On March 20, 2018, the International Symposium of “Chinese Design 40 Years – Experience and Model” opened at the Auditorium of CAFA Art Museum. As an important part of a series of activities celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the founding of CAFA, this international symposium is a grand event for the Chinese design community and the education of the design community. It has brought together several generations of famous designers and masters and 25 famous experts & scholars in design and design education at home and abroad. The two-day forum invited speakers to deliver speeches on four themes, including “Strategy & Decision”, “Culture & Choice”, “City & Creativity” and “Education & Future”, and a special round-table discussion was held at the end of each section, to discuss the future development of Chinese design.

Lin Dongwei, Deputy Director of the Department of Higher Education at the Ministry of Education, Jin Shangyi, Former President of CAFA, Saone Chang, Former President of the Central Academy of Art & Design (CAAD), Pan Lusheng, Vice Chairman of China Federation of Literary and Art Circles, President of Shandong University of Art & Design, Gao Hong, Party Secretary of CAFA, Fan Di’an, President of CAFA, Naren Barfield, Deputy Vice Chancellor and Provost at the Royal College of Art (UK), Toshiyuki Kita, President of Toshiyuki Kita Design Laboratory Ltd. (Japan), Wang Mingzhi, Professor at the Academy of Arts & Design, Tsinghua University, Sheila Levrant de Bretteville, Professor at the School of Art, Yale University (USA), Guo Xianlu, President of Xi’an Academy of Fine Arts, Lu Xiaobo, President of the Academy of Arts & Design, Tsinghua University, Wang Dawei, Executive President of the Shanghai Academy of Fine Arts, Tony Brown, Dean of the Graduate School of the école nationale supérieure des Beaux-arts de Paris, famous designer Kan Tai-keung, Liu Guanzhong, Professor at the Academy of Arts & Design, Tsinghua University, Wang Jianguo, Academician of China Engineering Academy and Director of the Urban Design Research Institute, Southeast University, Zhang Dongyan, Deputy Secretary-General of the China Higher Education Association, Chen Shaohua, a famous designer, Lin Pansong, Honorary professor of the Department of Design, National Taiwan Normal University (Taiwan), Liu Dongyan, Head of the Division of Literary and Art, Ministry of Culture, attended the opening. Lv Pinjing, Deputy President of the Central Academy of Fine Arts, presided over the opening ceremony.

First of all, Fan Di’an, President of CAFA, reviewed the development of the Chinese design. He said that it was on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of reform and opening up of China and the 100th anniversary of the establishment of CAFA, and this event is intended to sort out the development context of the Chinese design art and design education over the past 40 years since the reform and opening up, deeply summing up historical experience, communicating and discussing the future of Chinese design and design education. There are three features of the development of Chinese art design over the past 40 years: firstly, it has grown bigger and stronger; secondly, it has absorbed external experience to adapt to local development; and thirdly, it has moved from design ontology to a generalized design sociology.

Jin Shangyi delivered a speech and reviewed the development history of China’s design discipline over the past 40 years. From the establishment of the Department of Applied Art to the development of design discipline, design discipline has been closely linked to the country’s development and prosperity. “When the economy and the country have developed, the design will be developed. The country faces a development and transition at different times, and it is also a new beginning in the academic field for the design, which demands more thought and change.”

“Remembering history and staying true to the mission, Chinese design 40 years offers plenty of experiences, which are worth researching, promoting, and developing again.” Saone Chang delivered a speech and said that, the future development of the design discipline was in need of special attention to the ethnic, scientific and public design, making the past serve the present and adapting foreign things for Chinese use.

Zachary Ong, President of the ico-D (International Council of Design) specifically sent a congratulatory letter to the symposium. It reads that the international communication of design culture and design education has become an important part of the development of design since China’s reform and opening up started 40 years ago. The communication between the Chinese design community and the international community has become increasingly frequent. It was expected that joint international efforts would make the design discipline develop better and better.

As an important academic activity for the 100th anniversary of the founding of CAFA, “Chinese Design 40 Years – Experience and Model” international symposium commenced a two-day academic activity. The participating experts offered keynote speeches and roundtable discussions evidencing the research of the development context of Chinese design art and design education in the past 40 years, since the reform and opening up. It has been an in-depth summary of the historical experience, and also standing in a new era and new journey to think of and explore the future of Chinese design art and design education. In the end, it releases “China Design in the New Era: Beijing Consensus”.

“Design for China – Exhibition of Achievements made by CAFA’s Design Discipline” was held at the CAFA Art Museum. The exhibition consists of 12 parts: “National Image Design”, “Olympic Games Design”, “National Major Festival Gift Design”, “Major International and Domestic Activities Design”, “Important Logo Design”, “Important Stamp Design”, and “Major Thematic Poster Design”, “Major Award-Winning Book Binding Design”, “Public Art Design Series”, “Architecture and Interior Landscape Design”, “Industrial Product Design”, and “New Media Art Design”. The exhibition presented the works that reflect the leading position of CAFA in the field of design in China. CAFA, which has a hundred years of glorious history, does not only build monuments for the history, creating portraits for the times, and also “design for China”. The exhibition remains on view till April 25.

Text and photo by He Yifan from the Propaganda Department, CAFA

Translated by Chen Peihua and edited by Sue/CAFA ART INFO

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