About the Design in China Report
The DutchDFA Design in China Mapping report, commissioned by Dutch Design Fashion Architecture [DutchDFA], presents an analysis of the design fields in China. Researched and written in 2011 by MovingCities, and updated throughout 2012, it highlights the people and processes that will influence future design agendas in China and throughout the world. It is based on 30+ interviews held in 2011 with acclaimed Chinese designers and scholars, as well as on additional desk research.
- Download the full  Design in China Mapping-report [106 pages, 3.3 Mb]
Featured Chinese DESIGNERS & Scholars
- BI XueFeng 毕学锋 [IMAGRAM 言文设计 Shenzhen]
- Remy CHEN 陈知明 [MODERN MEDIA 现代传播 Shenzhen]
- FENG Yu 机构 [DEVE BUILD Design 深圳大羽营造设计机构 Shenzhen]
- FENG ZhiFeng 冯志锋 [RITO Communication 朗图创作 Shenzhen]
- HONG RongMan 洪荣满 [GAFA / Dammi group 搭米组 Guangzhou]
- HOU ZhengGuang 侯正光 [Mooma Design 木码设计 / MoreLess 多少 Shanghai]
- JIANG Jian 姜剑 [JOYN:VISCOM Beijing]
- JIANG Qiong Er 蒋琼尔 [SHANG XIA 上下 Shanghai]
- LIU Feng 刘峰 [FUN+ LIVING BJ 风生设计 / PEP art+design 设计工社 Beijing]
- LIU Lidan 刘力丹 [XL+DESIGN Shanghai]
- LIU Yi 刘义 [SPARDEC Brand Consulting 斯巴迪克 Shanghai]
- LUO Cheng 罗成 w/ Tony SHI 师帅 [ARTOP Industrial Design 浪尖设计有限公司 Shenzhen]
- LV YongZhong 吕永中 [BANMOO 半木 / VEP design Shanghai]
- MA Jia 马嘉 [Beijing Original Design Promotion Association (BODA) 北京原创设计推广协会 Beijing]
- PAN JianFeng 潘剑锋 [SHTYPE 字研所 Shanghai]
- Bruno PORTO [Bruno Porto Comunicação Visual / Raffles Design Institute Shanghai]
- Tom SHI 石川 [Tom Shi Design & Research Studio /Leaping Creative 立品品牌策划 Guangzhou]
- Professor TONG HuiMing 童慧明 [GAFA School of Industrial Design 广州美术学院 Guangzhou]
- David WANG 王乐毅 [Shanghai CREATIVE INDUSTRIES Demonstration & Service Platform
- Professor WANG Min 王敏 [CAFA School of Design 中央美术学院 Beijing]
- WANG ShaoQiang 王绍强 [Design360° magazine Guangzhou]
- WANG XueSong 王雪松 & HUANG YiHan 黄驿寒 [Yah Interactive Lab 亚状态互动工作室 Beijing]
- WANG Yun 汪芸 [TRENDS HOME magazine 时尚家居 Beijing]*
- Imagine WONG 黄立光 HUANG LiGuang [zitype workshop / FRINGE Festival Shenzhen]
- XIE JianJun 解建军 (w/ SONG Yang 宋洋 & Fabian FURRER) [DONGDAO Design 东道设计 Beijing]
- Jesus YEH 叶宇轩 (written by WANG Yun 汪芸) [Yehidea Beijing]*
- ZHANG DaLi 张达利 [ZHANGDALI Design / ELEPHANT Design 大象空间 Shenzhen]
- Ready ZHANG 张宏毅 [Guangzhou DESIGN WEEK 广州国际设计周
/ CITIEXPO 广州市城博展览有限公司 Guangzhou]
- ZHENG Zheng 郑铮 [Leaping Creative 立品品牌策划 Guangzhou]
- ZHOU Yi 周佚 [s.point design s.point 指南设计 Shanghai]
- ZOU ZhengFang 邹政方 [Studio DUMBAR China Shanghai]
Introduction to the Design in China Mapping report
This report seeks to document and interpret the state of affairs of Chinese design through a series of conversations with respected Chinese design professionals in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen that, to the best of their abilities, and with various motives, are engaged with a design culture in transition. Operating in the fields of industrial, product, graphic, interactive, interior and communication design, most of these designers work in multidisciplinary environments, where they deal with a broad range of commissions and often provide consultancy services. Many have educational and/or international experience and try, in China, to strike a balance between domestic work and international engagements.
These discussions are elaborated with information gathered from online research and print publications on topics such as intellectual property rights (IPR), universities and design colleges, design awards and fairs, market entries, and the development of the creative industries, as laid out by the 12th Five-Year Plan (2011–2016). As such the report looks beyond personal accounts to arrive at a broader depiction of the conditions influencing the design field in China.
In China, everything is simultaneously immediate and vague. The culture is based on a rich and labyrinthine past, mixed with today’s tantalizing quest for future forms of profit. This tension leads to a search to define the meaning, value and contemporary interpretation of tradition, cultural heritage and memory. Chinese designers are trying to find a balance between modern and traditional lifestyles, between past achievements and unforeseeable futures, between the exploration of craftsmanship and cultural roots. At the same time, they seek ways to combine traditional wisdom with an international orientation. As one designer puts it during the interview: ‘we try to mix Chinese life with global design, as for us it is easy to understand what global design means, but it is difficult to find its domestic counterpart.’
Condensing China’s Design Creativity into One Report
The report is set up to provide, in 11 chapters, a general introduction to the development of design and the creative industries in China. Chapter 2 gives an overview of the policy debate on the creative industries in China and the ambition to establish the creative industries as one of the pillars of the Chinese economy in the coming five years. In Chapters 3 and 4 this agenda is investigated by focussing on second- and third-tier cities’ development, and by mapping the changes in the educational system. Emphasis is placed on a new generation of producers and consumers of design. In the following sections, two key evolutions in Chinese design are highlighted: on the one hand the creation of brands (Chapter 5), and on the other the notion of craftsmanship as a practice (Chapter 6). Chapter 7 looks at new developments in creating complete creative chains, thereby focussing on integration and innovation; and Chapter 8 provides information regarding Intellectual Property Rights and market entries for foreign companies. In the report’s last two chapters, the important trend of establishing creative platforms – both domestically and internationally oriented – is being investigated, and an overview of design awards, fairs, design weeks and Dutch-Chinese points of entry are provided. Finally, Chapter 11 concludes this investigation.
About Dutch Design Fashion Architecture
Dutch Design Fashion Architecture [DutchDFA] aims to strengthen the international position of the most prominent sectors of the Dutch creative industries – design, fashion and architecture – through a joined-up approach. The four-year strategic meme (2009–2012) involves a selection of focus countries (India, China, Germany and Turkey) and relates to topical issues and local demands. Its aim is to build long-lasting international partnerships while addressing issues facing today’s world through design.
MovingCities is a Shanghai-based think-tank investigating the role of architecture and urbanism in shaping the contemporary city. Established in 2007 by Bert de Muynck [BE] and Mónica Carriço [PT], MovingCities operates as embedded architects – publishing, researching, collaborating and interacting. Specialized in bridging China and the world, MovingCities offers urban consultancy in the fields of architecture, design and the creative industries, in the public and cultural institutional sectors. It has conducted research, lectures and workshops in China, Israel, Sweden, the Netherlands, Finland and Indonesia. Amongst others, MovingCities has set up programs for the Netherlands Architecture Institute [NAi], DutchDFA and the Finnish Association of Architects [SAFA/NewlyDrawn] in China.
Content | MovingCities, Shanghai, China: Bert de Muynck & Mónica Carriço
Editorial Supervision & Coordination | Carolien van Tilburg
Editing | Jennifer Sigler
Graphic Design | Cover: Thonik, Amsterdam / Inside: CO3, Amsterdam
Commisioned by | Dutch Design Fashion Architecture, Rotterdam
MovingCities wishes to thank the following people for their support, assistance, critique and sharing of knowledge in creating this report: Vivian YU Tianzheng 于天正, Yvonne WANG Yi 王祎, HU Bingyu 胡冰玉, JIA Huishu 贾慧姝; Christine de Baan, Marie-Anne Souloumiac, Elyne van Rijn, Carolien van Tilburg, Machtelt Schelling, Inge Wesseling, Vanessa E. de Groot, Teun Hompe.