“Xiavari”, a digital violin by Xia Jing.

“Xiavari”, a digital violin by Xia Jing.

Some of our students will move on to Master level studies abroad (United States, UK, France, and Germany) and others will soon start their careers – promising interviews already are under way. We wish all of them serious fun, life-long learning and optimism in what they will do and achieve. We often told them during their studies: love what you are doing, being a designer is an opportunity to have great impact on society and always show up – on time.

I also want to thank our teaching team: Cicy Chen, Chinese Design Leader, William Volcoff, Studio Manager & Foreign Design Leader, Everina Lu, Office Manager, Carlo Chen, Master Modelmaker, Tian Kun Kun, Designer & Modelmaker – and especially Benjamin Cselley, who joined us for the event. Beny supported me for 5 years, and managed the entire build-up of the studio. Also: big thanks to DeTao Group and SIVA – incl. their teachers – for providing the means for our ambitious program.

Class of 2017: keep going far, create for a better world and be leaders!

More information about the program on the official website.

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