On November 28, 2017 Professor Yasuyuki Hirai and Dr. Gan Yan from Kyushu University, Japan, and Dr. Li Zilong from School of Design, Hunan University visited MSE at the invitation of Associate Prof. Long Ren and Lecturer Chen Xue from Department of Industrial Design, School of Mechanical Science & Engineering (MSE) in HUST. Faculty members include the Assistant to Dean, Ms. Zhang Fen, the Director of the Office of Discipline Construction and Internationalization, Gan Huijie, the Director of the Undergraduate Academic Office, Tan Qiong, and Prof. Liu Xinxiong from the Department of Industrial Design have participated in the exchange.
At 9:30 am, Prof. Yasuyuki delivered a speech entitled “Design Thinking and Inclusive Design” at Room A416 of MSE. He shared some of his research on inclusive design in Kyushu University, and introduced that the theory of inclusive design comes from Europe. He is one of the earliest Japanese scholars to have touched upon this theory. Prof. Yasuyuki’s visit has established a good foundation for launching international course programs between the two universities.
After the exchange meeting, Prof. Yasuyuki made a visit to the National Key Laboratory of Digital Manufacturing and Equipment and the classrooms of Industrial Design in the East 9th building, and communicated cordially with the students.
In the afternoon, Prof. Yasuyuki gave a lecture entitled “Inclusive Design: Co-design with people” for students. He said inclusive design needs to be observed and considered from the users’ perspective. In the process of designing, designers should try their best to avoid “creating” products from their own supposition as this will make them ignore their users’ feelings and products “created” like this are less likely to promote the quality of their users’ life. He pointed out that when designing for disadvantaged groups like children, the disabled people and the elderly, the cooperation between designers and users is very desirable for it allows users to directly participate in the design and personally experience the process of product improvement and humanistic care from the designers. In addition, this motivates the designers to make the most suitable adjustment based on their users’ responses.
Prof. Yasuyuki also shared his latest research achievements on inclusive design at his lab. He shared abundant cases and his own insights in practice and interacted with the students. Faculty members include Lei Tian, Ji Qian, Chen Xue and He Xin from the Department of Industrial Design were invited to attend the event as well.
The lecture given by Prof. Yasuyuki is a part of the course-Interfacial Design, and also a section of Hubei provincial teaching and research program “Product Design Course ‘a Multi-dimensional’ Evaluation System of Research and Practice”.
Professor Yasuyuki Hirai graduated from the Royal College of Art, UK. His main research field includes design thinking and inclusive design research in design strategy. He worked as a designer in American design and consulting firm IDEO from 1992 to 1996. Since 1996, he has been working at the Department of Design Strategy of School of Design, Kyushu University. He is also a visiting professor at the National Museum of Ethnology (Japan). He was awarded Red Dot Award, Good Design and many other international prizes.