Cumulus Student Ambassadors Danni Deng and Zhou Siqi reporting from the Cumulus conferences Wuxi 2018 and Rovaniemi 2019

Two student ambassadors from the School of Design, Jiangnan University, China: Danni Deng and Zhou Siqi (Jessy) took part in two consecutive conferences of Cumulus in October 2018 in Wuxi, China and in May 2019 in Rovaniemi, Finland within the Cumulus Student Ambassador program.

Learn more about Danni and Jessy.

Welcome to read their reports.
Check also the Cumulus Student Ambassadors FB for great videos and footage https://www.facebook.com/Cumulus-Ambassadors-527204344105153/

Reports by Danni Deng
529457751@qq.com/ dannideng101@outlook.com


Cumulus in Wuxi (Diffused Transition & Design Opportunities by the Jiangnan University, China)

For me, it is a matter of pride for my school to be able to hold an international conference, and I am even more proud to be involved as a volunteer. In the conference we welcomed scholars and researchers from all over the world. They speak for design in a new cultural environment, let people to understand the global dynamics of design, see different design practices, and hear different voices.

Holding a large international conference is a big challenge for us. Fortunately, I can say we did a good job. As joined the big party, I understand how much work that working group have done for this program. My main work in cumulus is helping teachers to collect papers, and finish conference registrant. One of the benefits of these early work is that I can understand the main content of the conference, and also join it as a participator.

I have been at Jiangnan University for a long time, but Cumulus has brought me a brand new experience. It has high-quality keynote speeches, wonderful paper presentations, different design workshops and local cultural explorations. I participated as much as possible. At the same time I discussed with people from all over the world who are passionate about design. Compared with previous learning experiences, the content of Cumulus is more profound, and the content of the discussion has a broader perspective. The theme of the conference is “Diffused Transition and Design Opportunities”. China is experiencing a rapidly development. Here, we have both opportunities and challenges. Nowadays, many problems require us to think deeper. what else We can do outside of the existing educational framework.? What is the innovation we really need in the future? How do we become a socially responsible designer? In cumulus, the best part is that you are not only a listener, but also a reflector.

I am grateful to have this experience in my student life. Thanks to Cumulus for calling the world’s most outstanding designers together, bring new thinking to them and promoting the development of Chinese design.

Cumulus in Rovaniemi (Around the Campfire: Resilience and Intelligence by the University of Lapland, Finland)

This summer, I am very honored to be a student ambassador to visit a country I yearn for – Finland to attend the three-day Cumulus international conference. First of all, I would like to thank the Cumulus conference for the financial support provided to student volunteers, so that I can have such a valuable opportunity to experience the different culture and to communicate with experts and scholars. Our entire itinerary is from Pudong International Airport to Finland’s capital Helsinki, then from Helsinki to Lahti University of Applied Sciences to participate in the pre-conference of cumulus, then to our final destination, Rovaniemi, for a three-day International conference.

At Lahti, we visited the campus, under the leadership of a teacher at Lahti University of Applied Sciences. The campus is full of open spaces for students to discuss. The campus is equipped with a wide variety of laboratories and workshops. In this environment, students have a lot of hands-on opportunities to think about what innovation is from the very beginning of design. Seeing so many different facilities, I am thinking about a problem: more choices also mean higher learning costs, so what are the experiences of Finnish educators in the breadth and depth of balanced learning? Or how?

After leaving Lahti, we went to Rovaniemi. This is a city in the Arctic Circle, with a cultural atmosphere which is completely different from my original living environment. Here we were welcomed by the staff of the Cumulus conference team at Lapland university. Thank you Essi, and student ambassador Matilda and Lauri from Lapland! The three-day conference was very compact. In particular, keynote speeches left a deep impression on me. The content and style of the speech were full of highlights and I gained a lot. In addition to the activities in the school, under the arrangement of Lapland University, I went to the Santa Claus Village and the Polar Museum, which is also a wonderful memory of my trip.

I personally came to the Nordic to correct some of my prejudice against it. One of the most important points is that the Nordic food is much better than I expected! The Finns are more enthusiastic than I expected! Although I didn’t have the chance to spend long time here, I feel that I already start to enjoy the lifestyle. Because it’s summer time so we can see sunlight for whole day which is incredible. When I wake up every morning, I can see the birds docked at the window. Occasionally, there will be a cute gray rabbit appearing on the lawn at the door, like a friendly messenger from the forest nearby, to invite you to explore more.
On the plane from Finland to Shanghai, I have already begun to miss the days in Finland, remember the quiet here, miss sustainable lifestyle, miss Sauna, and miss the precious memories I had. Thanks to Cumulus for giving me this precious opportunity. Thanks for everything I have encountered in Finland.

Reports by ZHOU SIQI
1009723096@qq.com

Cumulus in Wuxi (Diffused Transition & Design Opportunities by the Jiangnan University, China)

The Cumulus 2018 conference was held in Wuxi, China. The theme of this Cumulus conference was “Diffused Transition and Design Opportunities”, focusing on the new challenges, new spaces and new opportunities emerging from the economic and social transformation, breaking through the inherent cognition and facing the transformation. All kinds of problems, explore the design state and design trend in the transition era, and publish the design of common challenges in the context of globalization 3.0.

Founded in 1990, the Cumulus brings together the world’s best-known design schools. The Cumulus is the only international organization of art, design and media institutions in the world that is officially recognized by UNESCO. The conference was held at Jiangnan University from October 31st to November 3rd. More than 30 internationally renowned speakers and nearly 400 delegates from more than ten countries and regions participated this conference. The conference passed keynote speeches, design conversations, working groups, workshops and design special exhibitions, etc., jointly discuss the status quo and direction of design disciplines in the context of social development, publish local responses to common challenges in a global context, and share emerging design practices, design studies and design education, as well as reflection on the new attributes, new roles and new culture of design.

As a volunteer of the reception team, I participated in the whole process from preparation for the conference to the end of the meeting for 4 days, more than 30 venues, 40 lectures, 50 hours of volunteer activities, and completed the transformation from participation experience to growth and harvest. Our reception team’s transition from mutual integration to excellent completion has won the recognition of the guests and participators.

The volunteer work of the conference demonstrated the internationalization and vitality of the students of the design school. The processing of various complex problems and the assignment of tasks in the process also helped us improve our design ability, cultivate a sense of responsibility and use the experience in practice. This is also an opportunity, which not only helps to increase knowledge, but also enhances comprehensive ability. It is a precious life experience for me. Also it is the foundation of design creation and the source of social responsibility.

This Cumulus conference is the stage for international art design and media college thinkers, providing a new vision and inspiration for the development of global art design disciplines and talent cultivation. In 2018, it was also the 60th anniversary of Jiangnan University. Taking this conference as an opportunity, it further promoted the international development of the design discipline of Jiangnan University.

Cumulus in Rovaniemi (Around the Campfire: Resilience and Intelligence by the University of Lapland, Finland)

It was a magical journey for me to attend the 2019 Cumulus conference in Finland. It was a great honor have been chosen as a Cumulus Ambassador and also it was a challenge for me, across the 5 hour time difference and enjoy the summer of Rovaniemi without the passion of night.

The Cumulus Rovaniemi Conference took place from MAY 29th until MAY 31st 2019. This is my first time to Europe, after ten hours of flight, from Shanghai to Helsinki, to Lahti, then to Rovaniemi. The design of Finland is ubiquitous. The Finnair luggage name tag is Mummin and the provided paper towel pattern is Marimekko, and all kinds of simple and interesting signs on the road. Reflected from all the details, Finland likes a perfectly designed place.

Rovaniemi is a very quiet city, but Cumulus enthusiastically voiced in these three days.

On the first day, the weather was cold but the venue was very warm and lively. The opening ceremony started at 9:00 in the morning and it was a great honor for us to be invited to the stage and say hello to all Cumulus friends. And our nameplate is a laser-cut wood round cake, very cute.
The first Keynote speech by Liisa Holmberg, wearing a distinctive national costume, caught my eye at once. She shared her traditions about the Sami and her films about Sami. I began to think about Finland’s efforts and work on cultural heritage.

In the paper sassion link, the content of cultural innovation is mentioned. I am particularly interested in sharing from the London School of Art, their team researches fish skin materials in fashion design. China has a nation called Hezhe, once had this custom, but there are not many people studying with limited research data. Cumulus is a communication platform and window, you can find like-minded people here.The opening of the museum in the afternoon set off the climax of today and the wonderful acrobatic performance! At noon we also met two other student ambassadors for lunch and asked them to take us to visit Lapland University.

The keynote speaker of the next day, Matt Jones, set our sights to the future, near future, the problems raised by the robots cause us to think a lot. His vivid speech used the world famous painting metaphor, simple and humorous. If the robot can also design, what is the designer’s responsibility? Maybe it will turn into a decision maker, I am looking forward to such a future and my possible role.

Today’s weather is particularly good. After an adventure in the morning, we joined the organizer’s polar circle tour in the afternoon, Santa Claus Village. It’s very different from what I imagined. Maybe it’s because there is no snow or Christmas season. I saw Santa and he asked me three questions. Where are you from? What’s your name? And what are you doing? It seems to be a profession job, but the service can be better designed. In the afternoon, the election of the next Cumulus executive committee was held, and a cocktail party was held in the evening. We and the new friends we met here were very happy.

On the third day, the conference is about to close. The guest of the morning keynote speech was Hilary Colins. She shared design thinking. The theme of Cumulus Rovaniemi 2019 is Around the campfire: : Resilience and Intelligence. It focused on the economy and green sustainability, which I can see many activities I participated in Cultural collision, Technology future collision and Multidisciplinary cross-integration.

Today is another rainy day, we went to the Polar Museum. The museum’s rooms are all underground, just like the local people will avoid the cold under the cold in the cold, and may also be affected by the local environment. The Polar Museum adheres to the idea of focusing on the living environment of the Arctic, focusing on the species of the Arctic, as well as introducing local heritage and local folk customs.

This journey I always keeping with lots of questions, curiosity and great enthusiasm every day. And the Finns were not indifferent as I heard. Finland is a very lovely place, and Cumulus is a warm family, from Wuxi six months ago to Finland now, like a long time no see for old friends. Moved still, wonderful to continue. We met intimate volunteers and many many nice people. When passengers get off the bus, the driver would say thank you. The season will not fall and you will always see someone walking on the street. This is a place where no umbrella is needed. This is a place where you can meet the rainbow after the train delay. This is cumulus 2019 Rovaniemi, which is an unforgettable experience of Jessy. Cumulus gave me a chance to see the world. It was also an opportunity for me to share my experience with people like me. I really hope that more people will participate in the warm family of Cumulus. Looking forward to see you in the next Cumulus Moscow and Rome.

ABOUT THE PROGRAM:

The Cumulus Student Ambassador Program is a special student award and merit-based initiative of the Cumulus International Association of Art, Design and Media that recognizes exceptional student leaders from the universities and institutions hosting the Cumulus Association Annual Conferences. Each year, Cumulus invites a total of four Student Ambassadors (two per annual conference) to contribute their singular voices to the Association’s Conferences and the Cumulus community overall.

Through the Cumulus Student Ambassador Program, the Cumulus Association is committed to bringing the perspectives and voices of exceptionally talented and articulate students to the forefront, with the goal of highlighting the changes that the next generation of artists and designers are shaping in an increasingly complex and interconnected global marketplace for art and design.

#cumulusstudentambassadors

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