With a small group of very energetic and optimistic people, we started our adventure in february 2012 to build a top class college for Strategic Design and Innovation in Shanghai China. Hartmut Esslinger, world famous Designer and my former teacher in Vienna, hired me right away after my degree to setup and run the studio, manage logistics and machinery import, get the team together, develop curriculum and eventually teach Design.
Over the next months we spent all our energy to change the empty concrete space into a breeding ground for young talents in China who want to become professionals in Design and Strategy. Situated on the campus of SIVA (Shanghai Institute of Visual Art) Detao Group, a private invested company, set it’s goal to bring foreign professionals from diverse fields to China and open studios for education in combination with hands on consulting projects.
Honored by the challenge and the fact that we were the first studio to be operational, we began our work.
Meanwhile the program occupies more then 1000m2 and spans over three floors, including a state of the art modelshop. It hosts as of fall 2016, freshmen, sophomore, junior and senior students.
Next to high quality speakers like Axel Thallemer, Alex Buck or Patricia Moore who flew in for one week special lectures, we could also win companies like Muji and Arcelik Beko to work with us on ideation workshops, which was a great chance for our students to get in touch with the industry. Convinced by our strategy, nine other studios followed our model, one year later and joined the education program. In the meantime the college received great feedback and support from the industry and government, being an outstanding and unique institution for design in china.