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DesignINg Shanghai

Designing shanghai vimeo 2013.jpg

Watch the video:

Designing Shanghai is all about human-centered design and the city we live in. Each year we pick a number of challenges the city faces and ask you to come up with design solutions that will make Shanghai an even better place to live. Previous themes included social inclusion and disaster preparedness. This year we will be designing for limitations in space, resources and transportation.

The day will start with talks by well-known designers from major design firms (Frog, IDEO, and more). Talks will cover design principles and methodology.

In the afternoon, participants team up, choose a challenge and go out on observations and interviews. Teams will then process their research into practical solutions and build quick prototypes.

The event will end with presentations and beer :-)

Designing shanghai 2013 picture.jpg

The morning talks are free and open to everyone.

Registration for the afternoon workshop is limited.

Info for Organizers

Designing shanghai 2012 intro.jpg

Designing Shanghai is a hands-on design workshop in which participants research problems across the city, and begin thinking about possible design solutions. We have done Designing Shanghai for 3 years (as of May 2014).


  • 200+ people participate in morning talks
  • ~80 people participate in the afternoon workshop


  • We started working with NGO partners starting in 2012. We end up working with groups that can support the subject matter for the theme of the year.
  • Partners provide help for the community or other NGOs. Their knowledge could also serve as a great inspiration to teams on the day. Additionally, we're scouting for potential locations that teams could visit for field research, and wondered if you might have contacts or resources.


General Schedule

This is the general schedule

Morning - Lectures

  • 09:00 - Registration and breakfast
  • 09:30 - Welcome, Introduction, and Briefing
  • 10:00 - Speakers introduce the Human-Centered Design process
  • 11:30 - Working Lunch / Join a Team

Afternoon - Workshop

  • 12:30 - On-Location Research
  • 15:00 - Synthesize, Ideation, Prototyping
  • 17:30 - Presentations
  • 19:00 - Afterparty / Drinks / Networking

Human Centered Design

  • Observe
  • Understand
  • Design


Research plan 计划与背景调查 Conduct an initial brainstorming session around your design challenge. Share any existing knowledge with the rest of the team, and perform some light background research. Establish where you will go for research, the type of people you are looking to observe, and what your goals are for the day.

In the field Head out to the field to experience and investigate the situation. Make sure to document everything - assign at least one team member to take photos & videos, one to write notes, one to participate in the experience and one to interview users.


Synthesis On return to the venue, put together your documentation, to search for patterns and insights. Sharing with your team, try to recall user stories and formulate an understanding of the situation. What are their goals and desires? Are there any latent needs they may be unable to articulate?


Ideation Based on the results of your research, brainstorm ideas for solving the design challenge. Be visual - make sketches, diagrams and rough prototypes. Don’t worry about perfection at this stage. What’s most important is to spark ideas and new perspectives.

Sharing Combine the best of your ideas into a concept for sharing at the end of the day. When presenting to the rest of the group, be sure to speak about your insights and process, as well as the solution.


Every Designing Shanghai is...

Organizing Designing Shanghai

Designing Shanghai Video

Designing Shanghai 2013:

Introduction PDF



  • Designing Shanghai 2014 - Designing for Limitations
  • Designing Shanghai 2013 - Designing for Disaster
  • Designing Shanghai 2012 - Designing for Social Inclusion
  • Designing Shanghai 2011

See also