SizeChina project strikes Gold in International Design Contest

In presenting its SizeChina project for the 2008 International Design Excellence Awards (IDEA) competition, the School of Design (SD) of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) has brought home a coveted Gold Medal in the Research category.

The innovative project has also been bestowed with the “Best in Show” award by the 2008 IDEA jury comprising 20 world-renowned designers and design thinkers. It is the first time in the history of the competition that the expert jury bestowed two “Best in Show” awards, with the other one goes to Apple’s now-iconic iPhone.

Co-sponsored by BusinessWeek and Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA), IDEA is one of the most prestigious design awards and is dedicated to fostering business and public understanding of the importance of industrial design excellence to the quality of life and economy. This year, a total of 35 Gold Awards were awarded among 1,517 entries from 25 countries and territories. The contest result is announced in the July 18th issue of BusinessWeek.

Mr Roger Ball, currently an Associate Professor of SD, is also the Director of the SizeChina project. According to him, most consumer products are designed for Caucasians, and do not fit ethnic Chinese properly. SizeChina is launched to assemble data from a representative cross-section of people from the Chinese mainland to create the first-ever digital database of Chinese head and face shapes.

In compiling the anthropometric data over a two-year period, Mr Ball and his team visited six mainland cities, including Guangzhou, Hangzhou, Lanzhou, Chongqing, Beijing and Shenyang. Working in collaboration with local universities, they collected detailed 3D scans of more than 3,000 volunteers, aged from 18 to 70, using an advanced scan technology.

With the completion of the first phase of the project, Mr Ball and his team created ten standard head forms of ethnic Chinese after analyzing massive amounts of data with statistical tools. The scan database provides a state-of-the-art tool for industry and researchers. These products will prove to be invaluable for designers, engineers and manufacturers who want to create perfect-fitting consumer products for Chinese. Using SizeChina products will enable the medical, optical, sports, entertainment and communication industries to gain a competitive advantage in brand building.

The project was kicked off in April 2006 with nearly $5.3 million funding support from DesignSmart Initiative of the Government’s Innovation and Technology Commission, under the project title “Perfect fit China”. It is also supported by several industrial partners, including UGS PLM Solutions, New Era Cap and Strategic Sports.

For details of the SizeChina research project, please visit: SizeChina products are available for sale through Certiform Ltd.: