Ha jk. There is no recess week for theme 5 ūüôĀ
While the rest of the DATE people are leaving Hangzhou to explore the other parts of China during their recess week, Theme 5 is stuck here in ZJU as we have to attend Campus Asia Design Workshop.

Campus Asia Design Workshop is a “prestigious” (as claimed by our prof-in-charge) workshop organised by Zhejiang University from China, Yonsei University from Korea and Chiba University from Japan, in collaboration with Alibaba. The universities participating in this year Campus Asia are Zhejiang University, Yonsei University, Chiba University, SUTD, Beijing Institute of Fashion Technology, and Politecnico di Milano from Italy.

According to the people in charge of DATE, this workshop is highly sought after by SUTD students and many DATE 2018 students fought hard to get a place in this workshop. Luckily (or unluckily), our prof-in-charge is also in charge of this workshop and she kindly gave us the chance to participate in this. Our theme basically took all the available slots and the other DATE students did not get a chance to sign up for it (the workshop was not even openly announced to them).

So seeing as to how “lucky” we are, we all went into the workshop with open minds and hearts, ready to give our best in this.
This is what happened in the 5 days of the workshop:

Campus Asia Design Workshop Day 1:
The workshop began with an opening ceremony in the morning, where our prof came up to introduce the workshop to all the participating students. A senior designer from Alibaba also came up to present more about Alibaba Design. We we also given a short introduction to the other participating universities by their student representatives. ¬†So SUTD being one of the participating universities, we also had to make a powerpoint and present it to the rest of the students, profs and even Alibaba. However, this news came to us pretty late and we somehow managed to put together some slides and submit it the night before the workshop. We were so carried away by the mad rush of things that we forgotten that one of us have to do the actual presenting. And of course, when we got reminded of it on the actual day, my theme kindly volunteered me to do the presenting :’)
(@Charles, does this count as me being a student representative for SUTD?)
Anyway, after “listening” to many presentations, we all boarded the bus and headed to Alibaba Campus for a tour.



Campus Asia Design Workshop Day 2:
Day 2 started off with the different Alibaba Senior Design Experts giving us an introduction to their respective departments that we will be working for. There are 4 themes to this workshop which are Intelligent Logistic, Intelligent Voice, Intelligent Retail and Intelligent Restaurant and they work with Cai Niao, Intelligent Product Design, He Ma and Kou Bei respectively. The 7 of us from Sutd were all split up into different themes and in each theme we get to work with the students from the different countries and universities.
After the mass introduction, each theme went to separate rooms to meet with the designers from their respective Alibaba department and we were taught on their design process and their expectations for us in this workshop.
After lunch, we started to delve deeper into the problem given to us and here we began our design process and ideating.

Campus Asia Design Workshop Day 3:

Campus Asian Design Workshop Day 4:
The grind doesn’t stop

Campus Asia Design Workshop Day 5:
FINALLY ITS PRESENTATION DAY (aka the end of the workshop)
The presentation was kinda intimidating as we had to present our solutions that Alibaba gave us to the directors of the department. There was a QnA section after the presentation where the directors also took the opportunity to shoot down our 2.5 day old ideas. After the presentation the directors then voted on the best two ideas and those two team were the overall winners of the workshop.
In the end, the two teams that won were both from the Intelligent Restaurant theme. Congrats to the winners !
The “loser” teams were also presented with a certificate of participation hahaha. Congrats to us too yay….
All of us sutd students miss each other so much that we immediately congregate right after the certificate presentation.
Now that the whole workshop is over, we were treated to a farewell dinner at the restaurant of a nearby hotel. However, we sutd students were “late”, (really we werent late, they told us it started at 6 and we even turned up early at around 5:40 but everyone was there already). So basically there wasn’t any seats left except with the people everyone was trying to avoid… the Alibaba directors…. With that all of us had to sit with the Alibaba directors and had dinner with them. Luckily they were very nice and they asked us lots of questions about Singapore.




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