End Studies Project

I spent 2 years in Shanghai, to finish my Master’s degree. After a first year full of projects and discoveries, my second year in China has been dedicated to my End Studies Project. I worked for almost 1 year on a problematic I chose. The goal, lead a personal project and manage my own work from A to Z, while working towards an innovative answer.

Living in Shanghai, a city of 23 million people, I discovered an important population for China : migrants. That is how I have decided to work for and with the migrant population, especially for their children. Qi is the result of the anthropologic research I made around this population and the product I have created to concretize my product design major.


‘‘ What we learn in childhood is better than engraved in stone ‘‘, Chinese Proverb 


From a subject to a problematic.

Find a subject is one thing.
Understand it is an other one. 

I worked on this project for at least 9 months and I used my own methodology to succeed in this experience. Among the tools I used, observation on the fields, exchanges and interviews, but also experts advice have been really important. 

• Macro and micro observations.
• Expert interviews.
• Fields : streets and schools.
• Global researches


⊗ 260 millions of Migrants Workers in China.
⊗ 19% of China’s population (China : 1,357 billions).
⊗ 3% of the World population.
⊗ 1/3 of China’s labor force.
⊗ 500K Children in Shanghai


⊕ No exchanges
⊕ No communications
⊕ No advice from parents.
⊕ Alone all day long.

As a Product Designer and witness of the migrations in China, how can I improve the situation of the children of migrants ?

#1 / How to improve the communication between a child and his parents in the migrant situation?

#2 / How to give to the child more autonomy, by stimulating his independence and his own confidence?


3 design opportunities

#1 / A smart culbuto

Culbuto is a smart and emotional object and a new presence for the child. The idea is to use the child’s senses to make him more comfortable within his environment. Being next to the child, Culbto is a new playful companion. By trowing the culbuto or by simply pushing it, an action will be launched, such as a familiar smell, a picture, or even a vocal message.  The child will be more confident during the absence of relatives.

#2 / A scalable lamp

The idea here is to symbolize and materialize through a new product, a new presence, the absence of parents. We can’t hide the fact parents are absent : they need to work. That’s why I decided to show this absence rather than hide it, in a way to allow a child to live with it. A lamp is for me a good way to symbolize a presence. 

#3 / An exchange area

During my observations on the field, I discovered an important moment for those families : the food preparation. It’s the only moment families are gathered around something. I decided to explore that moment, by developing a new surface on which parents and children could communicate, cook and play. The idea is to create communication in a family members’s key moment.

Chosen concept

Visualize the absence of parents

I developed a product able to re-create a presence next to the children. Qi, between a lamp and a clock allows the child to measure and visualize the absence or the presence of his parents. The concept is simple. More the light is big, more the parents are closed. If the light is low, it means that parents are away, working. Thanks to this new communication tool, the child is more autonomous and more confident.



The conceptualization phase is one of my favorite tasks. I like to imagine, draw and develop concepts, through shape and function. I have made different shape ideation, in a way to then develop a good product.


From the sketches to the final prototype, I have made several experimentations, such as open existing products to understand mechanisms or produce random quick and dirty mock-up to build a tangible project. 

User tests

Meet users is an important moment to improve a project and innovate from consumers’s feedbacks. I have met many children, a way to understand their needs and have some advice about my prototypes. The idea is to make evolve concept by being close to the people I am working for.

How it works ?

On the morning, before to leave for work, parents take the object. They are going to settle it according to when they will be back at home, simply by using a key. In a way to communicate, they can write words on it. When Qi is scheduled, parents let it their child, and can leave, reassured. Thanks to Qi, the child is able to measure his parents’s presence and to live with it.

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