Bringing disruptive innovation to life is a global enterprise. More than ever, both markets and supply chains require doing business in China. At the same time, China today has also become a source of global innovations and trends that cannot be ignored.
During the 2017 spring semester, Academy students explored the critical role China plays for today's innovators in ACAD 350 International Experience. After spring finals, the students traveled for ten days in Hong Kong and Shenzhen for the course's culminating study tour. Hong Kong has long been the global gateway for business in China, and Shenzhen is the epicenter for the disruptive design movement known as China's new "Shanzhai" maker culture. The trip was led by Prof. Steve Barth, who was previously an international consultant, business journalist, and travel writer working extensively in Asia.
The Academy students were immersed in rich, lively cultural experiences. Excursions included visits to local startups, the electronics manufacturing hub in Huangquianbei, a drone company, makerspaces, and meeting local artists at the Dafen Painting Village. The Academy students also explored museums, design spaces, pop culture hot spots, as well as niche cafes and tea houses.
Through a generous gift from sponsor Ron Zeff, Academy students were also able to enjoy a welcome dinner at the Temple Street Night Market -- a vibrant and exciting introduction to street vendors and local cuisine; a ferry ride and guided historic walking tour through old Hong Kong; and a sumptuous buffet cruise around Hong Kong's beautiful Victoria Harbour complete with a live band and laser light show from the skyscrapers along either side of the harbor.