A look at the past few months…

T Thomason
3 min readJan 19, 2021

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Since launching Hercules Cambridge in September, our aim has been to empower students to challenge the design status quo, creating a nurturing environment where student designers could grow and develop their skills. The platform has been a resounding success so far and we look forward to more growth in the new year.

We now have around 190 members within the University of Cambridge across a variety of different year groups and disciplines and have been running two projects with industrial partners. Our admin team has grown over the term — new members of the team include Huma Siddiqi and Ming Zeng working on Business Acquisition and Branding respectively.

Our aim this term has been to grow as an organisation and support our new members. Beyond hosting three workshops throughout the term to develop the skills of our existing members, we’ve also seen a growth in student-incubated projects throughout the term. These include projects such as the iShield, a protective case for light-emitting devices with a light filtering functionality to aid photosensitive individuals. Other projects include CookVection, a multipurpose cooker harnessing the power of natural convection to air fry, VANGUARD, a pen system that encourages sustainable stationary use, and Exercise Energy Harnesser, an easy-to-attach component for exercises machines that generates energy stored into a battery. Fostering such projects is an important part of our ethos — it is only through building such talent that we think we can truly live up to our motto, that is, to design to challenge.

The past term has also seen the launch of our annual SCRUM event following an intense brainstorming session. This 90-minute Zoom brainstorming session was designed to give students an insight into the Hercules SCRUM by allowing them to collaborate by responding to design prompts within a short period of time. From the six teams participating in this session, we invited three students who impressed us the most with their creativity to our annual SCRUM: Raksina, Jovan and Oscar. For the uninitiated, the SCRUM at Hercules is a 10-day programme from 10 to 20 December in which a team, led by the ScrumMaster, develops an idea or concept to present to a jury. It’s an opportunity not just to walk away with a finished product, but also to collaborate with individuals similarly driven and passionate about design.

This year’s SCRUM was a resounding success, with three Hercules teams brainstorming, prototyping, animating, rendering, simulating and researching their products in only 10 days. Our ScrumMasters this year were Heng Wang, Charles Gai and Shang Ke, and co-organised with three of our wonderful ace design skill leaders Nancy Shen, Emilios Christou and Wei Zhuang. Besides leading to the design of a concept that the teams could then submit to international competitions, SCRUM projects have the added benefit of increasing a student’s understanding of the structure of the conceptual product development cycle, all the while polishing their design skills and resulting in a project for their portfolio. A heartfelt thanks is extended to our wonderful judges and mentors on this journey: Dr Nathan Crilly from the University of Cambridge, and from the Rhode Island School of Design, Professor Megan Yuen, Professor Joseph Napurano and Professor Khipra Nichols from RISD.

Looking to the next year, we’re excited to announce that a few more client projects are in the works, coupled with some talks, workshops, and our very first mixer! Keep an eye on this page to see postings of upcoming events, workshops and client projects.

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