Guan Xiaolei

Guan Xiaolei

Shanghai Jiao Tong University

I was deeply grateful for those experiences that gave me a deeper understanding of communication and myself.


My name is Guan Xiaolei, and Hilley is my English name that just sounds like my chinese one. I was born in Guangdong province which is near the Hongkong, and share the same dialect – Cantonese. I got my Bachelor’s degree in Industrial Design from Wuhan University of Technology, and I am studying in Shanghai Jiao Tong University as a postgraduate. My current studies are mainly about Interaction Design and Design Psychology.

I always want to challenge myself and explore different cultures, and those fascinating experiences give me a lot and will lead me to establish a new personal best. I have been to Korea for 1 year as an exchange student, when I was a junior and could not speak Korean at all. Furthermore, I decided to live without phone in the first semester there. Because of lack of language skill, I had to be more outgoing and tried every way to communicate. I was deeply grateful for those experiences that gave me a deeper understanding of communication and myself. And also I got lots of fresh ideas about life. That really helped me to achieve a better design, because design is a kind of communication and art is something about self and life. So I very much look forward to going to UK. I believe it will be a remarkable time in my life and not only help me to develop my skills in design but also get a better view of myself.


Just as the slogan in the British Embassy – “It’s GREAT Britain”, London is an amazing city which seems as if we will never feel boring, even though we have already come here for three weeks.

Here are so many things to explore. We could not get every detail of British museum even though we spent a whole day there. And here are such a lot museums and exhibitions as wonderful as British museum.
The gardens and markets are amazing too! We went to Convent Garden this Sunday. There were not only many beautiful, interesting and unique crafts to buy, but also really interesting street shows to look. The feeling is just like the old time in Beijing and Tianjin. The artists, including magicians, acrobats, Mime actors and so on, interact closely with the people who spend their leisure time wandering in the garden or have Sunday-roasts in the restaurants.

The most impressive thing is that Londoners live a modern life in ancient buildings. It is really fascinating to wander in the street, and nearly all the buildings on both sides are more than 100 years old. The BBH where I take up the internship is located in the London Central. On the way from underground station to the company, we can see many ornate table decorations that bear witness to the central place of feasting in courts of all cultures.

But the coolest thing in this week is that I went to see a musical called the Les Misérables, which is said to be one of the best musicals in London. This story tells us about kind. The basic plot is Jean Valjean pitiful life history. The musical showed the capitalist society slaved the working people, and revealed the cruel reality. Hugo was raging of the persecution of the upper class and the present society.  This is my first time to watch a musical in such an elegant theatre. There is also many theatres in Shanghai, but are usually big and modern. It is an amazing experience to sit in a theatre which has been existed for more than 100 years. My favourite libretto is “I dreamed a dream in time gone by, when hope was high and life worth living. I dreamed that loved would never die.” This song is sung by Fatine, who is a miserable unmarried mother. To raise her child, she sells her hair, then her front teeth, and finally turns to prostitution.

I also watched a magic show by Derren Brown, an English mentalist and illusionist. In his performances he often expresses that his magic tricks are achieved through purely psychological means. Brown uses a variety of methods to achieve his illusions including memory techniques, hypnosis, body language reading, cognitive psychology, cold reading and psychological, subliminal and ideomotor suggestion. As a designer, we also need to use various psychological techniques used by purported psychics and spiritual mediums to manipulate our users.

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