PolyU Jockey Club “Operation SoInno” (2021)

The SoInno Design Education Workshop will lead the students in learning through design playing, design thinking and design making. For example, System Map to incorporate workflow elements; “Idea Battle Cards” to assess the proposal; cut shapes and assembling to visualise 3D-images with 2-dimensional shapes; and associate irrelevant items to create randomized brainstorming. Participating schools include Shun Tak Fraternity Association Yung Yau College, Heep Yunn School and PLK Vicwood KT Chong Sixth Form College. To facilitate the learning and design thinking process of the student participants, a series of tools were designed for the workshops.


Presented by The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Design Logbook and Stamp

Experience has shown that students sometimes find it difficult to connect all of the different separate sessions or tasks such that they have a sense of continuity, even though the tasks are set out to be accumulative. Each student has an individual log sheet on which to record the process. Additionally, the log sheet helps the student to condense the discussion into concrete and precise focal points at each stage. The log sheet also provides space for the students to go back and forth between different stages of the design process. The facilitators also have a log sheet for each small group to record on.

Statement Stand

In the hectic design process, it is common even for professional designers to detour from what they originally planned to tackle. Experienced designers more often than not harness this type of distraction as a source of unexpected inspiration. However, it is also important to stay focused on the task. The statement stand acts as a reminder for the design team to bear in mind the main goal of the project and the needs of the users.


Students become familiar with various methodologies of observation. They acquire the ability to gain insights from real-life situations and scenes. Students also learn how to categorise those insights in a meaningful way. AEIOU is a framework that helps the student to interpret observations and to attend to, document and code data under a guiding taxonomy of Activities, Environments, Interactions, Objects and Users.


There is a set of tools for the division of labour and helping the students record their observations more concretely. Each student is assigned a role with a recording tool accompanying it. Each student has a badge that states their role in the team.

“Activity” Tool
There are three sets of ‘Draw the gestures’ record sheets for the students to record people’s gestures while the people are engaging in different activities. The three sets are ‘Sit’, ‘Lie’ and ‘Stand’. Students make use of the skeleton templates as guides for drawing.

“Environment” Tool
Students are encouraged to use their own body as measuring units (e.g., their feet and arms) and to record measurements on the measuring tool graph paper. The students use measuring tapes and the cells of the graph paper to draw to scale.

“Interaction” Tool
The comic drawing tool helps the students to draw interactions that are unfolding in time. Students hang the tool around the neck and then draw on the roll of paper to record the ‘frames’ of the continuous moments of different interactions. The students cut off the finished comic strip using the edge at the end of the tool.

“Object” Tool
The object collector tool is designed to help the students to identify different artefacts that are being used in the scene. Students hang the tool around the neck and draw the relevant objects on the orange dot stickers. The collected items are discussed and chosen for a later stage of the design process.

“User” Tool
Students who are given the user tool are responsible for interviewing people about their thoughts on an issue of concern and recording those thoughts. Students draw the face of the person who they have interviewed on the transparent part of a ‘People’ profile card. It is important that they get one or two quotations from the interviewees.