In the latest World's Best Design Schools survey published in the 2 October 2009 issue of BusinessWeek, the Master of Design (Design Strategies) program of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU)'s School of Design (SD) has been rated among the world's best "design thinking programs".
The magazine has selected 30 top design programs at the postgraduate level from all over the world. On this list of honor only three courses are offered by Chinese institutions, namely PolyU School of Design, the Central Academy of Fine Arts in China and Shih Chien University in Taiwan, the remaining institutions are famous design schools in the US and Europe.
Swire Chair Professor of Design and SD Director Prof. Lorraine Justice said this is another concrete proof that the school is on par with top design institutions in the world. SD was also rated twice as one of the top 10 design schools in Asia by BusinessWeek in 2006 and 2007.
In presenting the league table of top design programs, the magazine said "students in these programs take classes in art, management and science, for example, and create projects in multi-disciplinary teams with students from other schools. They aim to use design for strategy rather than merely for aesthetics and may find jobs as design managers, researchers or business consultants." The magazine concluded that "these 30 programs have formally established hybrid curricula".
Design Strategies is offered as a specialism with PolyU Master of Design Scheme. This specialism seeks to locate design strategically in the context of business and technology by exploring best practices as shown in case studies, human-centred explorations to identify previously unrecognized user needs and desires, comparative analyses of business opportunities, successes and failures, and analyses of branding strategies, with particular attention paid to the local context of transforming original equipment manufacture (OEM) to original design manufacture (ODM), and finally to own brand management (OBM). The specialism is applicable to both business and non-profit organizations and extends across local and global issues.
In recent years, SD has scaled new heights under the directorship of famous design educator Prof. Lorraine Justice, who was named as one of the Top 40 Designers in the world by New York-based ID Magazine in 2006. She is now spearheading design research "as fresh as any program in the US, with multidisciplinary partnerships, sponsorship from global companies, and a focus on ethnographic research".
PolyU is the pioneer and sole provider of design education at tertiary level in Hong Kong. Famous designers who graduated from SD include world-renowned fashion designer Ms Vivienne Tam, Oscar-winner and Supervising Animator for Shrek Mr Raman Hui, founder of the jewellery brand Qeelin Mr Dennis Chan, and Partner of Kan & Lau Design Consultants Mr Freeman Lau.