Rachel Dawson

Rachel Dawson

Kingston University

Shanghai has opened my eyes to what it would be like to work in other countries and emerging design centres in the future.


I am an inquisitive graphic design student who likes to ask questions and understand how something is done. I really enjoy collaborating with creatives from other design disciplines, to see how their practice can inform my own.


TTI was a culturally immersive experience that pushed me out of my comfort zone. It allowed me to explore an unfamiliar city, find new design inspiration, engage with people from different backgrounds, work alongside them and get a feel for working in China.  Shanghai has a wealth of areas to discover and a constant stream of events at your disposal, all which we found easy to access despite our limited ability to speak Mandarin. From start-to-finish I was struck by both the similarities and differences between London and Shanghai, as such an emerging city.

Interning at Crystal Technology was a very rewarding one. As the biggest production company in China, their portfolio boasts being the graphic provider for Beijing 2008 amongst other noteworthy clients on the world stage. We were tasked with working on a large-scale animation project, which was part of the Shanghai Expo in 2010. During the month here, we researched and proposed how best to present this project to a western audience, as it will hopefully be coming to Europe. This was truly valuable being able to see first hand the influence I could have, through offering a ‘western perspective’ on a project that had more local roots. However the main thing I learnt from Crystal were the differences in process and ways of thinking between China and the UK. This would often become apparent in our meetings at the office, where we would discuss the ‘Chinese way’ of doing things in comparison to that of the UK. Insights into such cultural differences became a regular topic of conversation and I cannot thank the staff at Crystal enough for offering such great perspective and ‘insider knowledge’ during our trip. It only helped give us a more authentic experience in China.