I am Bas van Hoeve, a 24 year old designer from the Netherlands. During my time in design school, I decided to apply for an internship in Shanghai, China, to be able to experience the whole product innovation track from A to Z by myself. To start with a sketch and end up a few months later inside a Chinese factory to see your product being assembled and getting ready for shipment to the US.
During my master graduation project, I work on an online design platform Design2Gather.com to share exactly this learning experience to talented design students in the Design2Gather community online, a kind of virtual internship. With the location in China, we go talk to the product engineers, go to the local factories and experience all the difficulties during a development process. Our goal is to share these learning experience with the world to and make the bright ideas of design students reality.
The idea of this online platform was to combine the best of two worlds together and teach the engineers of the future to create products that can transform the society for the better.
Design students have often great and innovative ideas but very often, these products won't make it to the market. Design2Gather created an online platform for designers all around the world to work together to create meaningful design solutions for commercial products that actually get to the market. With an 'Online Design Studio' including an inspiration wall, personal notebook, idea space and coffee room, designers can inspire, ideate, interact and link creative thoughts together. The platform is based on Designments, design challenges by clients worldwide who have the ability to sell the product all around the world. Design2Gather is located in Shanghai, close to the production facilities and translates the product idea into a production ready design, in collaboration with the initial designer. Designers receive multiple awards including a cash reward, certificate, recognition, their name on the product but most importantly; valuable learning experiences about the product development of their product from the factory of the world, China.
I believe that in this way we can give designers essential practical learning experiences to get innovative ideas actually out there in the world. Because a design is only finished when someone is using it.