CHIC

From idea to prototype

CHIC

Hosted by the College of Humanities and offered as a Minor, the China Hardware Innovation Camp (CHIC) challenges students to go from a blank sheet of paper to the functional prototype of a connected device.

Students from EPFL (engineering, computer science, etc.) work in cross-functional teams with students from ECAL (industrial design and media interaction design) and UNIL (business and information systems). They develop skills related to user-centric design, interdisciplinary team work, applied project management and intercultural communication.

During the Fall semester, teams identify an opportunity space. In Spring, they prototype their solution. During the summer they fly to Southern China (Shenzhen and Hong Kong) to finalize the devices at a local prototyper’s factory (Seeedstudio) and pitch their projects in front of incubators, accelerators and Chinese makers. The final semester provides the opportunity to dig deeper into one dimension of the project (e.g., machine learning).

The CHIC program gives students a quasi-integral view of what it takes to bring a product from idea to market.