Skip Main Navigation
Page Content
This event has ended

Save This Event

Event Saved

UC Connect: How product designers will shape the world

UC Events

Wednesday, October 11, 2017 from 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM (NZDT)

UC Connect: How product designers will shape the world

Ticket Information

Type End Quantity
UC Connect: 11 October Ended Free  

Share UC Connect: How product designers will shape the world

Event Details

Presented by: Professor Conan Fee

Environmental sustainability is a global challenge for many sectors, including product design. An upcoming, free UC Connect public lecture will explore how future product designers working on electric autonomous cars; devices that incorporate artificial intelligence; the gamification of education, training and rehabilitation; and personal care and health products have the potential to both increase our wealth and help to shape our world.

If New Zealand is to become a wealthier country, able to lift wages and improve healthcare, social welfare and education, we must increase our export earnings, says the head of the University of Canterbury’s new School of Product Design, Professor Conan Fee. However, we cannot do this simply by doubling the intensity of our farming or our tourist numbers, without placing an unsustainable burden on our environment.

“How product designers will shape the world might be considered to be a rather grandiose title but placing this into perspective requires two things: an understanding of what product designers do and some idea of what we mean by ‘shaping the world’,” says Professor Fee.

“It is important to understand that product designers do not simply add the window dressing, the artistic surface coating to make a functional product look attractive but rather engage in the entire process of problem solving,” he says.

“For example, eliminating the difficulties of manoeuvring a wheelchair while holding a cup of coffee or a mobile phone requires the designer to develop a deep understanding of the problem and current solutions, before creating new ideas and figuring out how the best of these might be realised in a way that truly adds value to the end-user. Who could argue a successful product design would not help to shape the world for some of the millions of people worldwide who are wheelchair-bound?”

Conan Fee is a Professor of Chemical Engineering and former Dean of Engineering at the University of Canterbury. He now heads the new School of Product Design, which offers majors in Industrial Product Design, Applied Immersive Game Design, and Chemical, Natural & Healthcare Product Formulation.

With a research background in the purification of therapeutic proteins, Professor Fee has developed a large research group focusing on the use of 3D printing to improve the efficiency of a wide variety of industrial processes. He recently returned from a three-month Erskine Fellowship based at Cambridge University, exploring a range of design schools throughout the United Kingdom and Europe to bring best practice back to the new UC School of Product Design.

Lecture will be held in E8.


To secure your place at this free public lecture, please register by clicking the red 'Register Now' button above.

The UC Connect public lecture series offers the community the opportunity to attend topical, interesting, educational lectures on a range of topics given by experts in their fields. To receive notifications on upcoming UC Connect speakers, join our mailing list.

More information

UC Events Team


Have questions about UC Connect: How product designers will shape the world? Contact UC Events

When & Where

University of Canterbury
Engineering Core
Christchurch, None 8041
New Zealand

Wednesday, October 11, 2017 from 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM (NZDT)

  Add to my calendar


UC Events

Founded over 140 years ago in Christchurch, the University of Canterbury | Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha (UC) is ranked in the top 1% of the world’s universities and offers more than 100 programmes of study across five colleges – Arts; Business and Law; Education, Health and Human Development; Engineering and Science.


UC offers a unique, total educational experience that gives graduates the edge. With world-class academics, a diverse and welcoming culture, a huge range of clubs, practical experience opportunities both on and off campus, international exchanges and so much more, UC students graduate with the skills and confidence they need to make a difference in an ever-changing world.


With world-class and research-active lecturers, UC is committed to producing graduates who have mastered their chosen area of study, are employable, enterprising, biculturally competent and globally aware, and engaged with their community.

  Contact the Organizer

Interested in hosting your own event?

Join millions of people on Eventbrite.

Please log in or sign up

In order to purchase these tickets in installments, you'll need an Eventbrite account. Log in or sign up for a free account to continue.