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The 29th Congregation Dean’s Welcoming Address and Valedictory Speeches

3 Nov 2023

PolyU Design Heritage School of Design

Welcoming Address by Prof. Kun-Pyo Lee, Dean of School of Design and Swire Chair Professor of Design, Alex Wong Siu Wah Gigi Wong Fook Chi Professor in Product Design Engineering


Congregation Speaker, Mr Tino Kwan, Founder of Tino Kwan Lighting Consultants

Valedictory Speech by Miss Tong Man Man Manday - AM Session


Valedictory Speech By Miss Yang Shu-fan Abby – PM Session



Welcoming Address by Prof. Kun-Pyo Lee, Dean of School of Design and Swire Chair Professor of Design, Alex Wong Siu Wah Gigi Wong Fook Chi Professor in Product Design Engineering

Good Morning / Afternoon, esteemed parents, distinguished teachers, and graduates of the School of Design. It is with immense joy that I stand before you today to celebrate your remarkable achievements and extend a heartfelt welcome to this congregation.


First and foremost, let me offer my warmest congratulations. Today, we gather not only to commemorate your graduation but to honour the dedication, hard work, and passion that have brought you to this defining moment in your academic journey. Your resilience and unwavering commitment have guided you through countless hours of creativity, innovation, and exploration. Today, we proudly recognize and commend you for your outstanding accomplishments.


On this joyous occasion, we must also acknowledge the immense support and guidance provided by the parents and teachers who have nurtured your growth. Their unwavering commitment to your education has played an instrumental role in shaping you into the exceptional individuals you are today. Let us take a moment to express our profound gratitude for their tireless efforts and unwavering support.


Graduation, undoubtedly, marks the end of one chapter, but it also serves as the beginning of another. As you step into the next phase of your lives, it is imperative to remember that the knowledge and skills you have acquired should not be confined to the boundaries of our institution. Instead, embrace the opportunity to expand your horizons, exploring new domains and challenging yourselves to go beyond the familiar. Let curiosity be your guiding light.


At the core of your journey lies the question of why—the essence of creativity itself. It is through constant questioning and exploration that new avenues open up, unravelling innovative solutions. As aspiring designers, you possess a unique vantage point, one that enables you to see the world through a different lens. Embrace this perspective and apply your design skills to tackle the grand challenges that lie ahead—creating a better world, fostering sustainable environments, and addressing complex societal issues.


However, graduation does not mark the end of your education. It is crucial to emphasize that learning should be a lifelong endeavour. Even after years of experience, never forget the importance of returning to the classroom, whether formal or informal, to expand your knowledge and skill set. We encourage you to embrace continuous learning as a means of personal and professional growth.


In addition to your personal pursuits, I urge you to never forget the powerful community you leave behind. Our alumni network, comprising esteemed individuals who have walked similar paths, serves as a vital resource for your future endeavours. These extraordinary alumni possess a wealth of experiences, insights, and connections that can offer guidance, support, and inspiration. Engage with your alumni network, share your accomplishments, seek mentorship, and foster lifelong connections. Remember that you are not alone in this journey, and that the wisdom and collective experiences of those who came before you can serve as a guiding light in your own path.


To conclude, graduates of the School of Design, I extend my sincerest congratulations once again. Your achievements not only bring pride to our institution but also inspire those who will follow in your footsteps. As you traverse the next phase of your journey, armed with the power of creativity and a commitment to lifelong learning, I have no doubt that you will shape a future that is remarkable, transformative, and filled with immense possibilities.


Thank you, and hearty congratulations to each and every one of you!



Valedictory Speech by Miss Tong Man Man Manday - AM Session

Distinguished guests, esteemed faculty members, proud parents, fellow graduates, and ladies and gentlemen, a warm welcome to the School of Design Congregation. It’s a great honor to be standing here today, as the representative of the graduating class of 2023. My name is Mandy, a graduate of Interactive Media Design.


First of all, graduates, please give yourself a big applause for the effort you have put in these years. This wasn’t easy but you made it. You graduated. Congratulations! As we gather here to celebrate our accomplishments, I want to share with you the profound emotions that fill this moment. Graduating from the School of Design is not just an achievement, it's a transformation. I am excited but also reluctant. Excited because I am embarking on a journey towards my dream of becoming a designer, but reluctant because leaving the comfort of our second home, the School of Design, is not an easy step.


During my time here, I've learned valuable lessons. I've learned the power of collaboration, how people with diverse talents and perspectives can come together to create something extraordinary. Together, we have tackled challenges, proving that unity is the key to success. I have learned the art of confident presentation. In the world of design, communicating our ideas effectively is as important as creating them. The skills I have acquired here have enabled me to express my thoughts and concepts with clarity and conviction. It helps me to step into the professional world.


Most importantly, I’ve learned how to be a designer. It's not just about mastering design tools or techniques, it's about cultivating a mindset of creativity, innovation, and a relentless pursuit of excellence. The School of Design has instilled in us the passion and drive to constantly push the boundaries of what's possible.


But it's not just about the lessons and skills, it's also about the people. Throughout my journey, I've been blessed to meet a lot of remarkable people. The professors, tutors and students at School of Design are a supportive community. Special thanks to Huaxin, Kenny, Jeffrey and all the IM professors and tutors. They have been my mentors, my friends, and my inspiration. They've shown that the bonds we have formed here are not limited to these walls but will continue to shape our lives and careers in the future. I must also extend my heartfelt gratitude to my classmates. We were indeed fortunate to have the opportunity for in-person classes throughout our school years. I will always remember those days and nights we spent in the studio together. We didn’t just study there, we made it our own space. We decorated it, stayed overnight working on projects, made delicious meals, and even turned it into our karaoke room. These moments have left us with countless unforgettable memories.


In this nurturing environment, there's no shortage of support. Whenever we stumbled, there was always a helping hand extended to lift us up. This culture of support is something that we should carry with us as we venture into the world. As we are going to open a new chapter in our lives, let us embrace the lessons we have learned. It is always an honor to be a SD graduate and let us carry the spirit in the years to come.


In closing, I want to express my deepest gratitude to our families and friends, who have supported us every step of the way. Without your unwavering belief in us, this moment would not have been possible.


Congratulations to the graduating class of 2023. Our journey here has been transformative. And now, as we move forward, let's embrace the adventure that awaits us with open hearts and creative minds. May our futures be filled with happiness and endless possibilities.


Thank you.


Valedictory Speech by Graduate Representative: Miss Yang Shu-fan Abby – PM Session


Dear guests, teachers, faculty staff, fellow graduates, parents, ladies and gentlemen, good afternoon. I’m Abby, and on behalf of the School of Design class of 2023, it is my great honour to thank you for participating in this remarkable milestone with us.


First, I would like to invite everyone to give a round of applause to the class of 2023. Today is the “final_final_final” day we export ourselves from the School of Design to the industry and society. Our four-year university life is by no means a usual and ideal one. From the struggle of society in 2019 since we entered the school, to the outbreak and almost three-year-long disruption of COVID-19, till the gradual recovery in late 2022, we stumbled into online classes, and all of a sudden, we have been forward to 2023.


Nevertheless, we all made it through, and now we are all gathering here to witness our perseverance and accomplishment. However, we couldn’t have been so far without the love and support of the amazing people over the past four years.


We are blessed to have lovely and parent-like tutors, who fueled us with knowledge and spiritual support on the academic journey of design. Our dearest parents, who are behind us from a distance with unconditional love, you let us know there is always a place called home we can turn to when we feel tired. And the stars of today, our lovely and uniquely talented colleagues and friends who side with us throughout this journey. There is no place on Earth like studios where we are so closely bonded and bloomed together to who we are standing here now. The studios are like our second home, where we always know we can reach out for peer support. Maybe the only thing missing in the studios was some laundry machines for us to do the laundry when we were trapped by the workloads and needed to live in the studio and got to watch the sunset and sunrise for weeks. The days in studios where we had meals and fun, shared our worries and aspirations, and encouraged each other with any form of support are the most treasured jewellery I would never trade out.


Here, I express my genuine gratitude and greatest appreciation to all of you and the unmentioned. Connected back to the title of “Design Bachelor” in the diploma we took four years to accomplish.


So, what is “Design” that we learned from PolyU School of Design? From my takeaways, I would say design is about engagement with society and the community we are situated in. As Eliel Saarinen said, "Always design a thing by considering it in its next larger context- a chair in a room, a room in a house, a house in an environment, an environment in a city plan.” The School of Design encourages and challenges us to do more than a designer. We not only learned to be a designer but also participants in our community. We learned to put words into action through our design and think further about how our works can become practices that connect with our everyday lives and surroundings. And with the design proficiency we equipped in the department or even beyond, how we can, as a designer, collaborate with multidisciplines and integrate them as a whole.


After stepping outside of the academic environment into the industry, there will be times and moments when we feel overwhelmed, doubt our role as a designer and even feel discomfort about design itself in the future. However, it is okay for us to hold with a little discomfort in the practice and journey of design. The discomfort we struggle with is what makes us good designers, which derives from our criticality and care for the situation we are in. This discomfort will nurture us into better selves who won’t be limited by the title the society gives us and reshape the boundaries of reality.


Most importantly, whenever and wherever we feel lost, we have a family bond with our peers and tutors in the School of Design that we can always depend on and share our support. So, keep in touch. To signal our next phase of life, I’d like to quote the Latin phrase, “Per Aspera, ad astra”. Through adversity to stars.


Congratulations to the fantastic class of 2023. Cheers, and bon voyage.


Thank you.

Topics News | Student life | Student learning | Students | Communication Design (BA) | Digital Media (BA) | Environment & Interior Design (BA) | Product Design (BA) | Scheme in Design BA | Social Design (BA) | Class of 2023 | PolyU Design Knowledge Transfer | Exhibition | Design
Research Units School of Design

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