Yuka Reinoso Hayashi's experiences in Delft
INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS SHARE THEIR EXPERIENCES AT IDE
Flight Case is an international program where a group of 28 master students of the industrial design faculty get to solve cases with companies in a country out of Europe. Last summer 2022, we went to Singapore!
Hi, my name is Yuka, and I am following the Integrated Product Design Masters Degree in Delft. Find out all about my experiences living and studying in Delft here.Yuka Reinoso Hayashi
If you like working on challenging and intensive design projects while immersing yourself in a new culture, this might be an interesting experience for you too!
The Flight Case 2022 team traveled to Singapore and participated in design projects at P&G, Hp, and IBM. These companies provided us with a design challenge, for which we started to work from The Netherlands doing research and ideation before summer. Once we arrived in Singapore, we collaborated with the workers of the companies in their offices. The projects were mostly focused on Gen Z, so we were able to incorporate our personal knowledge and experience into them. While we brought fresh ideas, new points of view, and knowledge about design methodologies, they provided their experience, perspectives, and deep knowledge of the field. We conducted co-creation and creative facilitation sessions, prototyped, and pitched them our ideas. Workers from the companies and we, students, shared and combined our abilities and worked together on the design briefs.
Besides the workdays at the companies, we also had some networking events and visits. We visited the ArtScience Museum, the Aleph Labs agency, The Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD), and the National University of Singapore (NUS). We toured the facilities and participated in some creative activities with students and workers. We had some networking events at the Design Singapore Council and the Hollandse Club as well. There, we got the chance to talk with several professionals with similar backgrounds to ours that are currently working as designers in Singapore. Meeting them was an inspiring experience!
However, not everything is work during the Flight Case trip. Coming to Singapore from Delft, we had to explore the country as deeply as we could. We discovered a whole new culture: its people, its food, and its habits; and made new friends along the way. As part of the trip, we went to Malaysia to spend some days with the entire group on the island Pulau Tioman. There, we snorkeled, did excursions, partied, and relaxed on the sunny beaches. And before coming back to Delft, some of us stayed longer in Asia and kept traveling around!
The Flight Case 2023 team is going to South Korea, and you might have the chance to join the team. If you want to know more, click here!
Pictures by Alina Wundsam
Read Yuka's other articles below
During the first year, IPD students get to work in two big projects for the main subjects, called Advanced Concept Design and Advanced Embodiment Design. In these subjects, students have the possibility to choose the project they want to work on. Either if your priority is working on a topic that you like or with a company that you find especially attractive, one key point is that you will get to work with real clients. Both from the personal and professional perspectives, this has a positive impact on us.
For many international students this is probably something new and, with no doubt, an enriching experience from which we can learn.
From my personal perspective, working with a real client boosted my motivation towards the project because not only do you work within the context of the university, but on an actual problem or challenge that a company is trying to solve as well. This means that you may have a real impact on them and therefore, your work is very valuable.
This working format that is conducted in the main projects of IPD also makes students learn how to deal with clients and keep a formal yet kind relationship with them. Regular meetings are conducted to keep the client informed and having feedback from them. In this way, we work keeping always in mind their own perspective and approach, which allows to develop a common path towards a new solution. Sharing insights, ideas, concepts, and progress makes it possible to create an environment in which both the client and the students support each other from their own position. In my opinion, the company provides a defined case and support and specific knowledge on the respective topic, while the students provide further insights and a new approach from a different point of view. The value students bring is supported by research, application of steady methodologies, and access to experts in the university.
In addition, most of the groups are compounded by international students. When this is the case, the variety of academic and cultural backgrounds of each student also significantly enriches the group, as it brings different approaches and working habits that, well integrated, complement other students’ skills and boost the performance of the team. This becomes possible thanks not only to the varied skillset of the group, but thanks to the broader vision the team acquires as well. This is, in my opinion, one of the strongest points we can offer to the client.
Another important advantage for students I would point out from working with real clients during the master program is the proximity to a real work process this provides. As we learn to treat and take care of our relationships with the client, we get closer to the situation in which we could be when working professionally. This has a positive impact both on us and on the future company or entity we might work for, as it will no longer be the first time we collaborate with an actual client.
My recommendation for future IPD students is to make the most of this opportunity we are given. Learn to listen to your client, consider their experience and perspective, share your progress with them, and overall, take care of your relationship with them. When both parts are involved and willing to support the other, designing becomes incredibly fun and fruitful.