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Internship, Product Design, Research

S.POINT Design

I previously interned in Shanghai, China at a top product innovation and consulting company.

  • Role
  • Product Design Intern
  • Company
  • S.POINT Design
  • Year
  • 2018
  • Duration
  • 2 months

My mentor and majority of the professionals I collaborated with were international. From them, I gained new perspectives and observed various approaches to the design process and problem solving.

My work during the summer was for paying clients or is confidential for S.POINT, so I am not allowed to post any of my design process or product renderings.

Project 1: Consulting

I was first put on a consulting project designing fitness machines for a Chinese company. I worked with my mentor and one other designer to create sketches for a new line of machines while considering the brand’s existing lines.

We began individually sketching concepts and comparing them until we narrowed down to three, including one of my designs. From there, we each rendered out a chosen design and formatted them in a formal presentation that we presented to the client.

Project 1 illustration

Project 2: Product opportunity and development

My next project was helping to design a product for the firm’s own brand. I took part in the beginning stages of product development and was tasked with researching potential design opportunities. I benchmarked existing products and conducted interviews with target audience members to find out if/where there were opportunities for the company to offer their own products.

I also assisted in a product photoshoot. I helped set up and model for one of the firm’s product releases. I watched the photographer and designers collaborating — one side working to make an attractive image and the other working to highlight product features.

Project 2 illustration

Reflection

Culture and design

Working abroad was an insightful experience. The backgrounds of my surrounding designers afforded them unique design choices and focuses — some designed for practicality or portability, some for manufacturing, and some for visuals.

I was exposed to the styles of Asian consumers. My previous work experience with American brands all fell under a similar hierarchy of style. In China, this hierarchy differed — Chinese aesthetics valued light, modern, and active visuals.

Working in a local design firm in China also meant having more direct access to manufacturing. Many designers took day trips to visit manufacturers in person, making the final stage of product development quicker and more immersive.

From my experience abroad, I learned both about culture and design, but most importantly about how culture informs and affects design.