Spring 2024 Sections

IMBX-SHU 108 Experience Studio

*Please note the class start and end date:
1st 7-weeks : 1/22/2024 - 3/15/2024
2nd 7-weeks: 3/18/2024 - 5/10/2024


Section 001 (1st 7-weeks)
Topic: More than Movies (Participatory Design)
With Yanyue Yuan /Fridays 12:45-3:30 pm
Course fee: None

Why do people still go to movie theaters to watch films? What types of experiences are movie-goers craving for? How can movie theaters create better experiences for a multicultural audience in Shanghai?

In this course, students will be introduced to participatory experience design frameworks and toolkits. Each student is expected to work on an independent project to design/redesign a participatory experience for real audiences during a movie screening at a local cinema in Shanghai. (Note: some sessions of this course will take place on Friday night during movie screening slots at a local cinema.)


Section 002 (2nd 7-weeks)
Topic: Shaping the Futures of Aging
With Yanyue Yuan /Fridays 12:45-3:30 pm
Course fee: None

It is never too early or too late to start thinking about ‘aging’, and to contribute collectively to healthy aging, for the ones we love and care as well as for ourselves. During this course, we will be exploring existing challenges facing the elderly population by researching the case of ‘Yangjing Memory Cafe’ run by a social enterprise. Meanwhile, we will be discussing readings and media resources that touch upon aging and life planning. Students will listen to and collect life stories during field trips and learn about challenges and progresses of building an Alzheimer-friendly community. Throughout the course, students will be creating a life album prototype to illustrate their ideas of documenting meaningful life moments in an engaging way. (Note: some field trip sessions of this course will last longer and students may arrive on campus at around 5 p.m.)


Section 003 (1st 7-weeks)
Topic: Mindfulness Experiences
With Zoe Yuan /Fridays 2:15-5:00 pm
Course fee: 350 RMB

With the increasing stress that we experience daily, mindfulness practices have become popular for us to attend to our well-being, improve our bodily, emotional, and relational awareness. What constitutes a mindfulness experience in the secular and nonsecular settings? What can we be mindful of? This studio invites students to explore mindfulness in various aspects of life, including their connection to the breadth, body, emotions, thoughts, nature, surroundings, and other people, and then create mindfulness experiences for others. Each student will design a multimedia-based project/experience for their desired audience to experience mindfulness.


Section 004 (1st 7-weeks)
Topic: Dine & Design: Crafting Meaningful Culinary Experiences
With Netta Wang /Tuesdays 2:15-5 pm
Course fee: 200 RMB

Whether it’s a homey dinner party where everyone leaves feeling like family, or a Michelin-Star restaurant breaking culinary bounds, in this studio, we will examine the age-old art of the dinner. What is it about the food, the people, and the vibe that make some dinners so magical? How do you build partnerships in the city, source a venue, develop a concept, and execute a dinner pop-up? Students will produce their own one-night dinner pop-up in March for their studio project.

Note: This is not a cooking course; while we will be covering menu development, we will be focusing on the experiential design elements of putting on a dinner. We will also not be dining at any restaurants as part of the course (hence the low course fee), but we will be touring several restaurants & experience studios and learning from their founders. Given the inherent demands of organizing a dinner, this is not a light course; it is not recommended to take this experience studio if you will have a very heavy academic workload this semester."


Section 005 (2nd 7-weeks)
Topic: Embodied Earth: Nature Connection for Change
With William Shan /Thursdays 12:45-3:30 pm
Course fee: 200 RMB

The climate crisis is all around us. And yet, there is hope.

This studio takes an ecological and contemplative approach to helping students explore life-sustaining, ecocentric (nature-centered) ways of thinking and being. Drawing on the Engaged Buddhist principle of “going inward to go outward,” students will not only read scholarly and artistic pieces on environmental change-making by visionaries like Joanna Macy, Robin Wall Kimmerer, and Thich Nhat Hanh, but also engage in embodied nature practices around Shanghai that remind us that we are all a part of—not apart from—nature.

Weaving together this intellectual and embodied wisdom, each student will design an experience that helps one of their communities build a more life-sustaining relationship to the natural world.


Section 006 (2nd 7-weeks)
Topic: Sustainability initiatives in business innovation
With Candy Yang /Fridays 2:15-5pm
Course fee: None

Sustainability initiatives in business innovation involve the integration of environmentally and socially responsible practices into a company's operations, products, and strategies. In this Experience Studio, we will have the opportunity to visit and learn about the design and execution of various sustainability initiatives . We will also explore the impacts these initiatives have on both businesses and society.

Please prepare to immerse yourself in the real world through our in-city field trips. These excursions may include visiting factories to observe the recycling process, participating in workshops with sustainability professionals at company offices, and getting hands-on experience with recycling activities in stores.


Section 007 (1st 7-weeks)
Topic: Life Between Buildings: Public Space in Hong Kong
With Anna Hopper /Wednesdays 12:45-3:30 pm
Course fee: 3700 RMB

What is the purpose of public space? Who creates it? What does it look like? How is it used? In this experience studio, students will explore the concept of public space comparing and contrasting Hong Kong and Shanghai. We will take a weekend trip to Hong Kong to examine the experience and evolution of public space in a city with very limited opportunity for expansion but with a large and vibrant local community.


Section 008 (2nd 7-weeks)
Topic: Dance and Movement Experiences
With Prof. Margaret Minsky /Thursdays 5:15-8:00 pm
Course fee: 280 RMB

How can movement enrich our daily lives and enhance well-being at home, work, and outdoors? In this course, students will collaboratively dive into several specific movement techniques facilitated by community members, or researched by the class, as participants and as observers. Illustrative examples are square dancing, dance, circus, and online movement tutorials. Emphasizing the integration of innovative movement into daily life, students will create and lead a site-specific movement experience that offers expanded opportunities for healthy and insightful movement in familiar spaces.


Section 009 (1st 7-weeks)
Topic: e-Textiles
With Margaret Minsky /Thursdays 3:45-6:30 pm
Course fee: 800 RMB

Textiles are one of the oldest, most pervasive, and most continually evolving technologies used throughout human activity. The intimacy of textiles with the body and our senses provides an opportunity to create useful, evocative, and fun creations. We will create experiences with “Networked Fashion” using live-coding, lights, and sound, making wearables with partners in areas such as games, garment design, entertainment, and community-building.


Section 010 (1st 7-weeks)
Topic: Nature + Tourism
With Anna Hopper /Wednesdays 3:45-6:30 pm
Course fee: 1300 RMB

In this experience studio, students will investigate the phenomenon of mass tourism at national parks and other natural wonders, specifically examining the conflict between preservation and conservation on one hand with commercialization and accessibility on the other. How does the introduction of mass tourism infrastructure influence the experience of visiting such a site? Students will take a weekend trip to the mountains of Sanqingshan National Park and the flower fields of nearby Jiangling Village to examine this question firsthand.


Section 012 (1st 7-weeks)

Topic: Bicycle Kingdom: The Business and Culture of Bicycles in Shanghai
With David Wang / Fridays 12:45-3:30pm
Course fee: 500 RMB

China was once celebrated as the "bicycle kingdom of the world" as it created massive cycling infrastructure, manufactured the vast majority of the world's bikes, and the most cyclist-commuters in history. Yet, today the bicycle is no longer the mobility aspiration for consumers, workers, nor families. What's changed? In this course, we use market research, product design, and hands-on fabrication skills to explore today's cycling culture in Shanghai and envision its future. Students will be asked to go into the field to identify mobility behaviors and needs of today's consumer, and then innovate cycling solutions to support these needs. Classes will be held at a grassroots, local bike shop, Brook & Breeze.


Section 013 (1st 7-weeks)
Topic: Create Your Digital Brand Through Storytelling
With Phoebe Ba /Thursdays 2:15-5:00 pm
Course fee: 1350 RMB

Amidst the surge of content creators chasing trends and followers, how does one not lose one's identity in the social media world? This studio invites students to go behind the scenes with the Traveling Qipao, a travel influencer, to Bishan and understand how to collaborate with partners that align with your own brand. Students will gain insights into defining your personal brand, the power of storytelling in shaping a personal brand, and strategizing in content creation. As part of the studio project, students will develop their own digital brand.