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Design Development in China: From 1949 to 2015

Sylvia Xihui LIU and Jun CAI
IJCCI volume 4, issue 1, November 2016

Chinese design has a unique role in the world. It took just 35 years to develop from the stage of arts and crafts to the position which it holds today. With the rapid progress of the economy, design was transformed from Utopian ideas held in universities at the beginning of 1980s into concrete ideas for the support of industry after 2000. Now, it is believed that every start-up team should have a designer. As one of the largest developing countries in the world, various phenomena of design exist concurrently. On the one hand, there are many design students and design firms. Most overseas design consultancies have established branches in Beijing, Shanghai, or Shenzhen, the first-tier cities of China. On the other hand, some design issues remain controversial, triggering accusations of copying, with consequences for the brand, product quality, and IP. In this paper, the authors introduce the current situation of design with reference to practice in China. Following a review of design status, the current status of Chinese design will be described. On the topic of design for development, there are two issues of relevance. The first is the development of design itself as a critical part of the service industry. The second is that design contributes to business and economic development.

Keywords: Design development, Design history, Design education, Design industry, China

Category: Glocal Perspective