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Cross-Cultural Design Project of Stanford University Starts in PKU

Peking University, Beijing, Mar. 16, 2009: Prof. Lin Jianhua, Vice President of Peking University (PKU), and Prof. Chen Shiyi, Dean of College of Engineering met with Prof. Pamela J. Hinds and Prof. Banny Banerjee from Stanford University at the principal office in the noon of March 25 to discuss the further development of the Cross-Cultural Design Workshop between the two universities.

 

The Cross-Cultural Design Workshop is a cooperating project set up by the School of Engineering of both PKU and Stanford University. Its aim is to settle practical problems of some companies through the in-depth communication and cooperation between the students from the two sides, and thus broaden their views and build up a long-term friendship.

 

During the meeting, the two professors form Stanford University gave high appreciation to the PKU students’ enthusiasm and senses of innovation. Prof. Banny Banerjee expressed that the students of the two universities all would be the backbones in the future, so to set up good relationship and cooperation platform between the two sides is beneficial not only for themselves but also for the development of the industry in both countries.

 

Prof. Chen Shiyi hoped that this activity could be continued and become a long-term cooperating project. He also wished that such kind of exchange model could be extended to the whole PKU and allow more students to take part in. Prof. Lin Jianha expressed that the whole university would do its best to support this cross-culture exchange project.

 

In the mean time, twelve undergraduates from the School of Engineering of Stanford University and twelve undergraduates from the School of Engineering of PKU attended the workshop of the Stanford Design Program at Overseas Exchange Center, which was the second part of the Cross-Cultural Design Workshop since the exchanging activity from March 5 to 9 in Stanford University. At the workshop, the students listened to lively explanations from Stanford professors on topics of cross-culture design, project design, and long-distance cooperation, and had heated discussions in team.

 

According to Prof.Banny Banerjee, one of the founders of this project, the starting of this project is mainly to adapt to the current global trend. In the processes of today’s growing number of cross-culture and cross-boundary cooperation, the composition of a company has become more pluralistic and the customers of the products have also become more various. From this perspective, it is meaningful to let these future leaders in the design area experience another kind of culture and build up friendship with each other. 

 

Prof. Han Pingchou also stressed that a lot of companies today could not enter into the international market successfully because of their lack of awareness of the importance of cultural differences. He took Google Inc. as an example. He pointed out that Google introduced the concise western model of informationsearch directly into China which did not fit Chinese people's habits online, and thus led to its less competitiveness than Baidu in China market. On the other hand, it is a beneficial activity for the PKU students to communicate with students from a world-class university.

 

Several students attended this activity thought highly of it. Karolin from Stanford University told the reporter that this workshop was the best course she had ever had. Daniel said he had known more about the Chinese culture from the workshop which broadened his horizons to solving and looking at problems. One of the PKU students said that he had a deep impression on the free working atmosphere in Stanford University. He thought he had learned a lot from this workshop, and made many friends with students from Stanford during these two weeks which had been a treasure in his life.

 

March 25 was the last day of the three-day activity of the Cross-Cultural Design Workshop at PKU. In the first two days, students from the two sides attended the series of courses of the workshop and visited Beijing together.

 

Edited By: Seren

Translated By: Su Juan

Source: PKU News (Chinese)