Most of the time in design school, an end-of-year project exhibition takes the form of design students showing off their work in the halls and classrooms of the school as faculty peruse, judge and mark accordingly. Things weren’t much different for second-year industrial design students at HEC University Business School at the University of Montréal in mid-december, except with one notable twist: their products are also judged by how well they can sell.
Working in teams of three, students were asked to conceive of a potential retail product taking into account its design, manufacturing quality, presentation and packaging — all in six weeks, after which a Dragon’s Den-style judging process was held in the salon L’Oréal HEC to determine whether the products could be a commercial success. The jury of the 2014 HEC project included: Madeleine de Villers, founder of Zone boutiques; Annie Legroulx, founder of Dring Dring; Pierre D’Anjou, stylist and designer; Julie Payette, president and co-founder of v2com agency; and Pierre Laramée, co-founder of the advertising agency Tam-Tam.
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