The “Science x Design x Art: A Visit to SUSTech” Symposium jointly organized by Shenzhen Art and Design Alliance and Southern University of Science and Technology was held on 6 January 2021.
Guo Yurong, Chairwoman of SUSTech University Council (first from left)
Accompanied by Guo Yurong, Chairwoman of SUSTech University Council and Li Fengliang, Vice-Chairperson of SUSTech University Council, the attendants visited Yidan Library, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Founding and Development Achievement Exhibition, and Campus Sculpture Exhibition before the symposium.
Academician Xue Qikun, President of SUSTech University (first from left)
Xue Qikun, President of SUSTech University extended his gratitude to all the attendants who participated in the symposium.
Ren Kelei, President of Shenzhen Art and Design Alliance; Li Fengliang, Vice Chairperson of SUSTech University Council; Liu Pingchun, Supervisor of Shenzhen Art and Design Alliance; Wu Siyuan, Executive Chairman of Shenzhen Art and Design Alliance; Liu Zhen, Executive Vice Chairman and Secretary General of Shenzhen Art and Design Alliance; Qiu Gan, Deputy General Manager of Shenzhen Publishing Group; Zhang Ling, Member of SUSTech University Council and Director of Communications and Public Relations Office; Thomas Kvan, Dean of SUSTech School of Design; Li Xu, Associate Dean for Administration of SUSTech School of Design; Li Rui, Director of Shenzhen Industrial Museum; Shen Yongfang, President of Shenzhen Creative Design Alliance; Lian Jianli, Executive President of Shenzhen Arts and Crafts Industrial Association; Yan Weixin, Director of The Museum of Contemporary Art and Planning Exhibition; Luan Qian, Director of the Art Committee of SUSTech Education Foundation; Kong Sen, Design Director of Shenzhen Art Academy; Song Boyuan, President of Shenzhen Graphic Design Association; Huang Wei, Professor, Doctoral Advisor, Director of Tsinghua Shenzhen International Graduate School; Sun Lei, Chief Designer of FIYTA Precision Technology Co., Ltd.,; Chen Yan, General Manager of Tencent Customer Research & User Experience Design Center; Zhang Jianming, Chairman of Shenzhen CIGA Design and others attended the symposium. Liu Zhen, Executive Vice Chairman and Secretary-General of Shenzhen Art and Design Alliance, hosted the symposium.
Li Fengliang, Vice Chairperson of SUSTech University Council
Li Fengliang, Vice Chairperson of SUSTech University Council, introduced the mission and objectives of SUSTech University and emphasized on the development of campus culture, including shaping and advocating the values of SUSTech, vigorously promoting cultural collaborative innovation, and forming the Culture and Art Expert Committee, etc. Li said that SUSTech University will continue upgrading the campus landscape with high standards, establishing cultural and arts venues, and creating a world-class university culture.
Li Xu, Associate Dean for Administration, SUSTech School of Design
Li Xu, Associate Dean for Administration of SUSTech School of Design, gave a speech about the establishment and development of the School of Design, indicating many important factors to be considered in teaching, research, and industry engagement. At the end of the speech, Li raised three questions to the audience: What is missing in the development of SUSTech School of Design? What shall we focus on? What can be done for the industry?
The attendants actively discussed the matters that need to be addressed in the future development of SUSTech School of Design and provided constructive advice from their professional point of view.
Yan Weixin, Director of The Museum of Contemporary Art and Planning Exhibition, expressed that “The development of SUSTech School of Design is missing a key component which is art. The school can provide a platform for future collaboration with museums.”
Kong Sen, Design Director of Shenzhen Art Academy, believed that “the school should stand firmly in the perspective of Chinese cultural development to achieve innovative advancement, and the school can assist in the creation of the regional and humanistic characteristics of Shenzhen.”
Qiu Gan, Deputy General Manager of Shenzhen Publishing Group, said that “we hope to provide support to the school through platforms such as Shenzhen Book City CBD store, including establishing a specific area for art and design books, customized purchase for academic publications, creating an exclusive art and leisure space for designers and artists, and providing an exhibition space for creative works.
Shen Yongfang, President of Shenzhen Creative Design Alliance, added that “we hope to provide support to SUSTech School of Design to engage with local industry and building a strong collaborative relationship. That will allow the school to address real-world needs and receive information and resources from the industry.”
Liu Zhen, Executive Vice Chairman and Secretary-General of Shenzhen Art and Design Alliance
Liu Zhen, Executive Vice Chairman and Secretary-General of Shenzhen Art and Design Alliance, reviewed the achievements of the Alliance in 2020, this includes the Alliance actively collaborate with its members to fight back against the pandemic, support business to resume work and production, organize the Design Business exhibition during 2020 Shenzhen Design Week and achieve a number of innovative initiatives, and support exchanges and collaboration between the Alliance, industry, academia and international art institutions.
Members of the Alliance introduced and shared their future development goals for 2021 and matters closely related to the art and design industry.
Luan Qian, Vice President of the Alliance, gave a detailed introduction of the inaugural issue of the magazine, City of Design Shenzhen from vision and mission to the visual design of the magazine. Song Boyuan, President of Shenzhen Graphic Design Association (GDC), introduced the history and mission of the GDC. GDC provides a platform for designers to showcase their works and it’s a place to attract and gather outstanding talents. Song also said that GDC can be a platform where industry meets academic research, to let the students of SUSTech School of Design participate in the GDC Design Award and explore the social value of design.
Kuang Fei, Deputy Secretary-General of Shenzhen Fashion Industry Association, introduced innovative highlights of 2020 Shenzhen Fashion Week. She revealed the charm and strength of the fashion design industry in Shenzhen and also hoped to provide both academic and practical support to the academic planning of SUSTech School of Design in the future. Ye Xin, Executive Secretary-General of the Aite Award of Shenzhen Interior Design Association, introduced the history and newest development of the Aite Award. Ye Xin, General Manager of Shenzhen Book City CBD Co., Ltd. introduced Shenzhen Art Exchange Center.
Looking back at 2020, the art and design industry encountered many difficulties, but we all worked together and ensured the continuous development of the art and design industry in Shenzhen. While helping businesses to resume work and production, the Alliance has been concerned about the difficulties of talent training and recruitment and has organized many meetings with its members. During the symposium, Chen Yan, General Manager of Tencent Customer Research & User Experience Design Center, introduced the key direction of talent training from the perspective of the industry, and Zhang Jianmin, Chairman of Shenzhen CIGA Design emphasized the industry demand for design talents.
As an expert in academic research, Huang Wei, Professor, Doctoral Advisor, Director of Tsinghua Shenzhen International Graduate School, added that he had three reflections after hearing the speeches given by the university and other members. The first one was that he was very touched by the efforts and achievements of the cultural development in SUSTech University while as in Tsinghua Shenzhen International Graduate School, they only focused on engineering and science with no humanities involved. They had been planning to establish a design school as well, but it was never realized. The second was that he regretted that although Tsinghua did art and design-related work in other cities, they never did it in Shenzhen. The third was that he wanted to contribute his expertise to the development of SUSTech School of Design.
Ren Kelei, President of Shenzhen Art and Design Alliance
At the end of the symposium, Ren Kelei, President of Shenzhen Art and Design Alliance, concluded:
“I was very moved today by several unexpected surprises when I visited the SUSTech campus and attended this symposium. I didn’t expect the campus of SUSTech to be so beautiful. I didn’t expect the library of SUSTech to be so modern. I didn’t expect the School of Humanities and Social Sciences to be so technological. I didn’t expect the effort that SUSTech invested in this symposium. I didn’t expect our communication with SUSTech School of Design to be so timely.
A fine blueprint has been sketched for the development of SUSTech School of Design especially after the Dean has arrived. I will conclude the following:
1. There is a clear and concrete structure of SUSTech School of Design. We have to identify the spirit of the school, which is going to affect the future development of the school.
2. We want to establish a design school in 2020, in the 40th anniversary of Shenzhen, and in a world where technology is highly developed. We need to clarify our goal at the beginning as to what areas we will be playing a leading role in. Our goal is to build the best design school in the world.
3. The characteristics of the School of Design are not to be a massive school that includes everything, but to understand how to integrate the School of Design with the urban industries in Shenzhen. The development of the industries in Shenzhen has been ahead of the school. To be cutting-edge and forward-looking, the School of Design needs to understand the level of development of industries and what is the demand for design?
4. The current development plan for the School of Design lacks humanities. Innovation, creativity, and design cannot be separated from culture and philosophy. To cultivate high-level design talents is to discover and think ahead of culture and philosophy.
5. The current academic structure of the School of Design has integrated with the disciplines of SUSTech, but it is still not enough and not in-depth.
A fine blueprint has come out of the first step, we can improve together to envision a great future for the School of Design.
I have the following expectations and suggestions for the association and our colleagues:
2021 marked the first year of the 14th Five-Year Plan, we can expect enormous changes in China. The expectations for Shenzhen, Shenzhen's strategic position have taken a huge leap as Shenzhen is the first demonstration zone of Socialism, the core city in the Greater Bay Area. There will be tremendous opportunities for our industry.
We should work together to:
1. Build numerous cross-over platforms for design, creativity, and business.
2. The design development in Shenzhen not only needs the support and promotion of the government but also needs to rely on the market. The market is an innovative design market and has already been formed in Shenzhen. Our mission is to implement and promote it, in order to create a number of different types of the innovative design market.
3. To create a relatively comprehensive upstream and downstream design industry, Shenzhen is the pilot zone in the whole country to first form an innovative design industry. This industry is open to serve both domestically and internationally.
4. To cultivate a group of design companies that can speak to the world on equal terms, as well as top design talents.
5. We hope to have a number of exhibitions and awards that are internationally competitive, which requires the joint efforts of all the associations.
Li Fengliang, Vice Chairperson of SUSTech University Council, and Thomas Kvan, Dean of the School of Design, expressed their gratitude to the guests from the association and their pertinent suggestions on the development of the School of Design.