Graduate Courses

The Chinese and foreign design schools

Course title

The Chinese and foreign design schools






"Chinese and Foreign Design Schools" is a core professional foundation course for design majors. Its purpose is to enable students to understand the context of human development, especially the design evolution since the Industrial Revolution, including various design schools, design styles, and famous designs. The history of the division and its works and the development of the design. This is very important for students to correctly understand the inherent power and source of industrial design and grasp the future development of industrial design.

About this course

1.Design and civilization: The origin of design and the development of human civilization

Overview: Civilization of Tools, In the Neolithic period, the human began to use natural materials (stone, wood, bamboo, leather, bark, etc.) manufacturing tools, which is the important step from barbarism to civilization. Creation not only ensured the existence of human beings, but also enlightened the greatest creativity of mankind – Design.

  • the beginning of the design: designed for survival, the initial stage of design.

  • The impact of design on human civilization: from nomadic to sedentary life.

  • The history of Chinese ancient design: from Sanxingdui

  • Foreign craft design: Ancient Egypt、 Ancient Greece、Ancient Rome design.

2.Productivity revolution: mechanization and design

Overview:From the industrial revolution to nineteenth Century, mechanization has been the focus of discussion about design theory and practice, On the one hand, people sought a suitable aesthetic for the mechanism products,  on the other hand, people also thought about the profound influence of the machine to all aspects of society. There were Various design schools during this period, by which traditional craft was threatened first time.

  • The reform of technology brought energy to the design: The first industrial revolution.

  • Production change: From manual production to assembly line production.

  • Design Reform: Arts and crafts、Chicago schoolVienna Secession、The Deutscher Werkbund、Art Nouveau.

3.Defining New Aesthetics: Design Exploration in the Early 20th Century

Overview: At the same time as the ideal development of standardization and rationalization, a series of European art movements flourished in the early 20th century, such as futurism, expressionism and constructivism, thus defining the form and function of aesthetics under the conditions of industrial civilization.

  • The second industrial revolution: Rebuilt manufacturing system.

  • Art reform: De STIJL、Constructivism、Machine Aesthetics、Bauhaus.

  • Bauhaus: The basis of modern industrial design teaching system.

4.Out of the great depression: the rise of design and the revival of the economy

Overview: In the 1920s and 1930s, the United States and Europe experienced an unprecedented economic depression. Under such socio-economic conditions, industrial design emerged as an emerging profession that promotes consumption and revitalizes the economy and becomes an important part of the modern economic system. It played an irreplaceable role in getting out of the shadow of the Great Depression.

  • Professionalization of industrial designers: Raymond Loeway、Wilhelm Wagenfeld.

  • Saving economic crisis: Streamlining and Commercial design

5.Shaping new life, reconstruction and design after the Second World War

Overview: World War II destroyed the homeland in reality, but the home of the soul has never been ridiculous. When the design encounters the sun, it will bloom its eye-catching light. After the Second World War, the infiltration of various arts into the design made the repressed design power burst out more fiercely, creating a new way of life for people.

  • The third industrial revolution: high consumption and individuation .

  • The rising of Modernism in USA.

  • Miracle of design: Design revival of European countries such as Italy after the war, Design exploration of China and Japan.

6.Prosperity of design: various styles and genres of the 1960s and 1980s

Overview: Since the 1960s, a new generation of designers has begun to challenge functionalism, forming a pattern of design diversification, creating a diverse design culture that greatly enriches people's spiritual and cultural life.

  • Rationalism and "nameless" design

  • New modernism

  • High-tech style

  • Pop culture and pop style

  • Less is boring: postmodernism

  • Break first and then stand: deconstruction

7.A tool for innovation: design since the 1980s

Overview: Since the 1980s, due to the rapid development and popularity of computer technology and the rapid development of the Internet, human beings have entered a new era of information explosion. This huge change has not only drastically changed the technical characteristics of human society, but also has a tremendous and far-reaching impact on every aspect of human society, economy and culture, and design has become a weapon of enterprise innovation under new technological conditions.

  • The development of computer technique and industrial design: Best products of Apple

  • Design creation wealth: Enterprise IBM rise again.

  • Design is priceless: The content of the design is not just the product.

From manufacture to creation:Facing the competition of the new millennium.

Overview: How a country builds it’s the core competitiveness?-only innovation. Innovation is the greatest power of mankind, Design is the Specific embodiment of creativity. This chapter talk about the national design brought a breakthrough for the national economy, politics, culture, science and technology.

  • Soft power has become the driving force: The design has penetrated into the three major industries of industry, industry and service.

  • Prosperous trend: design trends from the wheel changes

  • Designing a strong country: everything is inseparable from design

8.Social innovation: Sustainable design for 21 Century

Overview : Design is first not only for enterprise but also for a country. The field of design is expanding, the concept of design is extending with design professional and times informatization. From product design to social service design, from materiality to immateriality, every thing needs design.

  • Immaterial design: from materiality to immateriality, Design for human society.

  • Sustainable design: for better life.

9.The future of design: See the future of the world

Overview: Our world comes from design. In the past, design changed the world. In the future, design will still create the world. This chapter will talk about the possibility of future traffic、information and dwelling design.

  • Future information

  • Future traffic

  • Future dwelling


HE Ren-Ke, The history of industrial design, Higher Education Press