China Power: 2015 Forbes China Designers Annual Meeting


Wu Haiyan of China Academy of Art is sharing her thoughts on the relationship between design, art and society on 2015 Forbes China Designers Annual Meeting. Forbes China will announce the 2015 winners of the Most Influential Designers and the Most Promising Designers later.


The meeting is taking place in Liangzhu, a small town in #Hangzhou. Forbes selected the list of the candidates through the recommendation by 40 opinion leaders and experts in each related fields, then assessed the list based on their media exposure and market influence. The finals were eventually selected by a Judge Panel that consisted of 12 professionals. The judges are all guru in the Chinese design field. They included Dean of School of Design and Art, Wu Haiyan; professor of Industrial Design Department at Tsinghua University, Cai Jun; artist Ding Yi; associate dean of School of Urban Design China Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA) Huang Jiancheng; Dean of Institute of Creativity Tongji University, Lou Yongqi; illustration master LuJingren; writer MiaoWei; sculptor QuGuangci, dean of School of Design  CAFA Wang Min; Secretary-general of China Industrial Design Association Ying Fangtian, writer, Yu Qiuyu (I just knew he went to Macau University of Science and Technology to be the dean of Faculty of Arts and Humanities), Dean of Peking University School of Architecture and Landscape Design Yu Kongjian.


The 30 most influential designers according to Forbes Chinese Designers Annual Meeting 2015 include three people in fashion industry. ZhangZhaoda, MaKe and GuoPei. This is a photo of Zhang Zhaoda (second from left) receiving the award.


ForbesChineseDesignerAnnualMeeting2015. Of the names of 30 Most Promising Designers, there are 5 fashion designers, they are Masha Ma, Ji Cheng, Zhang Chi, Wang Peiyi and Han Lulu. I’m a little surprised two of the most promising Chinese designers Uma Wang and Zhang Huishan are not included. But it’s always difficult for awards to please everyone. Congratulations to Masha Ma and Ji Cheng for winning the finals.


My most favored talk delivered by one of the most outstanding designers Yang Mingjie. I always feel that China’s design education has been focusing on “how” to do design, but ignoring the definition of design and what is design for. Yang talked about how design can change the society. The speaker talked about her partnership with One Foundation on tent design for China Ya’an’s Earthquake victims. At first he wanted to do some cliché cool design, but later he found that the victims’ desire was “back to home”, so he changed his mind. The house-like tent was his final design. Design is ultimately to serve people, physically and psychologically, rather than simply for visual attraction and self-expression. By the way, Yang also provided design for the interior part of Boeing airplane.


Walking for Green by China Creative Lab and Xiong Chao is my another favorite design. The designer painted polluted trees on the white canvas, then glued the canvas at the crossroads. They also put a green carpet at where people waiting for traffic lights. People’s shoes are glued with green color when standing on the carpet and later their walking would bring the green color to the ‘polluted trees’. After many people walked by the green carpet and white canvas, the polluted tree became a green tree. This is to tell people that walking can “green” our environment.


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