Twenty years ago, a group of experts and scholars committed to China's industrial design gathered in Fuzhou. Feeling the inevitable industrial design needs of the upcoming opening up of China, they proposed to establish their own organization of Chinese designers
twelve years ago, after nine years of tempering, their old wish was finally realized in Beijing - the establishment of China Industrial Design Association. As a result, China's industrial design has taken a big step forward
twenty years later, we regret to see that there is still a huge gap between today's design status and the building vision at that time. Although people can use the progress of graphic design in the past ten years to highlight the achievements of design, they can't avoid the core with the word "industry" - the lagging design in the industrial product manufacturing industry, as well as the staggering practice in this field and the silence of "excellent design"
all people who have been exposed to the development of industrial design in these two decades have inevitably felt the confusion, anger, boredom, depression, indifference and other bad feelings caused by the strong conflict between ideal and reality. After realizing the truth of "walking around when encountering a red light", more people have turned from their original insistence on "industrial design can save the country" to a more affordable fast lane of "environmental design", "advertising design" and "CI design". Today, among the delegates who participated in the founding meeting of China Industrial Design Association, there are not many who can adhere to "doing" industrial design without changing their original intention, but a group of new people continue to join this team with the color of "martyrdom"
however, if we can't examine our ideals with a pragmatic attitude, analyze the reality we are in from the perspective of development, reflect on the tortuous process we have experienced, and better balance the conflict between ideals and reality, we can't find our own way of industrial design
an ideal academic circle
in the past 20 years, China's industrial design industry has completed a sharp change from theory to practice
if we say that the origin and development of industrial design in western countries is accompanied by the tide of scientific and technological revolution and commodity economy, and it is a natural process that conforms to the laws of things and follows the track of market economy, then the introduction of industrial design ideas in China in the early 1980s is more "surreal", It is the rational call of a few forward-looking scholars before the manufacturing revolution storm sweeping Chinese Mainland. Rereading the articles published in the early 1980s, people will find that the ideal goals of "excellent design", "design culture" and "personalized design" based on the more mature commodity social environment proposed at that time are out of step with the industrial economy and market hot spots at the "from scratch" level of "setting up three capital enterprises", "introducing capital and equipment", "filling the consumption gap" and so on
therefore, in the whole 1980s, before the "supply exceeds demand" situation in the Chinese market, the manufacturing industry lacked the personal experience of highly competitive survival pressure, and the government was busy paving the large-scale economic pattern, all the appeals and advocacy of academic circles for industrial design seemed so pale
although we can call on the society to pay attention to the scientificity of the development of China's manufacturing industry with a thousand reasons and recognize the importance of industrial design from the experience and lessons of the western and Asian newly industrialized countries, decades of economic development lag has led to the low starting point when China's manufacturing industry takes off again, as well as the limitations of enterprise founders and decision makers' understanding of "modernization", It is doomed that Chinese enterprises must go through a long and unavoidable process of "imitating" Western products in product development. Although we can euphemistically describe this process as "digestion and absorption" in official language, in essence, it must be shown as the growth of design forces that ignore and exclude themselves. The most painful thing for the academic community is to see the essence of things but do nothing about it
in terms of theoretical guidance, Chinese design theorists have little knowledge of China's social structure, public value concepts, and enterprise structure, so that the introduction of industrial design ideas in China is superficial to pure theoretical preaching, and determines that when promoting the cause of industrial design, the academic community inadvertently downplays its "applicability" theme, weakens its value in solving practical problems, and exaggerates its illusory role in shaping the future, It gives too many ideal colors. Academic circles have overemphasized its "cultural" value and aesthetic value, which objectively delays enterprises' early recognition of the economic value of industrial design
many design scholars show timidity in participating in design practice. Perhaps because of the defects of their own knowledge structure, they have little knowledge and understanding of the economy, market and Chinese society. They intentionally or unintentionally avoid cutting in and solving real design problems, cover up their childish practical ability, and look down on Chinese enterprises with a seemingly detached and noble attitude. Complain about the shortsightedness of enterprises, lament their untimely life, and accuse the government of lacking understanding, but they don't. Once they face the complicated practical conditions such as those farmers and entrepreneurs who just "wash their feet and go to the field", simple production equipment, rough processing technology, the market concept of price first, and less "elegant" consumer tastes, they immediately feel that the "design" is at a loss and at a loss. It is such an over idealized understanding and consciousness of industrial design that the deep psychological avoidance of solving social practical problems has built an invisible barrier to practice in the academic community
the development of industrial design in the 1980s showed the characteristics of idealization and theorization, which was mainly due to the influence of western design concepts
the emergence and development of western industrial design is a natural process associated with social change, technological evolution and market concept transformation. However, the "modernization" of public life in modern China has not experienced a long process of natural evolution. Chinese consumers have not experienced a century of evolution from the rotation of washing machines driven by wooden gears to electric turbines, nor do they know the history of color televisions, refrigerators and tape recorders that poured into our lives when our country opened to the world in the early 1980s. They take these industrial products for granted "like this". Therefore, in essence, our modern civilization today is based on the development of Western science and technology
this premise of social material civilization also determines that the modern Chinese design education system must be based on the West. Designer training mode, design thinking method, design style, design evaluation criteria, all with strong current H3PO4 iron Li materials are limited by theoretical specific capacity, and can not meet the requirements of 2020 western color. Therefore, no matter the pioneers who advocated Chinese industrial design 20 years ago or today's designers, they inevitably have to look at Chinese enterprises, Chinese market and Chinese industrial products from the perspective of Western designers, and are eager to use the design methods, design concepts and styles that have been "learned" and evolved from developed countries over the past century to solve and deal with the design problems of "domestic products" in the transition to industrial society
therefore, scholars will consciously or unconsciously exaggerate the status of modern design in the commodity society, create a utopian social vision created by designers for themselves, and breed a strong illusion and heroic consciousness of "design can change everything"
this awareness in the academic community is very different from the understanding of consumers, entrepreneurs and government officials on Design in the real world of China. Because designers cannot change their foothold, try to think about the interests of enterprise development with each other's values from the perspective of the enterprise, and design a new product that may have better market effect and bring great benefits to the enterprise under the limitations of existing production conditions, capital investment, quality standards, cost indicators, sales prices, market trends and other factors, If it is impossible for entrepreneurs to truly understand the "value" of industrial design from the sales figures in the statistical statements, how can entrepreneurs show sufficient "respect" for us and pay attention to the cause of industrial design
repeated idle talk and uninspiring text quotation will inevitably become increasingly boring after a long time, and even the design industry itself will gradually lose interest. By the early 1990s, the prosperous phenomenon of empty theoretical research in the middle and late 1980s had gradually declined
generally speaking, the will and perseverance of the industrial design academic community are not tough enough. Under the condition of repeatedly failing to overcome the "fortress" of practice, people have failed to reflect on their basic points in theory. Instead, with the emergence of new design industry hotspots that can be classified according to different methods, ideals and interests have been repositioned and transferred, Many former industrial design scholars emerged in the waves of "environmental art fever", "advertising fever" and "Ci fever" in the 1990s, found their new position and showed new ideal enthusiasm, which made people wonder whether the enthusiasm for industrial design in the past really came from the heart
second, the real industry
when the industrial design academic community was fettered by vague theories and lingered outside the door of practice for a long time in the 1980s, China's consumer goods manufacturing industry began its own creation from an almost "zero" starting point. It is not based on a beautiful ideal, but launched in the pursuit of material wealth based on the market under the prying action of the actual economic lever. However, the scientific and technological foundation of this creation is not "zero", but carried out in various ways such as "introduction of technology", "joint venture production", "sample processing". Although our starting point is low in terms of modern consumption level, the starting point of this "modernization of life" reform is not low in terms of production technology. In a broad sense, it is a market hotspot created by the manufacturing industry in the market, which essentially promotes the progress of the country and the improvement and improvement of the quality of life of the public
however, the two characteristics of "low starting point of consumption level" and "high starting point of product technology" shown in this creation process always exist in the process of changing the concept of manufacturing industry from traditional planned economy to modern market economy. At the same time, the design of various industrial products was not designed by the Chinese designers stored in the single chip microcomputer according to the wishes of the design scholars, but was imported from the West with the "Introduction" of production technology
because of "Introduction", the consumption life of Chinese people has achieved a leap from "backward" to "well-off" in a short time
Copyright © 2011 JIN SHI