Li Zihan, a Year-4 product design student, was selected as an awardee of PolyU’s Outstanding Student Award 2022 for his excellent academic performance at PolyU Design. After finishing high school in mainland China, he decided to begin his journey to become a designer in Hong Kong. We had a chat with Li Zihan to peek into a PolyU design student’s study life. Follow through our chat and see if PolyU Design is your next destination.
Question 1. Why did you choose to study at PolyU Design?
A: There are a few reasons. It starts with my background: A science student that always has a passion for art, I enjoyed drawing and making models since young. My interest in materialising ideas led me to choose the path of Product Design. My art portfolio built back then came in handy for the application of PolyU Design BA programme.
The high reputation and world ranking of the School were also the criteria I considered. Since I wanted to reach out to a more international and open platform, I decided to kick off my design journey in Hong Kong. PolyU Design has provided me with the global vision and exposure that I looked for in a design school.
Question 2. List 3 things you find useful or inspiring about studying here
Rich learning resources
A: From the well-equipped facilities to the experienced teaching staff, they make up a comprehensive and practical learning experience. Compared to my exchange college in Milan, PolyU Design has way better hardware, with studios, galleries and rooms fulfilling multi-purposes. For example, the Material Resource Centre has allowed me to learn about the characteristics of the materials and adopt them into my design. They have given me many inspirations through searching and touching the material samples.
STUDIO and fixed workspace
A: Instead of moving around to different lecture rooms, we have our classes in a fixed classroom with our own working space. Studio is the place where we do almost everything, from taking classes and working on projects, to sleeping and having meals. It is a perfect place for us to engage with other students and exchange ideas.
Frequent showcases and exhibitions
A: Every few months or weeks, you can find new exhibitions at the podium galleries and other floors in the iconic Jockey Club Innovation Tower. This sets up an immersive design atmosphere. As I pass by the podium and corridors, I can always serendipitously find ideas from my peers’ works across different disciplines. It also feels like a significant recognition or encouragement to have your works showcased in exhibitions too.
Question 3. Share one of your most unforgettable learning experiences in PolyU Design
A: The most remarkable learning experience has to be the Co-operative Project and overseas internship. COOP Project was a great platform for practical experience. I worked on an interior design project in collaboration with Chinachem, the leading Hong Kong property developer. Having an actual client made the project realistic and rewarding. At the same time, it was exhausting with the heavy workload and big project group but the hard work paid off and I learnt a lot.
I took the chance to go on an overseas internship in Italy and worked at a furniture design studio, Sand & Birch Studio. Working overseas with professional furniture designers not only enriched my design skills but also broadened my horizons and nurtured my global vision.
Question 4. What is your plan after graduation?
A: I will carry on my journey in Milan, to study a Master’s degree in design there. At this stage, my focus is on exploring my interests, capabilities, and the trends and demands of society, to fit myself into the right field. I wish to be an adventurous designer.
I am lucky that my parents are supportive of my dreams and decisions, they wanted me to do something that I like and enjoy life. I wish the same for myself. I would devolve myself into a career that I’m passionate about even if it may not pay a lot.
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