China’s Design Revolution

China Design talk China is on the verge of a design revolution. Lorraine Justice, author of China’s Design Revolution (MIT Press), explores the differences in creative expression between the East and the West, and highlights current designs emerging from China with examples of award-winning digital, fashion, graphic, interior and product design.

The talk at the Design Museum concentrated on  differences in creative expression between the East and the West and a look at the current designs emerging from China.

“As this “third generation” (post-Revolution, post–Cultural Revolution) reaches for self-expression, China’s government is making massive investments in design and innovation, supporting design and creative activities (including design education programs, innovation parks, and privatized companies) at the local and national levels. The goal is to stimulate economic growth–and to establish China as a global creative power. Influenced by Mao and Confucius, communism and capitalism, patriotism and cosmopolitanism, China’s third generation will drive the culture of design and innovation in China–and maybe the rest of the world”.

Lorraine Justice made an interesting point how different the traditional Chinese art is with a limited number of subjects e.g. landscapes or a typical Flower and Bird. The main emphasis is in the finest details of re-interpretation of the familiar topics. The idea of creating art as ‘something out of nothing’ is unfamiliar in China. Instead the skill in calligraphy is more valued than creating expressive art. The idea of originality is viewed in a very different way. In China reproduction of works is not copying but improving the original.

In ten year’s time there will be more than 1000 design schools. The time will show which way modern art and design language will develop.

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