It’s been almost a month since we’ve come back from Hong Kong. Funny how memories warp time – it honestly only feels like it happened yesterday, that we were hopping from MTR train to MTR train to get from one side of Hong Kong to the other. As I reread the blog entries the students and I posted on this SCAD + Kids II blog, I started getting melancholic as all the wonderful memories came rushing back to me – we really did have a great time. Don’t get me wrong – I can’t help but laugh as I go through all 36 gigabytes worth of photos we took. Like all good times, though, I secretly wished I could go back and relive it all over again. As befitting for such an experience, I figured these series of blog posts could use a little closure, or epilogue, if you will. So sit back, and enjoy some anecdotes from my perspective of the whole experience, and perhaps for all of my fellow SCAD students who went on the trip with me and are reading this, it’ll bring that smile back on your face like it did mine as I write this.
Since it’s easier to remember numbers than words, here are some statistics that ought to be mentioned:
8557 – number of miles travelled from Savannah to Hong Kong [one-way only, so do the math yourself for a round-trip]
150 – number of SCAD+Kids II=Gear up! t-shirts printed [not exactly sure how accurate this number is; I'm basing it purely on the fact that I myself have 3 t-shirts.]
34 – total number of watches collectively bought [I shan't mention names, you know who you are!]
16 – number of design firms/studios and manufacturers/factories visited
13 – number of people who experienced Hong Kong for the first time in their lives on this trip
10 – number of massages done [walking around Hong Kong all day long did take a toll on our poor feet.]
9 – number of times we went to get bubble tea
8 – number of times we went shopping, whether at the mall or the markets
7 – number of MTR train lines in Hong Kong [I'm proud to say we got rather good at using public transportation by the end of the trip, although the whole lack of a personal 'bubble' took some getting used to when packed like sardines in a train.]
6 – number of people who were brave enough to ride the Abyss Turbo Drop at the Ocean Park [all survived, I'll have you know... and that is precision!]
5 – number of times dimsum was served for us to ‘experience true Hong Kong culture’
4 – number of people who knew how to bargain at the markets, regardless of whether or not they could speak Chinese [because almost no one on this trip could]
3 – number of days to fully recover from jetlag
2 – number of cable car rides taken [breathtaking views. always.]
1 – number of ‘almost’ all-nighters pulled on this trip [We regretted this instantly; and never pulled another one again.]
Since returning to USA, I’ve been fortunate enough to be given the opportunity to intern at none other than Kids II itself, their headquarters being based in Alpharetta, Ga. Working with the company who rewarded us with the Hong Kong trip in the first place, I find myself not only grateful, but content. Things come around in a full circle, and since I was given such a wonderful opportunity to experience Hong Kong with some of the very best students and professors at SCAD, I can finally give back to society – whether it be by sharing our memories on this blog or by interning at the company. The trip has changed everyone for the better – we have become more worldly, and being able to apply first-hand knowledge of not only design, but manufacturing technology as well, is integral to a truly successful Industrial Design career. Take the students on this trip, for example:
Shan, winner of 1 of the 4 categories in the Kids II Toy Design class, and Nam are also currently interning at Kids II, in the Toy department. They will be here until September, before returning to SCAD for one last quarter.
3rd place winner of the Kids II Gear class, Matt always had a passion for automotive design, and despite the stiff competition of that particular field, he was offered an internship and potential job opportunity with GM in Detroit, Michigan. He will begin in September, after he finishes his senior studio Industrial Design course this summer.
2nd place winner of the Kids II Gear class, Francis was offered a job with design firm In2Innovation as soon as he returned from Hong Kong. He is now based in Austin, Texas, and according to him, “the job rocks!”
Alex, Andy and Mike are all finishing up their Industrial Design program this summer and will no doubt go far with whatever career path they choose.
Casper and Laura, both winners in the Kids II Toy Design class, just graduated from SCAD in May, and are pursuing their passion by applying their design knowledge to freelancing and other job opportunities.
HyunJoo and Ben still have a couple more quarters left at SCAD, but are now much more mature from the experience in Hong Kong, not only as designers, but as individuals with distinct styles and aesthetics.
I can proudly say that the group as a whole represents the talent, drive and creativity of the Industrial Design department at SCAD, and to be able to spread our enthusiasm about design with others who share the same passion on an international level is an experience to be cherished for a lifetime.
This has no doubt been one of the best and life-changing experiences for me, so to all of you – Alex, Andy, Ben, Casper, Francis, HyunJoo, Laura, Mike, Matt, Shan, Nam and also Professor Jesus Rojas and Professor Jose Gamboa – thank you for being a part of the SCAD+Kids II family with me… here’s to one great memory.
Until next time, jia you!
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