Each year, second-year industrial design students from the University of Montreal are required to design a product that meets a daily challenge. They have six weeks to go from idea to design, manufacturing and sale of their products. They are supervised by their instructor, Jean-François Jacques, supported by four tutors, Andre Keilani, Mauffette Claude Michel Morelli and Christophe Abrassart.
The presence of these tutors from the professional environment allows students to be guided through the workshop, in order to achieve an original idea within the deadlines. The ideas are constantly confronted during debates as critical as constructive. Students learn to handle important constraints, manufacturing techniques and production costs.
The last phase of the project is to design a brand, because without this asset, a product may be sell poorly and have no market representation. In the final sprint, all focus is on the presentation and packaging of the product, as well as designing a kiosk, as the sale takes the form of a fair.
This flash sale is important to determine whether the product could be a commercial success. The 2014 edition of the sale HEC was again a great success for students.
This year's project experience HEC has been pushed even further: the teams presented their projects to a panel of judges, a similar recipe to the television show Dragons' Den. The jury of the 2014 HEC project was made up of design and retail industry professionals: Madeleine de Villers, founder of Zone boutiques, Annie Legroulx, founder of the company Dring Dring, Pierre D'Anjou, stylist, designer and journalist, Julie Payette, President and co-founder of v2com agency and Pierre Laramée, co-founder of the advertising agency Tam-Tam. Following a consensus, the jury awarded the prize of the product towards a commercialization to the team whose product was the most complete.