Welcoming Speech by Prof Kun-Pyo Lee, Dean of PolyU School of Design at the 27th Congregation

Dear students,

My warmest welcome to this year’s congregation.

I would like to express my sincere congratulations, especially as you graduate in the midst of the COVID-19 outbreak.

We have all faced unprecedented obstacles over the last two years,
and the fact that you were also able to complete a degree at the same time, speaks volumes for your remarkable strength of character, perseverance and fortitude.

You truly deserve praise for your courage, and walk on the stage
with the pride of your family, friends, professors and the School.

Let’s start at the very beginning, At the bedrock of any high achieving student – it all starts with family. I would like to thank all the wonderful parents and family members for their support. Thank You!

This pandemic has dealt us a number of challenges, but the awards just keep on coming in for us, a testament to the power and academic strength of our student body and teaching staff.

I look out here across the crowd and I see nothing but the best – you have some of the greatest potential we have ever seen from our School.
I have high hopes that you will all go out there and change the world.

As designers, we must use pivotal moments in history, to innovate and forge new solutions that meet challenges we face.

As we tackle everything from an epidemic, to inequality, climate change and race relations face on, we need to be better than ever.

We must be tough, smart, empathetic, and above all, open our eyes, and
see the world clearly.

The world is not as it seems in the classroom – trends come and go, and everything can change at tremendous pace. The most critical skills we need as designers today include being adaptive, intellectually curious, and engaging with an open mind.

We need internationally minded innovators now more than ever; while the School has guided your learning, thirst and passion for knowledge
should continue for a lifetime. I expect all of us will never stop learning – but perhaps there will be less assignments for change!

To be a great designer, working with professionals in other disciplines is key. We are not simply designers; we enable; we bridge people, build networks, and make dreams a reality.

What makes a great designer? Is it design skill? From my point of view, it comes from the ability to ask one question: why?

So be curious, collaborative, cutting edge, creative, and keep an open mind. That’s where the real magic happens.

Our journey together is only beginning. We are always happy to see our graduates back on campus, and hear what they have been doing.

This is our home, and your home too. Don’t ever forget that you are always welcome and we want to see you all at alumni events.

Finally, a big thanks to all our teachers, staff and colleagues.

Good luck, and we wish you well.

We wish you the best as you embark upon this exciting new journey.

Thank you!