SDWorks enables commercialization of design students’ projects

The School of Design (SD) of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) has paved the way for commercializing its many innovative students’ projects through the establishment of “SDWorks” business platform.

Introducing this initiative, SD Director Prof. Lorraine Justice said “SDWorks” is a unique business platform for marketing the work of SD students and it will help develop and refine their creative ideas into real world commercial products.

The concept was initiated by Assistant Professor Roger Ball and Ernesto Spicciolato as a way of letting design students’ experience “lives beyond the classroom”. Ms Shereen Pong, SD’s outstanding graduate of 2006, was recruited to manage the project.

“We often see student projects that have great commercial potential but unfortunately end when the course is completed. SDWorks is thus established last year to turn these works into reality,” said Prof. Justice.

She is also pleased to note that some of her students’ projects are being introduced to the market through licensing agreement to overseas companies. These include:

(1) The “Magnetman”
Coated in vivid colours, the Magnetman can be connected hands in hands and stick to any metallic surface. Interestingly, the Magnetman can change its mood explicitly on its face by rotating its two elliptic eyes. This innovative work is designed by Mr Kenneth Kwok during his first-year study for BA(Hons) in Design (Industrial and Product) in 2005/2006.

The Magnetman has been sold to the US premium products company that specializes in toy premiums for fast-food chain conglomerates.

(2) “Truckloads of Knowledge”
The toy resembles a concrete mixer truck which is commonly seen in the territory. The toy truck’s container is made transparent and loaded with balls of different colours and printed with characters from A to Z. This toy is designed to help children at pre-school age to familiarize themselves with the English alphabet. It has been sold to a large Hong Kong-based OEM toy company. This toy is designed by student Miss Wingy Chan.

(3) The Duck Necklace
The necklace shows a miniature of roasted duck, which is a well-known delicacy of Hong Kong, engraved on metal. Using 3D digital technologies, a real roasted duck is re-sized and produced by rapid prototyping, and then plated on nickel-free metal. This work was designed by Miss Sindy YU during her second-year study for BA(Hons) in Design (Industrial and Product) in 2006/2007.

(4) Branch-shaped Chopstick Rest
The branch-shaped chopstick rest was beautifully crafted on a piece of wooden-colour ceramic and then molded for mass production. It was designed by Miss Bonita Chan during her first-year study for BA(Hons) in Design (Industrial and Product) in 2005/2006.

(5) HK Skyline Bookmark
The design of this delicate PCM (Photochemical Machining) Bookmark is inspired by traditional Chinese paper cutting and features the magnificent skyline of Hong Kong Island. The skyscrapers surrounded by the jungle of Hong Kong Island point out the collision between nature and technology, tradition and the cutting edge. The product was designed by Miss Irene Kwong during her second year study for the BA(Hons) in Design in 2006/07.

SDWorks products are now available for sale at the TDC Design Gallery and G.O.D. Delay No Mall. At the same time, SDWorks is seeking expansion internationally through sales negotiation with reputed design galleries in London and San Francisco. The Design Gallery store at the Hong Kong International Airport will soon be selling the SDWorks collection to travelers, who may help spread the news around the world.

Interested parties might download a catalogue of PolyU design students’ works at URL: sdworks.sd.polyu.edu.hk or contact SD on 2766 5454.

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