Design China has a short interview with Professor Hang Jian Vice Dean of the Academy of Arts & Design at Tsinghua University, Beijing. These comments are particularly relevant to what we’re looking at currently on the module, and the second paragraph in particular offers suggestions for how the relationship between China and the West can evolve into one that is more mutually beneficial:
“China has a special and unique design history – a rich history of life. In the Qing dynasty, for example, the trend was to wear long robes and sport long hair. The transformation of this style evolved over a period of 100 years. China’s contemporary design scene is very disappointing in contrast, as it mainly embodies the infamous copy culture and rarely refers back to Chinese history in order to innovate. Things are changing now though, and more and more people are transcending the limitations of our governing system, which is promising for the evolution of our design industry.
[…]I’ve just returned from Guangzhou (…). The industrial design potential there is great: China now needs to focus on stimulating small to medium-sized companies to do more for the local community. Previously, many of these young companies worked in collaboration with Western companies and had an international focus, but they collapsed during the financial crisis. They did, however, gain technical expertise, which they now need to harness for design on a local level.”
Read the rest of the interview here.