Ian Yang
Advisor - China I Japan I South Korea
i.yang [at] dutchculture.nl

Mapping China: Design

Mapping China: Design

China is shifting rapidly from a traditional manufacturing into a design and brand oriented business environment.

Throughout the past decades, the weight of state-owned industries has reduced gradually due to the  market-oriented  developments. Nevertheless,  the most  important industrial sectors are still state-owned. The implementation of the Opening-up Policy from the 1980s onwards, and profits brought by it, made the establishment of a private-owned industry system possible. The influx of numerous capitals, advanced technologies, branding strategies and design products from the West has played an important role in the development of China s design industry. Compared with state-owned industries,  private-owned  industries  are more efficient  and flexible. They  have gradually evolved into a main force on the Chinese market, especially in the coastal areas. For example: in the Pearl River Delta and Yangtze River delta. These companies optimize the local markets and make diversification of local productions possible.



- Interior Design

- User-Experience Design

- Graphic Design

- Design of Museums

- Design Media

- A Dutch Story: STOREAGE

- Awards, Festivals and Design Weeks


About the Authors

LI Ye, Design Editor & Writer (editor of the design mapping update 2016) 

Marco Gastoldi, Architect & Writer

Aaron Marcus, Column Writer

Kang Li, Chief Representvie of Asia Pacific, STOREAGE


Background Note

Together with the Dutch Embassy in Beijing, nearly 10 years ago DutchCulture (back then SICA) initiated a mapping research about China's design and architecture sectors, conducted by researcher Bert de Muynck, who later on updated the mapping in 2009. In 2012, de Muynck was commissioned by the Dutch Design Fashion and Architecture (DutchDFA) programme for a Design in China mapping. The Dutch DFA is a four-year joint project of representatives of the design, fashion and architecture industries and Dutch government ministries which operated through 2012. This mapping could be seen as another update and effort of Dutch design sector to learn about their counterpart in China. (Please click the links below to read the full versions)

In 2015, DutchCulture commissioned Chinese design editor Li Ye for a new update of the design mapping. With insights more from inside China, Li compiled the new update with a series of articles provided by a group of writers and practitioners in China's design sector.

DDFA Design in China Mapping 2012.pdf

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