Problem solving by design

Design courses are everywhere now, from design institutes to business schools. Local design hub PMQ in Central is now stepping forward to plant the seeds of a problem-solving methodology at an early stage for kids. But just lecturing them directly about the model seems too premature. “So why don’t we start with emotions?” said Wyan Yeung, tutor of the current PMQ’s Kids Can Summer Camp. The program employs the model proposed by Stanford University’s Hasso Plattner Institute of Design, which works with nonprofit, corporate and public entities to develop projects that address real-world problems. Its focus is to challenge students to tackle some of the world’s most urgent problems.

“In Asian or Chinese society, emotions always have to be positive. Anything outside the positive ones is negative,” said Yeung, who is an architect and partner of A&B Architects in Hong Kong.

“Like if you’re scared, you might have been told ‘being a boy shouldn’t be scared or worried.’ I was thinking: shall we give a chance for kids to get in touch with (all) emotions in a positive way?”

With his team – a mix of professionals from art, advertising and music industries – Yeung is teaching primary three to four students to express emotions by colors, forms and sounds, and to transfer them into different creations during the three-day summer program, which is being held once a week until the end of August.

Extension Reading: “Problem solving by design”, The Standard (18 August 2019)