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!

Where in the World Is Seidenberg?

Within the past 2 months, Seidenberg has been all around the world. We’ve sent faculty members and even students to the far corners of the Earth to increase our global presence. So where have we been going and what are we doing there? And, more importantly, how can you get involved?Well, the first trip was exclusively for top members, meaning Jonathan Hill, the Associate Dean and Director of Special Programs and Projects here at Seidenberg. Dr. Hill attended conferences in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, as well as in Singapore. These conferences focused on STEM – Science,  Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics – a topic that the Seidenberg school emphasizes in the classroom and study environments. Attending these conferences allowed Dr. Hill to experience what kinds of STEM initiatives are occurring around the globe in academia and commercially.

PDP students at the airport in October on their way to Finland.

Soon after Dr. Hill’s return from KL and Singapore, six students set off for Helsinki, Finland, as part of Seidenberg’s annual participation in Product Development Project (PDP). This is a project we  collaborate on with our good friends at Aalto University’s Design Factory. It’s an 8-month long project that allows students involved to travel to Finland twice: once during Fall to meet their Aalto team mates and to kickstart the project, and once again in May for the final presentations of said project. It’s a great way for students to gain real world experience in product development, which can often be programming heavy. This year, the six students from Pace have been put onto two different PDP teams. One team (Julie Gauthier, Olga Bogomolova, and Daniel Rings) has been joined with 11 other team mates in Finland and they will be working on a project funded by one of Finland’s largest casino companies to create new types of gambling machines that enhance the culture (of gambling and Finland) rather than detract from it. The other team (Shane Kirk, Nicole Semple, and Anya Rosentreter) has also joined with 11 others to design a test space for a children’s hospital that will be used in the plans for a new hospital to be built in 2016.

The day after the students returned, Jonathan Hill, Professor Richard Kline, and Wilfredo Peña, Seidenberg’s Community Manager, left for Shanghai. They visited the Aalto Tongji Design Factory, a portion of Aalto DF that has been around since 2010, for a “meeting [that] allowed for partners of the Global Design Factory Network to come together and share ideas about their respective Design Factories,” says Peña. Our Helsinki-based friends Peter Tapio and Andy Clutterbuck also joined up with Hill, Kline, and Peña to participate in the International Design Factory Week of 2013. This multifaceted partnership has grown strong enough that Pace University has now become one of only 6 international universities to be an official part of the Design Factory. This means big things for Seidenberg! More info, once the details are sorted, will be available in due time!

Participants in the Design Factory International Week 2013 at Alto-Tongji