Sep 9. 2022 - Latest News

DS210 Internship course in the spring semester of 2022

Course Introduction

This course is specifically designed for second-year students who have just entered the design major. Through workplace shadowing, this course enables students to gain insights into design and production in industry. Multiple companies are provided as options, varying in size and industry. While closely engaging with a professional context, students will practice basic ethnographic research methods to carry out situated observation and inquires, analyze the role and responsibilities of designers in a chosen industry, summarize relevant teamwork skills for designers, and formulate workplace understandings and structured insights. Students will share their findings and insights from multiple observed industries, and discuss the cultural, societal, and environmental impacts of design practice. 


Course Instructor

AN Pengcheng

Assitant Professor, SUSTech School of Design

AN's research resides in the intersection of design and human-computer interaction, focusing on assisting and enhancing learning, education, children and their families, and underprivileged groups through the design and implementation of interactive systems in real-world settings. He obtained his Ph.D. in Industrial Design from Eindhoven University of Technology and completed his first postdoctoral research there. Afterwards, he joined the School of Computer Science at the University of Waterloo as a postdoctoral researcher and sessional lecturer. His research has been published in top academic venues in HCI and received recognitions such as “Best Paper Honorable Mention Award” (ACM CHI) and “Reviewers’ Choice Award” (INTERACT). His earlier design works received two times of “Red Dot Design Award: Best of the Best”, and an “iF Design Talent Award”. In addition, he serves as an organizer or reviewer for multiple international conferences in the field of human-computer interaction (e.g., ACM CHI, DIS, TEI, IDC). For more information, visit


Course background

The integration of industry and education is one of the important features of SUSTech School of Design (hereinafter referred to as "the School"). The School responds to the country’s forward-looking layout and demand for Shenzhen’s strategic emerging industry clusters, and is based on the collaborative development of emerging industries and the education of industrial design majors, creating an operating system that integrates industry and education, emphasizing the integration of corporate industry cognition in the talent training process. The important educational significance of the front-end program truly transforms Shenzhen's prosperous and leading economic and industrial ecology into a vast resource for design school courses, cultivating outstanding designers who can adapt to and even lead future industrial development.


Since its inception in January 2021, the School has actively contacted companies and associations in the design industry in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area to establish strategic partnerships, look for like-minded corporate partners, communicate talent needs, training concepts and teaching methods, and provide second-year internship course lay a solid foundation for its smooth development.


Course content

DS210 carefully sets the teaching content and teaching methods through special communication between the School and enterprises, including corporate internships and invited lectures. Following the School's characteristic studio teaching model at that time, during the four-week period from April 13 to May 7, 2022, 21 undergraduate students were divided into groups of 3 to overcome the difficulties of epidemic control at that time. 7 companies including Centralcon group, Fondazione EMGdotArt, Into Future, Mindray, Tencent CDC and Urban Forest Lifestyle Co., Ltd. conducted online learning in the first two weeks and offline learning in the next two weeks.



In conjunction with students' participatory observation in practical scenarios, the course's invited lectures were given by five young design leaders from different cities and industries to inspire students' reflection and in-depth understanding. Ms. YANG Zhaoyi, chief designer of BrainCo, Ms. LI Xianling, interaction design expert and design manager of iFlytek, Mr. ZHANG Jiuzhou, co-founder and design director of XIVO Design, Mr. WANG Hezhao, creative director of Into Future and Block 16, and Ms. WANG Tiaoling, digital inclusion expert and experience architecture consultant of Accenture (China), shared with the students their growth experience, transformation process and industry as designers. Enlighten students to think about concepts such as design value, professional competency, professional social responsibility and ethics, and to imagine and plan their future careers. It is also expected to inspire students in the early stages to not only establish lofty ambitions and ideals, but also be down-to-earth. Understand the creative process and practical challenges.




On the morning of May 7, each student group came to the internship company, summarized and reported the final learning results to the mentor team, and played a carefully produced short video of their internship experience for the mentors. The students used structured analysis methods to sort out the large amount of data accumulated through interviews, workplace shadowing, etc. during the internship into a vivid and concrete understanding, and elaborated on the roles, responsibilities and important qualities of designers in specific industries in their eyes , as well as the social, cultural, and environmental responsibilities that design activities should bear in different industries. At the same time, they integrated their personal feelings and experiences into short videos with novel angles, and reviewed this unforgettable experience with the corporate mentor team. Each tutor team made detailed comments on the students' learning achievements and encouraged the students to continue to work hard on the road of design. On behalf of the School, the students presented certificates of appreciation and carefully prepared small gifts to their tutors, reluctantly drawing an end to this internship journey.



In the afternoon, students participated in the final review of the course. Each group reported the gains and growth of this course to the professor team of the School with interesting speeches and creative videos. Prof. Tom KVAN, Dean of the School, Prof. HE Renke, Executive Vice Dean (online), Prof. LUO Tao (online), Prof. WAN Fang (online), Prof. Enza MIGLIORE, Prof. CHEN Difan, Prof. Marcel SAGESSER, and Prof. JE Seungwoo were invited to participate in this review and comment on the learning outcomes of each student group one by one.


This industrial internship course uses a model of in-depth experience in professional scenarios, allowing students from the School to fully explore the impact of design practice in different industries on culture, society and the environment through group cooperation, and gain insights into the work of designers and design teams in different industries. A vivid and deep understanding of roles and responsibilities within the environment is developed. Throughout the course cycle, students have always maintained a high degree of enthusiasm for work and study. After four intense and fulfilling weeks, the final learning results presented by each group were exciting and informative.


The School will further strengthen school-enterprise cooperation and carry out practical teaching focusing on the design industry in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area to enrich and enrich the teaching content. The 2022 DS210 Internship course has successfully concluded. Let us look forward to next year’s industrial internship course!

    (Special thanks to all the corporate tutor teams for their time and energy in supporting this course and the college administrative team for their support of this course!)


Learning Outcome

  • Observe and conduct workplace research using basic ethnographic research methods and tools
  • Analyze the roles and responsibilities of designers and design teams in the work environments visited
  • Summarize the qualities and skills designers need in team collaboration based on observations or interviews.
  • Explore the potential social, cultural and environmental impacts of design practices through specific examples from the industries visited


Student comments

“The industrial internship course allowed us to come into contact with 7 companies from different fields and different sizes. Through research and comparison, we found out their similarities and differences, and initially understood the position of designers in the enterprise, which gave me a better and deeper understanding of career planning. Specifically, we have many opportunities for fieldwork to explore the meaning behind each element of the work environment through ethnography and other methods learned in the classroom. For example, when our group visited the C Future Lab, we noticed that water droplets were falling from the sky garden. We dug into it, and then we took a look at the big picture, and gradually realized the working principle of the entire irrigation system. This process was very interesting. You can experience the designer’s journey. "

—— YAN Siyuan


"In the course DS210, our group was fortunate to cooperate and communicate with the C Future Lab. Centralcon Future Laboratory is a platform under Centralcon Group, which provides a platform for outstanding designers and artists to display their ideas and works. What we are participating in is the Centralcon Bay Future City project they are currently responsible for. Our video starts from the question of what is a future city, and shows the concepts and definitions of future cities that we have learned about in more than a month, as well as the future city in the eyes of C Future Lab. The green ecological concept and advanced interactive design system they expounded, as well as the three propositions of nature, technology, and art, gave us a deeper understanding of what kind of future city we should build. I have benefited a lot from my understanding.”

——ZHANG Zimo


“In the course of industrial internship, our group mainly studied in Into Future and Block 16, exchanging sparks of inspiration and colliding ideas with their creative director, Mr. Wang. We were fortunate enough to visit the Block 16 and experience WANG’s efforts in this open creative park. We were also fascinated by the WANG’s various interesting ideas. At the same time, WANG also invited three seniors to share their experiences with us. There are practical experiences and in-depth understandings about cultural creativity, architectural design and business thinking, etc. to further expand our understanding of design. Although this is one class, it seems to be more than just one class. We truly entered the company and were no longer confined to the classroom. We had real contact with the lives of designers and admired their height of thinking and breadth of learning. Thanks to Prof. AN's course for giving us young people this opportunity to observe, express and gain our own insights in the company. "

——DENG Zhenxin


"In the industrial internship course, our group was fortunate enough to go to Mindray and learn from several designers there. Under the guidance of Mindray's instructors, we did a relatively complete quick-question training, covering UX, UI and ID. We designed a simple "health declaration instrument" from three angles. During the whole process, we experienced the division of labor and cooperation between different designers and how to communicate effectively in practice, and we also improved step by step under the guidance of the instructors. At the same time, as "observers" who went to corporate learning, during the conversation between the instructors and us, we deeply realized that in Mindray design, clear plans, schedule arrangements, product implementation, etc. are all very important parts. As a medical device company, the responsibilities they shoulder are very heavy. In addition to going to Mindray and constantly learning through personal participation, I also learned a lot from communicating with classmates who went to different companies. From everyone's sharing, I I have a general understanding of the responsibilities of designers in different types of companies. At the same time, this also helps me better compare the differences between them and better understand how designers play a role in society. For It has a strong reference value for my study and even career planning.”

—— ZHANG Yijing


"DS210 Industrial Internship, as the third professional course in the second semester of my sophomore year, gave me a completely different experience from other courses. This course gave us an opportunity to get in close contact with and communicate with large companies. In the guidance given by the corporate tutors, During the lectures and Q&A sessions, we learned about the various aspects of life of designers working in companies and how they collaborate with colleagues of all kinds to complete projects.

Our group was lucky enough to have the opportunity to communicate with the mentors from Tencent CDC. The investigation methods such as fieldnotes mentioned by Prof. AN in class gave us a lot of help during the internship process, allowing us to gradually learn how to ask questions and how to record important content in the course. Tencent's mentors are also generous in sharing their experiences in projects and their attitudes towards work and life, allowing us to understand the "inside story" of the industry and the real life of designers. Overall, DS210, as the first course where students can have real close contact with enterprises, has undoubtedly brought us huge gains. Combining what Prof. AN taught in class and what was shared by the company during the internship process, we must be able to actively respond to different challenges when we actually enter the company for internship or professional career in the future. "

——YU Hanxu


“This is an extremely precious attempt for me as a sophomore in university. We have always been accustomed to learning and practicing in on-campus courses. Even if we cooperate with some companies, we only have short-term exchanges through certain course projects.

The course DS210 gives us the opportunity to have an in-depth understanding of different fields of design and different types of enterprises. Through in-depth exchanges with bookstore instructors in the weeks before and after the Reading Day event, my two partners and I learned about the charm of Shenzhen Bookmall, one of Shenzhen’s cultural business cards. At the same time, between observation and practice, we deeply realized the role design plays in cultural industries such as bookmalls. Under the guidance of the designers of the bookmall, we tried to participate in the design of the marketing display board for the 24-hour book bar in the Shenzhen Bookmall based on the layout and atmosphere of the venue and the April marketing theme as a template, and became familiar with the general workflow of the industry. At the same time, we communicated with other groups who went to Tencent, Mindray and other companies to compare the unique features of design work in different industries, and gained deeper thinking about each industry. "

——XU Xinxin


Remarks from corporate mentors

"The main purpose of this industrial internship is to give students a forward-looking understanding of the major they are studying, and to allow students to more intuitively understand the different career development directions on this professional path. As an industrial design designer, we have a lot to communicate and share with the students about the brand we created. In four weeks, the students visited and learned about all aspects of the entire product from manufacturing to market sales; they also learned about the steps involved in product design, different materials and characteristics, and personally realized the preliminary production of the prototype. In the marketing section, the students created product posters according to the instructor's requirements and participated in product shooting. This internship process is a multi-dimensional experience. We have incorporated many interesting aspects into this experience. We hope that the students will become truly interested in this industry while doing internships. The students completed this internship task very well, and are very good at script design, shooting and post-editing. All showed special talents. This was a very useful attempt, and the cooperation with the School was also very pleasant. In the communication with the students, the company also gained many fresh ideas, allowing us to keep a young heart. We are very happy to have such good interactions with the School and students in the future, and do our part to cultivate our own design talents!"

—— Mr. FU Guozhi, CEO of Urban Forest


“After learning about the internship needs of SUSTech School of Design, Fondazione EMGdotArt collaborated with its subsidiary Thoth Hub and ADD+ to integrate parametric design, 3D printing, and intelligent manufacturing. With resources and experience in professional fields and international art and design exhibition planning, we have gathered design, creative and curatorial teams from Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen to participate in the college’s internship course. During the entire internship process, we were deeply impressed by the innovation, learning ability and hands-on ability of the students in the School. This is also a reflection of the School's ability to cultivate students' comprehensive abilities. The integration of industry and education is an important way to promote industry development. Since its establishment in 2013, Fondazione EMGdotArt has been committed to industry-university-research efforts in the fields of culture, art and design. The experience and results of cooperation with many universities at home and abroad and on the industrial side have made us more convinced of the importance of industry and university teaching and research. The necessity and urgency of promoting and promoting each other. We are very honored to have the opportunity to participate in the School's internship course and look forward to more in-depth cooperation in the future! "

——SUN Peng, deputy secretary-general of Fondazione EMGdotArt


"In this internship, C Future Lab provided students with a real topic, namely the content planning of more than 180 screens in a commercial complex. Through on-site sharing, space visits, and simulation guides students to participate in thinking and collision, experience the role and responsibilities of designers in the chosen industry, and draw their own opinions. Through the three-week internship, what impressed us most about the students from the School was their curiosity, innovative spirit without barriers, and clear analytical thinking. The questions and summaries raised by classmates provide us with different perspectives and ideas for those who have been immersed in complex real-life problems for a long time. The integration of industry and education is a topic that C Future Lab has been discussing with its partners for a long time. Centralcon, as an urban space construction and operation company, has also been thinking and exploring the perspective of cooperation with universities for a long time. "

——Ms. LIANG Shuxian, planner of Centralcon Group


Instructor's conclusion

"This course is not an "internship" in the conventional sense. The students have almost completed the first year of professional courses, and the purpose of this course is to allow them to have close contact with the designs of representative companies in different industries early in their academic careers. During the process of participation and experience, they not only played the role of "interns", but also served as "researchers", using ethnographic methods to establish structures for the functions, trends and responsibilities of design work in different industries. Thereby providing reference for their subsequent professional course selection and career planning. The vivid stories and wonderful insights presented by the students in the final report indicate that they not only completed the learning goals, but also fully enjoyed the learning process. We are fortunate to have 7 cooperative companies of different sizes and industries, but they all lead innovation in their respective fields. The successful conclusion of this course is inseparable from the full support and selfless investment of the industrial mentors of all these cooperative companies. In just four weeks, the students have established a deep friendship with the instructors. At the same time, we are also grateful to the five young guest speakers for their wonderful sharing. Their growth experiences have further broadened the students' horizons for personal development and professional planning. Especially I would like to thank XIAO Fei from the administrative team of the School for making irreplaceable contributions to coordinating and organizing such complex teaching arrangements."

——AN Pengcheng

related news