Congregation Speaker, Mr Donald Choi Wun-hing, CEO of Chinachem Group at the 27th Congregation
Valedictory Speech by Chang Pei-Chi Peggy at the 27th Congregation - PM Session
(click here for text version)
Valedictory Speech by CHEUNG Hui Ki Yvonne at the 27th Congregation - AM Session
(click here for text version)
Distinguished guests, members of the Faculty, professors, my fellow graduates, ladies, and gentlemen, good afternoon.
It’s a great honour to be standing before you today as we mark the end of an important chapter in our lives.
I would like to start with some words of gratitude. To our professors who challenged us and supported us throughout our studies, to facility staff who were always willing to give a helping hand, and to our family and friends who encouraged us and kept us afloat at our weakest moments.
Our achievements throughout these past four years could not have been possible without your support.
Back in 2017, we took our first step into the studios as individuals with different experiences, backgrounds, and aspirations. Today, we finally take our first step out of our safe haven for the past four years as a family!
We are different, unique but joined at the heart by our memories and experience at PolyU School of Design.
I say this with very conflicting emotions. Yes, there is a sense of excitement and thrill about leaving, but also an overwhelming sense of anxiety as you realize the uncertainty that lies ahead.
I now fully understand why people say university days are some of the best moments of their lives. We’ve learnt many things, about ourselves, who we are, where our passion lies, how to live alone without burning the apartment down - and of course, we also learnt design.
So what did we learn at PolyU School of design? I’m sure everyone has a different answer!
I’m not talking about SD hacks like knowing to queue up at the print shop the morning before due dates; lessening rendering time by taking up the entire row of computers; or figuring out basic survival items to stay overnight in the studio.
What I'm trying to get to here are the intangible qualities that will accompany us in our future endeavours.
Feel free to take a moment to think about it.
OK… here are my takeaways from 4 years at the PolyU School of Design: empathy, persistence, and versatility.
We learnt empathy in collaborating with colleagues and clients from multiple disciplines. We learnt persistence in the face of hardship, challenges and tutor critique. And finally, we learn versatility in implementing our skills in a wide spectrum of projects and scenarios.
With these core qualities we’ve acquired over our four years, I’d say that we’ve got the survival basics for the challenges to come.
This brings us back to the topic of facing uncertainty.
We’ve tackled many changes in our lives - entering university, learning in a pandemic, and last minute design directions after tutorials.
We’ve overcome all the obstacles and setbacks and become better versions of ourselves, so fear not – we’ve been there and we’ve conquered that.
Equipped with what we’ve built over the past four years, I challenge each and every one of us to look ahead and face our challenges with courage, drive and positivity.
It’s never easy to step out, and it’s more than okay to break down, but we just need to remind ourselves that we have what it takes to stand back up – we’ve done it so many times already, we can do it again for sure.
Before I end my speech, and we step out of the auditorium and face the world as official PolyuSD graduates, let’s take a moment to give ourselves a round of applause!
Let’s celebrate the end of an amazing journey and empower ourselves with the strength to face future challenges.
Thank you and congratulations to our wonderful class of 2021!
Honourable guests, teachers, parents, fellow schoolmates, ladies and gentlemen,
My name is Yvonne. It’s my honour to be the representative of the graduating class of 2021.
It’s been a very special experience during our university life. While our program commenced in Fall 2019, we only had two months of school time. Then we experienced social movement, and the outbreak of COVID-19 followed. After such short-term face-to-face study, we barely met each other, only through telecommunications. Even though our university life has been unusual, it’s a really unforgettable experience.
Do you guys still remember our first day of school? I remember this deeply. We believed in our vision of fighting for a better society – Now we have graduated, I hope we all shall never forget about this.
Speaking up for what you believe in is never a waste of time. I think Social Justice-Oriented Citizen is what a good designer yearns to be. Solving the root causes of problems and affecting systemic change are the essential ways to improve citizens’ life and make a better society.
As a Social Design student, it’s not uncommon to be asked, “what is social design?” Let’s see how social design is rooted in everyone’s daily life, and changes behaviour.
I’m going to describe this in five points:
The first one is “observation”. There are always odd things happening in our shadow observations. People might even think that we are strange!
The second one is “co-creation”. Certainly, co-creation sparkles when we work with different disciplines and users. Everyone’s ideas are critical to making things perfect.
Thirdly, “Trial and Error”, keep taking action, don’t be afraid of failure. We keep experimenting until we find the solution. Even small things may change human behaviour.
Fourthly, “Do it vs Just think”. That is, you take actions to find out new things or insights rather than just sit and think of the right solutions.
The last one is “Transformation of garbage”. Garbage is not waste but a good to be used. It can be upcycled into materials for prototypes.
I’ve raised 5 points about social design, but I wish to highlight one important point – we are rooted in the community. We do change things, we accomplish. All of our projects are well grounded. Each of us is unique and professional in some fields as you can see in our capstone projects.
Let me share with you something interesting while we proceeded with our capstone projects. As many of our projects are about sports and playful activities, we taught each other our own favourite sports and games and played together in the studio, such as a claw machine, basketball, fencing and rope skipping. Amazingly, we created a playground for Social Design students in V core, which contains different Social Design projects and activities launched in v core podium. We invited students and staff from different disciplines to play, so as to facilitate our connection.
On the flipside, we faced a big challenge, the pandemic. With many restrictions, it was hard for us to conduct research and implement activities in the community. But luckily, we had our own networking and assistance from our friends, families and a district councillor that allowed us to finally complete our project. May I send a huge thanks to those who have given us unfailing support during this tough time!
I would also like to express my greatest appreciation to our lecturers, tutors and internship organizations for their support, especially King and Kam Fai, you both are very awesome and thanks for spending so much time to teach us. We learned a lot from you both.
Special thanks to Natalie and Cherry, thank you for being my powerful groupmates, I would not be where I am today without you by my side. I hope we all can utilize our social design skills in our own fields in the future.
Last but not the least, I wish to send big thanks to all of our classmates. With our committed contributions, I believe we can make the social design field stronger.
“Something ends today. But now is the first day of your next life”. Wishing you all the best and a prosperous career and a wonderful journey in future. Please give yourself a big round of applause.