Cultural and creative industries play an increasingly important role in the global economic and social life of today. As a part of the plan for Macao’s economic diversification, the Macao SAR Government is making great efforts to promote the development of cultural and creative industries. Design is closely related to the cultural and creative industries, and therefore UM has set up a centre for design in ICI, which will be committed to training a new generation of design talents.
Over the past decade, engineering, health sciences, business administration, education and other fields began to actively integrate with the field of design. Design education has also evolved into a comprehensive disciplinary model that tends to focus on cooperation, interaction, knowledge sharing, and solutions to all types of problems. The model consists of a number of distinct but complementary sub-disciplines in order to enable interdisciplinary collaboration on large projects. For example, the design of 3D models and navigation systems to deliver more convenient and more pleasant travel experience to visitors to Macau, the development of the communication interface that improves the communication between doctors and patients, and the introduction of innovative educational models in primary and secondary schools to enhance teaching and learning. The list of such examples can go on, all illustrating that design, as a comprehensive discipline, is playing an increasingly significant role in pushing economic diversification forward while bringing more benefits to society.
UM possesses adequate resources to create such an interdisciplinary design centre. This is not only because of UM’s strengths in new technologies, but also owing to its multidisciplinary background, covering humanities, business administration, education, health sciences, law, social sciences and other disciplines, particularly in the fields of media, psychology, civil engineering, computer engineering and environmental engineering.
The Centre for Design will be committed to training personnel in design and innovation, increasing the creativity of design talents, establishing an international platform for design exchange and interdisciplinary research, in order to move Macao’s cultural and creative industries forward, expedite the development of Macao as a world tourism and leisure centre, giving impetus to Macao in its diversification of economy and creating its sustainable competitive edge.
The Centre for Design will focus on feature design, while striving to enhance the capacity of applied research to deliver top-notch research outcome in leading academic journals. In order to achieve the desired academic standards, the key research fields will be placed at interaction and service design, strategy design and environmental design. In addition, interdisciplinary research collaborations will be carried out with the Faculty of Arts and Humanities, the Faculty of Business Administration, the Faculty of Law, the Faculty of Social Sciences, the Faculty of Science and Technology, and other local and international institutions.
Suggested Postgraduate Programmes
Master Programme in Design
Design spreads across a wide range of fields, and the Centre for Design is proposed with the consideration of the actual needs of Macao and the international recognition attainable in the relevant fields. With reference to the relevant programmes offered by higher-education institutions of the neighbouring regions, the initial plan is to set up the following sub-disciplines. The final curriculum design will be studied and planned by the teaching staff of the specialised area.
Interaction and Service Design: This discipline focuses on the ways in which people interact with information and communication technology (ICT) in a service-oriented economic environment. Designers need to create practical and profitable service interface and intangible products according to the needs of the consumers, service providers as well as those of the society. Therefore, they must possess sound background knowledge of technology, commerce and organisation and also master the tools, technology and methods required in the practice of the discipline. The overall target of this discipline is to cultivate graduates with solid technological knowledge-base and a forward-looking perspective, enabling them to be competent in decision-making as well as operational work in service design.
Strategic Design: This discipline can develop students’ abilities in design-driven business development, and is suitable for those candidates who are determine to start their own business or to assist organisations to devise and implement more human-centred strategies. It utilised analytical and innovative methods of the field of design to translate new technologies into immediately usable solutions, in order to assist enterprises in their positioning and building of new brands. The programme is based on lectures and project undertakings, targeting candidates with background in design, commerce and technology who are interested in exploring the potential of design in commercial applications, e.g., the establishment of new business models, the assistance to enterprises in implementing specific plans for organisational reform in brand management, marketing, procurement, production and so on. Therefore, this specialisation is particularly suitable for those who wish to enhance their ability to integrate design with commerce, including professionals in early or mid- career and fresh graduates of design, commerce and engineering.
Media Innovation: This is a highly innovative research programme, which focuses on developing students’ analytical competence, teaching them how to identify key digital processes by looking through the surface of digital media, and how to translate analytical results into media products. This programme will realise students’ tremendous research potential in engineering, design, education and social sciences, cultivating a new generation of scientists and technology experts in the interdisciplinary field of interactive media.