Include Asia 2013 Conference


KODW 2013 started off with the Include Asia Conference, a 2-day program focused on inclusive design. The biennial conference debuts in Hong Kong since its launch in 2001 in London, partnering The Hong Kong Polytechnic University School of Design (PolyU Design), the Royal College of Art (RCA) and Hong Kong Design Centre (HKDC) for the first time. This year’s theme ‘Global Challenges and Local Solutions in Inclusive Design’ spurs participants to explore and respond to concerns such as ageing population, climate change and rapid urbanisation for individuals and communities.

Held at Hotel ICON, the program welcomed keynote speaker, Kathryn Firth, Chief of Design at London Legacy Development Corporation. Also speaking at the conference was Paul Thompson of RCA, Keiji Kawahara of International Association for Universal Design, and Dan Formosa of Smart Design, who also held workshops.

As tradition, the Include Conference committee recognises members of the inclusive design field for their contributions to the community. This year’s recipients of the Champion of Inclusive Design were Yasuyuki Hirai (Kyushu University, Japan), Joseph Kwan (UDA Consultants Ltd.), and our very own, Michael Siu Kin Wai (PolyU Design). We would also like to congratulate Susan Barnwell and Jasmien Herssens on winning the Best Paper Awards.

Pioneering Research in Asian Consumer Products Earns Roger Ball One of PolyU’s First-ever Endowed Professorships


With immense pride, the School of Design of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU Design) – Asia’s best among the world’s top 25 design schools – is thrilled to announce that Professor Roger Ball has been named one of only eight recipients of an endowed professorship in PolyU’s first-ever Endowed Professorship Scheme.

At a special inauguration ceremony held on 29 May at the PolyU campus, Professor Ball was singled out for his outstanding academic and research achievements and officially awarded the Eric C. Yim Professorship in Asian Ergonomics. Mr. Eric Yim, who founded the highly successful design firm POSH Office Systems and serves as its Chairman and CEO, generously underwrote the professorship.

Professor Ball has won international recognition for his trailblazing work at SD’s Asian Ergonomic Lab, founded in 2003 and soon after awarded a multimillion dollar grant for its first major project, SizeChina. An innovative 3D survey of Chinese heads and faces, SizeChina helps designers make consumer products that properly fit Asian body sizes. 90% of all consumer products are based on body shape data from Western people.

Professor Ball’s work has resulted in significant funding awards, consultancy projects with leading corporations, and most recently this prestigious endowment. Professor Ball and his team at the Asian Ergonomic Lab have boosted PolyU’s rising reputation as an influential world-class research institution.

Professor Ball’s primary research is to collect through digital scanning the full range of sizes and shapes of the Chinese population, such as their hands, feet and ears. The data from SizeChina is already poised to be used by diverse faculties within PolyU, including Health and Social Sciences, Engineering, Applied Science and Textiles, and Nursing.

Whether designing new respiratory protection products or paving the way for better-fitting eyewear, shoes and automobiles, Professor Ball has tremendously contributed to both academic and industry interests. The SizeChina Project led to the first-ever digital database of Asian head and face sizes for extensive use by manufacturers and designers.

SizeChina is training the next generation of designers with cutting-edge technologies. PolyU Design as a whole has developed practical workshops, curricula and textbooks, positioning its graduates and partners in Hong Kong and across the globe to create truly revolutionary applications in popular industries such as electronics, fashion, transportation, furniture, and medical devices, to name just a few exciting possibilities.

The School of Design joins everyone at PolyU in extending heartfelt congratulations to Professor Ball and his pioneering team at the Asian Ergonomic Lab. Their fascinating work is inspiring and meaningfully changing our everyday life for the better.

Professor Wang Min appointed as Chair Professor of Communication Design

PolyU School of Design is pleased to announce the appointment of Professor Wang Min to the post of Chair Professor of Communication Design effective from 2 January 2013.

Professor Wang received his Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Art from the China Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA), Hangzhou, China in 1982. He obtained a Master degree in Fine Art from the Yale University School of Art, New Haven, USA in 1988.

Professor Wang has a good mix of academic and industrial experience. He started his academic career in 1982 as Lecturer at the CAFA in Hangzhou, China. Professor Wang has been Visiting Fellow in Germany at the Akademe der Bildenden Künste, Munich and the Hochschule der Künste, Berlin during 1983 to 1986. He then joined the Yale University School of Art in 1989 as Lecturer. In 1990, Professor Wang worked as Senior Graphic Designer, Senior Art Director and Design Manager at Adobe Systems in USA for eight years. During 1998 to 2003, Professor Wang worked as Design Director at Square Two Design in San Francisco with clients including Adobe, IBM, Intel, Netscape and Standford University. Since July 2003, he has been the Dean of the School of Design at the CAFA in Beijing.

In 2004, Professor Wang was appointed as the Design Director in the Art Research Centre for the Olympic Games (ARCOG) at the CAFA and created a unique working group. Under Professor Wang’s leadership, the ARCOG design teams, including CAFA students, have developed a comprehensive design system for the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games including the design of medals, pictograms, colour system, image and identity guidelines. During October 2006 to October 2008, Professor Wang was appointed as the Design Director for the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games Committee. In 2007, Professor Wang has been elected as the Vice President of the International Council of Graphic Design Associations (ICOGRADA) and he was the Academic Director of the ICOGRADA World Design Congress 2009 which has been the most significant and largest-scale design event in China.

Professor Wang has been giving talks in USA, China, Hong Kong and Malaysia, and invited as judge for design competitions. Professor Wang’s work has been exhibited internationally in showcases such as the Biennial of Graphic Design in Brno, Czech Republic; Graphic Design Show in Beijing, China; Type Directors Club Exhibition in New York; Print Annual; and the International Poster Biennial in Lahti, Finland and in the collection of Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe in Hamburg, Germany, Museum für Gestaltung Zurich Kunstgewerbemuseum in Switzerland.

Professor Wang was awarded the Chang Jiang Professorship in 2007 by the Ministry of Education and he is the only recipient of this award in the field of Art in China.

Photo captions:
(From top to bottom, left to right)– Portrait of Prof Wang Min
– Poster design for Beijing 2008 Olympic Games
– Book design
– Poster design on anti-smoking campaign

BrailleWise as top selection of 2012 Successful Design Awards – China

Prof Michael Siu and the Public Design Lab brought us good news from Shanghai last week. The Ceremony of the 2012 Successful Design Awards – China was held on 4 November where BrailleWise (飛機共融衛生間) won the Diamond Award, the highest among the Top 16 Selections. Smart Electrical Vehicle Charging Station (SEVCS), a collaborative project with EE, IC and FMO of PolyU, impressed the judges with its highly innovative and user-friendly design for empowering electrical cars. It was selected as one of the China’s Successful Design Award winners.

“The awards honor entries with excellent design strategy, process and outcomes. They are expected to bring creative and meaningful contributions to the society and industry. BrailleWise has done a good job on all these,” Prof Michael Siu told us. “It is encouraging to receive one of the judges’ compliment that our design did not only overcome a difficult problem with long history, but also provided an inclusive practical solution.”

Conferred by the Shanghai Industrial Design Association and Shanghai Creative industry Center, the 2012 Successful Design Awards, one of the most privileged award presenters in China, granted prizes to 124 distinguished designs out of 454 entries. Other Top Selections are ROBAM-810 sterilizer, Philips Soundbar Home Cinema Speakers, interior design for Mong Kok Post Office, Haier WSGIG refrigerator, Nokia Lumia 800 and then some. Members of jury panel included David Carson, Kevin Mc Cullagh, Shiz Kobara, Ali Grehan, Robbert Van Nouhuys, Bryan.e.nesbitt, Sotamaa Yrjo, George M Beylerian and Cathy Huang from all over the world.

Earlier in March, BrailleWise was given the Runner-Up Award for the Industrial Design & Technical Concepts category of the Crystal Cabin Award, the only international award for excellence in aircraft interior innovation, held in Hamburg. SEVCS was the Bronze Award winner of the 2011/12 Spark Concept Award in New York.

BrailleWise assists the visually impaired to access aircraft lavatories easily and independently.

SEVCS is a smart charging station for electrical vehicles

Read more:
The 2012 Successful Design Awards

The Curious Diary of Mr Jam: Official humorist for repressive regimes

Nury Vittachi, Lecturer of PolyU Design, recently published his new book “The Curious Diary of Mr Jam: Official humorist for repressive regimes“ about a humorist in Asia refusing to believe that his audiences of conservative Muslims, Communist officials, religious police and Asian citizens in general have no sense of humor.

Nury teaches students how to write stories and how to create content for novels and movies. He is a successful author himself, with more than 20 books in print, many of which were published by major publishing houses around the world. He is PolyU Design’s favourite MC who hosted for many major events like Annual Show.

About the book:

Sam Jam’s whole life had been a tragic mistake.

As a humorist in Asia he had repeatedly been sacked, blacklisted and chased out of buildings.

But he refuses to believe that his audiences of conservative Muslims, Communist officials, religious police and Asian citizens in general have no sense of humor.

This funny, poignant tale, which the author describes as “a novel for legal reasons”, is more than just laugh-out-loud entertainment. It shines an essential light on what global culture will look like as eastern ways of thinking start to dominate.

Available in Dymocks, Bookazine and other bookshops, or online shop at

A Kindle version is available at Amazon, and other e-book reader version found at Omnilit.

“DesignDirect: How to start your own microbrand”, new book by Roger Ball

Roger Ball, Associate Professor of PolyU Design and the Leader of SizeChina project, announced the publication of his new book DesignDirect: How to start your own microbrand. Written with Heidi Overhill, with an introduction by design historian John Heskett, this book assembles thoughts on small-scale design entrepreneurship, and the new era of personal opportunity that is opening up in an age of Asian sourcing, 3D printing, and ‘long tail’ marketing on the Internet.

DesignDirect is a subject taught by Roger and Dr Ernesto Spicciolato for our BA(Hons) in Design and Master of Design students.

Visit — the first chapter can be downloaded there.

SizeChina selected as a Finalist for World Impact Design Prize

SD is proud to announce that the SizeChina Project designed and developed in the Asian Ergonomic Lab by Dr Roger Ball and his staff has been chosen as one of the 7 finalist for the World Design Impact Prize sponsored by ICSID (The International Congress of Societies of Industrial Design). Congratulations to all the other finalists.

“The World Design Impact Prize, awarded biennially and currently in its inaugural year, aims to recognise, empower and stimulate socially responsible design projects and initiatives around the world. In early 2011, Icsid Members were asked to nominate projects. The project gallery, containing 22 submissions, opened for viewing and comments on World Industrial Design Day (29 June), and a voting commenced a month later.

“With the World Design Impact Prize we are focusing on the day to day improvements design can bring,” said outgoing Icsid President and Senator Dr. Mark Breitenberg. “We are looking for design that is
innovative, that is breaking new ground in the field, that leads to progress, and advances the profession of design. We are looking for the project that has the greatest impact and is thinking about design as a way to solve problems.”

The first recipient of the prize will be announced at the World Design Capital Design Gala on 2 February 2012 in Helsinki (Finland).

Visit for more information on the prize

Congratulations to Winners of Ten Outstanding Young Persons Hong Kong

Congrats to Alvin Yip, Assistant Professor of the PolyU Design’s Environment & Interior teaching team, and Mary Yu, 2008 Graduate of MDes (Design Practices) who were selected as two of the winners of the Ten Outstanding Young Persons Hong Kong (十大傑出青年選舉)!

Read more>>

Doctoral thesis “SizeChina – A 3D Anthropometric Survey of the Chinese Head”, Roger Ball

Associate Professor Roger Ball successfully defended his Doctoral thesis “SizeChina – A 3D Anthropometric Survey of the Chinese Head” at TUDelft in the Netherlands on May 17 2011. His doctoral manuscript examines head shape differences between Western and Chinese populations. The main research questions are; What is the 3D shape of the Chinese head? What are the differences between Chinese and Western head shapes? and What tools do designers need to create China-fit products for the head and face?

The examination committee from TUDelft included; Dean of Design Dr. Cees de Bont, Prof. Daan van Eijk, Dr. J. Molenbroek, Prof. B. Ninaber, and Prof. E. Jansen. External examiners included; Dean of School of Design Hong Kong Polytechnic University Dr. Lorraine Justice, Prof. Dr. G. Kleinrensink, Erasmus University and Prof. Dr. Hein Dannen, Vrije University.

Dr. Ball’s thesis manuscript is available for download from

The CMW Nationwide Design-Style Interflow Symposium, Wuxi, China (12th -14th May)

This event has been initiated by a coating technology company named CMW (Cashew, Japan/ Manfield, H.K./ Weilburger, Germany), and co-organized by the Asian Lifestyle Design Research Lab, School of Design, HK PolyU.
This is the first national design symposium organized specifically for CMF (color, material and finishing) trend.
The Lab Leader, Mr. Benny Leong was invited to facilitate the core activity of the event where 4 renowned design experts were invited to present their ideas about the latest global and native design trends. They are Mr. Gary Chang (Edge Design Institute Ltd.), Mr. Silvio Chan (Alternatif Fashion Workshop), Mr. Leo Liu (Design Strategy Director, CBI), China and Mr. Yannick Lenormand (VTA consultant, Philips Design).

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