2014-2015 Urban Culture and Urban Aesthetics

Why does the map of Beijing seem square from the top?
How the humans were influenced in creating their culture on a river?
How the religions can affect the urban features of a city?
You can find the answers at these questions in this course.
The schedule is one day per week (this year is Tuesday) from 3.25pm to 5pm.
Two lessons will take place in cities near Shanghai, to have a direct experience of the lesson’s contents on the field.
The evaluation will be based on a paper that you will write based on a field trip and going deeply in a topic.
The attendance is compulsory.

You can find a complete description and schedule at this link.


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Wagas: healthy, fresh and tasty food

Wagas has 29 spots in Shanghai, so it’s very easy to find it while you are just walking around!
Here you can find tasty sandwiches (with also western ingredients like Parma ham and mozzarella), fresh salads and dish of pasta.
They also are a coffee bar, so you can easily find homemade sweets, juice and coffees.
The prices are around 40rmb (4,70€) for the sandwiches, 50rmb (5,90€) for the salads and the pastas.
The portion are big enough to fill your stomach :-)
During the weekend there is also the possibility to have english breakfast and other kind of brunch.

I don’t  write any telephone number or address because the spots are a lot.
You can find them at this link


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Jungle Fish Shanghai

JungleFish is an international product design & branding consultancy in Shanghai, focusing on China.

With their multi-national team from China, Asia and Europe they work in product innovation (consumer products, medical devices, industrial) and intercultural branding, packaging and visual communication design.

It is a really young reality, started form the passion of two German guys, Wolfgang Obermeier and Philipp Fries, just two years ago.

When I had the first interview with them, I could understand the strong humanity as a value of the studio.

In the field of Industrial design they deal to offer to their clients, mostly medium/big size company, a new experience to the user, and bring innovation with their work, starting with a deep research on the users and of the market.

Their work is based on providing a “German Quality” for a Chinese market, analyzing it discovering the opportunities and the most proficient areas of intervention.

At the beginning I was hired in the Industrial Design area, so I had to deal with designing kitchen appliances, and actually for me has not been very easy. They really trusted me, so they always gave the opportunity to develop my ideas in my personal, through my personal method, and at the end of every day we had discussion to analyze and discuss about the developments of the projects.

With the spending of time we all realized that, even though the commitment that I put on it, Industrial Design was not properly what fit me the most.

So, with their agreement, I moved in the Branding Area, working on illustrations, graphic design, concept ideation, and finally my work was really appreciated.


The studio was small, so I had the possibility to really work in a team, together the difficulties and working to provide new solutions.



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Every year Tongji University provide an updated list of tutors including a CV with a short description on research areas, courses and professional activities (if any). Students are required to choose one tutor from this list according. This is something to do very attentively since tutor CAN NOT be changed later. It is useful to have direct feedback from former Politongers and to have a look to the Thesis pages in this website for further information.


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TEKTAO, Urban Design Consulting Co.

Tektao is a completely chinese studio divided into TEK (around 15 designers and architects), the design practice department and TAO (5 designers), the design research and consulting counterpart. Tek is focused on architecture, landscape and interior design, while Tao keys for windows on Design Strategies, Design Consulting, Branding and Design Research.

The studio environment is quite nice, but you have to be aware that is mostly chinese speaking and you need to put a lot of efforts on trying to be involved in their projects.

The studio has several ongoing projects in Chongming Island (50 mins by bus from Shanghai). It is mostly related to the agricultural field and the Dell Latitude E6520 AC Adapter purpose of the research is to find a link between farmers, with their production, and citizens. The core of most of the projects is to try to build a bridge between the urban and the rural realities.

In Xian Qiao village, they have bought a land, where they have their own production (mostly sweet potatoes and rice), and they even have a house windows key buy and an hub there. It can happened for you to stay in the Island a couple of days.

One of the boss is Lou Yongqi, the responsble of the Aalto Sino Finnish Center, and is quite normal to be involved in some university projects. You can find some key point useful to develop a thesis.

Most of the problems you could find, came with the cultural and the language  gap.

The salary for an intern is fixed,  full time 4000 RMB/month.


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CBi – China Bridge Shanghai

China Bridge help foreign and Chinese companies better connected with the trends and behaviors that influence their target audiences, by providing research-based cultural and office 2013 consumer insights. CBi offers also solutions that empower clients to choose the best strategy when creating products and services designed for Chinese consumers. Moreover, CBi has developed a powerful yet practical training method aimed at insuring that innovation and design management is integrated into the company’s department or organization in an healthy and effective way.

The studio is small (up to 30 people) and very dynamic. It’s the best choice for who wants to be a research designer and learning many things in short time. Cathy, the president, is an energetic woman always ready listening to new ideas and trying to realize them. You will get the opportunity to express your thoughts and to create something from the very beginning.

CBi for the first time has decided to be the sponsor of one PSSD thesis. The opportunity will be extended in the next years, once the research proposal presents something that the company can keep in its database for further usage. The meaning of sponsorship is not limited to cover the budget expenses during the research (such as focus group, expertise interviews, material for workshops and workshops itselves), but it means that the company will actively helping you during the field research and the synthesize phase of your data in order to get in the right direction later on.

In case your research is not something they need, CBi still helping you by providing you all the support and the possibility to talk with many contacts connected with your topic.

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Research Proposal

After your first part of research is done and several meeting with your tutor it is time to present your project proposal in front of the committee by compiling this document Form 1_Research Proposal and preparing a .ppt presentation.

It is very important to arrive with the research already done, because this will support your project proposal and will allow professors to provide you more suggestions: it is more a review to demonstrate that you are proceeding in the right direction rather than a first meeting.


If your idea is cool enough you can upload it on the online server.

Remind that your title and topic cannot be changed anymore since this moment on, but you are still free to change your method and final outcome according to the work in progress feedbacks of your research.


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Sino Finnish Center for courses:

4th Floor


Language School for Chinese classes:

Ground Floor


Zhonhe Building is the multifunctional building:

• 7th floor: International students office (703A) – Helen

• 16th floor: College of Design & Innovation (1602) – Kelly

• 18th floor: Sino-Italian Campus (1801) – Guannan (Exchange responsible for Engineers)


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h+ branding

Chinese agency  mainly focused on generating and proposing concepts for Asian Governments and International Companies. Ruled by Chinese-American boss (Richard Hsu).

Main tasks: concept generation, research of visual case studies, organization of sources, copywriting, output into schemes and graphs, video editing…

Paid Internship 3000 RMB (flexible part-time)

International Team

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Cotton Club

Perfect Place for breaking the working-week in half.

A “quiet” alternative to the Wed-ladies’ nights.

Live Jazz and sometimes Blues music.

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Travel Agency

If you need to book any flight and you cannot do it from online just pop-in here

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