By Carson Deveau
For Xiaoyi (Patrice) Dong, the 2018 IDEA Sandbox boot camp really made her open her eyes when it comes to designing a product.
Dong is a third year design student at NSCAD University, and said whenever she would be designing products for projects in school, she would be solely focused on improving her designs as opposed to focusing on improving the designs to help make the product fit the customer’s needs.
“The boot camp helped me understand a lot more about the working process of actually creating a product. It also made me realize that it doesn’t matter how good my design is, it’s not useful if it doesn’t help the customer do what they need to do,” she said.
During the six-week long boot camp, Dong sharpened her designing skills as well as learned more about the business side of creating a new product if you are trying to bring it to market. Dong also learned how to work with people from other educational disciplines, as she had to work with engineers and business students on the boot camp’s two final projects and said that it was one of her favourite parts about the IDEA Sandbox.
“I really enjoyed all of the collaborative work we did. It’s very interesting to see what business students and engineers know, and see how they look at a problem and try to solve it.”
Dong said the boot camp provide a unique experience for her that she could never receive in school and was glad she decided to apply for it.
“You will be so surprised with what you actually do while you’re at the boot camp, and you’ll be proud of what you’re capable of by the time the six weeks ends. You will find new strengths, discover a new way of looking at a problem, and meet a lot of great people. It is a choice that I will never regret.”