Developed as a workshop for the Ideation course, this event is better known as “Projet HEC”, and routs from the second-year class of University of Montreal’s Industrial Design program. It’s objective is unlike any other: students are required to conceive, fabricate and sell a product in twelve editions, all industry-standard. With their price ranging form $10.00 to $35.00, each product improves a problem that we are faced with daily.
Although the project is challenging, the students always appreciate the experience, as the Projet HEC is stimulating and educational. A team of dynamic and insightful mentors, all design professionals, oversea the students’ progress. Jean-François Jacques, in charge of the workshop is assisted this year by four mentors: André Keilani, Annie Legroulx, Claude Mauffette et Michel Morelli.
“Such a demanding and brief assignment, is not as much a challenging design process, as it is an extreme test of creativity” states Mister Jacques. He also states that “students seem awfully motivated as they have the immediate reaction from their clients, as you would in real product sales, and most importantly, they receive a monetary compensation in exchange of their product, a unique concept which is the key to this workshop.”
Since the mentors each possess a rich professional background, their presence encourages students throughout the workshop, and helps them hatch an original concept, within the limited timeframe. Ideas constantly mingle and clash during feedback sessions, which are always as animated as constructive. Without providing a predetermined subject to work on, students enter an ideation phase which instantly awakens their curiosity and creativity. Although the challenge is having to quickly begin production, due to the short timeframe. Through this process, students learn to respect important limitations in terms of time, production methods, and cost of fabrication.
The last phase of the project consists of creating a brand identity, an important element which, when done properly, insures the sale of the product. In the last wave, all turn to the presentation and packaging of the product, as well as the conception of a stand from which they will transact, as the sale takes the form of a mini market.
Finally arrives the moment of truth, which only lasts one hour. Over 400 people waiting in line, jittery with excitement, awaiting noon, for the doors to the Salon L’Oréal of the HEC to open, in order to purchase the much sought-after products. This flash sale is important as it demonstrates whether or not the product is a commercial success. As always, the 2013 edition of the HEC Sale had a triumphant outcome.
For more information: www.din.umontreal.ca