PolyU student strikes gold in international street furniture design contest

Miss Rony Chan, a third-year design student of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU)'s School of Design (SD), has won the Gold Prize in the VivoCity Student Design Contest for innovative and interactive street furniture. She defeated more than 350 competitors from around the world.

Organised by Singapore real estate company, Mapletree Investments Pte Ltd, the developer of VivoCity, and DesignSingapore Council, the inaugural VivoCity Student Design Contest is an international competition which aims to nurture the artistic talent of students and promote design excellence. In line with the distinctive architecture of VivoCity, the competition carries the theme of "fluidity".

Miss Chan's winning design, entitled "Raindrop", is composed of four "raindrops" painted in gradient blue and made of translucent polycarbonate. Displayed as street furniture, each "raindrop" enables people to relax in a more natural environment.

As the Gold Prize winner, Miss Chan was awarded a total of S$10,000 (around HK$48,000) and another S$10,000 for PolyU. Her design will also be produced to a budget of S$100,000 (around HK$480,000) and displayed at VivoCity alongside works of renowned international artists and designers.

Miss Chan was also one of four finalists who were given a three-day trip to Japan to study under Toyo Ito, an internationally acclaimed Japanese architect, in January 2006. During that trip, Toyo Ito has provided invaluable insights to Miss Chan for further enhancing her design and showed her his architectural and design works.

PolyU is the forerunner and sole provider of design education at tertiary level in Hong Kong. Since its inception in 1964, SD has groomed thousands of graduates and many famous designers in various disciplines. To name just a few, they include world-renowned fashion designer Vivienne Tam, Mr Raman Hui, Oscar-winner and Supervising Animator for Shrek; Mr Dennis Chan, founder of the jewelry brand Qeelin; and Mr Freeman Lau, Partner of Kan & Lau design consultancy.

Designed by Toyo Ito, VivoCity will be the centre-piece of Singapore's newest lifestyle hub at the Harbourfront when it opens to the public in October 2006.

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