China's Design Revolution
168 pp., 6 x 9 in, 46 figures, 1 table
- Published: March 30, 2012
- Publisher: The MIT Press
The evolution of Chinese design and the major shift in the culture of creativity in a post-Mao China.
China is on the verge of a design revolution. A “third generation” of the People's Republic of China that came of age during China's “opening up” period of the 1980s now strives for fame, fortune, and self expression. This generation, workers in their thirties and forties, has more freedom to create—and to consume—than their parents or grandparents. In China's Design Revolution, Lorraine Justice maps the evolution of Chinese design and innovation.
Justice explains that just 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.
Justice describes and documents examples of Chinese design and innovation that range from ancient ceramics to communist propaganda posters. She then explores current award-winning projects in media, fashion, graphic, interior, and product design; and examines the lifestyle and purchasing trends of the “fourth generation,” now in their teens and twenties. China's Design Revolution offers an essential guide to the inextricably entwined stories of design, culture, and politics in China.
This brilliant book helps us understand why the Chinese and the design-minded in China think and act as they do, what their design scene is today and what the historic development behind the current situation has been like. I would highly recommend China's Design Revolution to anyone considering hiring or collaborating with designers in China, or with the increasing amount of Chinese designers all around the world.
Anna Valtonen, Rector, Professor, Umeå Institute of Design, Umeå University, Sweden