Seidenberg students head to Finland for 6th Product Development Project

During the fall semester, six students headed to Helsinki, Finland, for Pace’s 6th year of participation in Product Development Project (PDP). The Finnish destination was the Aalto Design Factory, located at Aalto University.

This was a special trip as it came shortly after Pace University opened our very own Design Factory, the NYC Design Factory located here at Seidenberg School.

ava-posnerOnce they had arrived at the Aalto Design Factory, it was time to get started. Attendees met teammates and participated in PD6 – product development in 6 hours. Everyone was then split into two teams: KONE, an established elevator company, and Seecode, a tech startup.

We chatted with students on each team. Representing KONE was Mansoor Baba Shaik (MS Information Systems). Ava Posner (BS Information Technology) was on the Seecode team. Ava was also busy snapchatting the trip for a Snapchap takeover of the Pace University account.

Each team not only consisfinland-3ted of diverse members but was filled with different levels of expertise based on each member’s background. This worked well because the teams were able to work more efficiently in order to make it a collaborative process.

For the first few days/nights, the team members spent most of their time bonding and getting to know one another. Besides working hard, the students were allowed to explore and experience what it was like to live in Finland. mansoor-baba-shaikOn the following days it was time to get down to work!

The KONE team visited KONE headquarters, where each member of the team had the chance to use the mobile operated elevator which is being tested on and which will become the first mobile operated elevator in the world.

The Seecode team also visited the umbrella company NOMO 3D headquarters.

Teams were assigned tasks to be completed during sprints of PD6, utilizing design thinking methodologies.

finland-2For Seecode, the team was to build a prototype that would be used to scan individual body images in order to help design custom made outfits for buyers throughout the world. The aim is to make online clothes shopping a less uncertain experience: who hasn’t bought their size online only to find it doesn’t fit?

Team KONE had to come up with a product allowing a self controlled drone to deliver packages to customers directly via the building’s elevator. The idea is that a delivery company could program a drone operate an elevator so it can deliver packages to the correct person directly. I shouldn’t come as a surprise that Amazon is involved in this project.

As PDP is a two-part project, students will return to Helsinki for part two in May, 2017. In the meantime, both teams, being spread apart throughout the world, must remain in constant contact to finish their projects before the final presentation.

finland-7“We are excited to be a part of this amazing project and willing to put our 100% effort to achieve the final outcome of the project and present it in the gala”, said Mansoor. “We thank Pace University for selecting us for the Product Development Project and we feel it’s a great honor representing Pace University in a global event.”




You Mean You Haven’t Heard about Urban Mill?

It’s that time of year again — PDP season is in full swing! PDP, the Product Development Project Seidenberg participates in, in collaboration with our friends at Aalto Design Factory, starts every year in the Fall and lasts until May. This year we have six students who have traveled to Helsinki this month to get in touch with the teams they’ll be working with for the next eight months. The students participating are Brianna Vecchione (CS), Ethan Garrison (CS), Jane Rabinovich (Graphic Design), Patrick Prescott (IS), and Peta Clarke (MS in IS).

Brianna Vecchione wrote a piece about the team’s experience in Helsinki earlier this month:
[the following text stands in its original form as it appeared on the Urban Mill home page]

“After weeks of planning and with anticipation and excitement, the Pace University PDP team finally arrived in Espoo to formally begin our PDP projects. There are 6 of us split into 2 teams: One sponsored by ABB to innovate maritime engineering and the other sponsored through ComNet to develop a low-cost autonomous networking system through environmental data collection. Our first stop after our 8-hour flight from New York City was the Espoo Innovation Garden, where we were first introduced to the Design Factory grounds. However, we were lucky enough to run into Lars Miikki, who gave us an in-depth introduction to the history of Urban Mill, an urban innovation platform, from its untraditional conception to its future ambitions as the next pioneer for European innovation. The space boasts extremely advantageous features, from their geographical and cultural location in Espoo to their emphasis on sustainable development via intelligent solutions, like smart city design and internationalization.

PDP Group 2014PDP Group 2014 - 2

This ambition is reflected throughout the grounds of Urban Mill. The space embraces the concept of  “ready but never finished,” with startup vision boards, rough prototypes, research posters, and Styrofoam ground plans scattered throughout the spaces. There are small, creatively decorated design spaces throughout the area, giving it a modern, colorful flare. As Lars explained to us, students prefer the “unfinished” space because it invites their own ideas and contributions as well as providing them with a chance to create, build, and innovate in a way that is original and personalized.

Our group was mesmerized by the many inventions we encountered, ranging from workspace bedrooms, to an “active life village,” to data trackers that detect movement. There’s an entire wall full of business cards of individuals who share, collaborate and contribute to the development of the Urban Mill – of course, we couldn’t resist adding our cards as well. We finished the tour with a demonstration of their three-panel, floor-to-ceiling monitor screen (we were pleasantly surprised to see an image of Manhattan in the background!).

Peta Clarke

Urban Mill









All in all, it was a wonderful introduction to the work to be done here at Aalto University Campus and we are honored to contribute to its visionary expansion at such an exciting time!”

It’s an exhilarating opportunity for all students participating, and we can’t wait to see how the projects turn out!

First Week Back to School

We are officially into the Fall 2013 semester of class. This post is to recap all the things that are going on around NYC and Pace for you to enjoy before classes get serious.
First off, it’s Broadway Week for anyone interested in seeing some excellent performances. Broadway Week means all shows are doing a 2 for 1 ticket deal, but it only lasts until the end of the week! Seats are disappearing fast, so grab some before they’re gone!

From left to right, Dr. Richard Kline, Dr. Christelle Scharff, Kalevi Ekman, Dean Amar Gupta, Dr. Jonathan Hill, and professor Bryn Haffey all stand together, prepared for Fall 2013.

Quick note on classes that you may have been to that you’re already dreading. Our advice: drop them and substitute another. You have a few weeks to do this without penalty or before you miss too many hours of the class you may switch into. If you don’t like a professor or the syllabus makes the upcoming weeks seem dreary abort the mission. It’s not worth your time and effort to suffer through terrible classes and there are enough options available for you to switch without mussing your schedule. College is meant to be flexible and enjoyable. Some classes you will eventually have suffer through, but at least ease your pain by waiting until a decent professor comes along.

In Seidenberg news, the Finns have struck again. If you haven’t met our partners from Aalto University (including Peter Tapio who was here during the Summer Scholars Experience), they’ve been around for the last few days and leave this evening, unfortunately. They will be back eventually, so catch them while they are around. They are all a wonderful resource available to learn about project development in many fields.

The aforementioned workshop with Kalevi Ekman was a delightful afternoon. Photos from the event and a video that showcases Kalevi’s lessons on design will be available for viewing on Thursday. He himself is another one of our Finnish partners, also a head professor for the PDP (Product Development Project) program that Seidenberg takes part in. This program is an incredible opportunity for students and also gives students involved the chance to visit Aalto University in Helsinki, Finland.

Lastly, don’t forget that Computing Society meets on Wednesdays and there will be free pizza, just so ya’ know.


Upcoming Workshop for ‘Design Thinking in Higher Education’ to be Led by Kalevi Ekman

“Professor Kalevi Ekman, director of the world-renowned Design Factory at Aalto University, will conduct a workshop on Design Thinking in Higher Education on Friday, September 6, 2013 at the Seidenberg School, at Pace University, 163 William Street, room 236 from 11:00 – 2:30 PM.

The essence of Design Factory is its unique blend of creative, meeting, and social spaces. Design Factory also hosts research projects for industry and nurtures start-up companies in the adjacent ‘Venture Garage’. Aligning the needs of students and industry, Professor Ekman is a leading expert on combining university and corporate resources to create meaningful experiential learning opportunities for students and faculty.”

Finland’s eye for design in educational settings stands out from the rest of the world. Their education systems are internationally renown for being the best; could their designs for educational settings be a major factor in the quality of learning? It is not absurd to think so. Find out for yourself by attending Ekman’s workshop. Space is limited, so reserve a seat via the Eventbrite page.

Aalto University is one that Seidenberg has been partnered with in recent years and one that, on it’s own, stands at the forefront of innovation in technology, design, and much more. Having this relationship with Aalto is highly beneficial for the Seidenberg community and these seminars are a treat to be celebrated. We welcome Professor Ekman and eagerly await next Friday’s workshop!