Professor Martin Thaler teaches 2015 HIT Workshop in China

Marty Thaler taught a 2-week design workshop in China at Harbin Institute of Technology (HIT) in Harbin, China. The university was established in 1920 and is known for conducting leading research in the fields of aerospace, robotics, and computer science.

The Bike Futures project challenged 38 students in 12 teams to observe and interview cyclists, identify problems, and develop insights and from this research, design new bicycle products. Students built rough prototypes and showed these to potential users for feedback. Prototypes included a bamboo recyclable bike, a bike add-on that offered protection from inclement weather, and signaling devices to inform drivers and pedestrians of the bicyclist’s intent. As China moves from primarily a manufacturer of products to defining what should be made, students learn how the design process informs what people value.

Marty Thaler also gave an evening lecture within the school of architecture and open to the university titled “Kickstarting: Changing How Innovation Happens.” This was part of a weeklong lecture series featuring Liu GuanZhong, known as the “father” of Chinese industrial design.

Special thanks to HIT professors Yang and Wang for the invitation for Marty to teach in the summer program and for the generous and warm hospitality for a third consecutive year.

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