The "Chinese style" in the design

March 06, 2019

When referring to German products, perhaps you will immediately think of refinement and stability. When you mention American products, you may think of leniency and openness. But when you mention Chinese products, what would you think of? You will find it difficult to describe in simple words. Why does this happen? The reason is that Chinese products lack their own design style.

What is Chinese style? In our understanding, the Chinese style should be based on Chinese culture and oriental lifestyle, and adapt to the overall image of China in the direction of global economic development, and tap the essence of Chinese culture and adapt to the world. The trend of fashion aesthetic design for economic and technological development and the establishment of a system and environment suitable for creating and maintaining this image are the key to shaping Chinese style.

Some people think that the Chinese style cannot be established at this stage. Although we admit that it is not easy to establish a Chinese style on the existing basis, we also believe that it is time for us to start building a Chinese style. The rapid development of China’s overall economy and manufacturing industry has attracted global attention. At this time, it is an opportune time to establish a Chinese style. Chinese culture is extensive and profound, and there are many items worth mining. Unfortunately, what you see in the market right now is just Some parts of the design contain Chinese elements of traditional Chinese culture. They do not form a unified Chinese style.

How should Chinese style be reflected? We have no experience and no ready answers. However, we want to use our continuous reports and efforts to call for competent authorities to increase industrial support for industrial design and evoke more corporate-to-industrial designs. The consciousness, together with everyone's wisdom, pondered and searched for our own Chinese style.

Chinese elements from flash to glory

At the just-concluded "Fortune" Forum in Beijing, the Chinese elements are in the limelight. In order to show its respect for Beijing, the “Fortune” Forum specifically changed the logo of the forum from a traditional blue to a red background with Chinese characteristics. The opening ceremony was held in the Temple of Heaven's Hall of Prayer for the highlight of Chinese elements. The three arcs of the aura of the Temple of Heaven's Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests on the background plates and the royal door studs on both sides project the high-profile and solemn style of the forum. Several distinctive Chinese elements demonstrate the rich charm of Beijing's rich cultural heritage and modern civilization.

In recent years, Chinese elements have been increasingly used in these fields from industrial design, architectural design to graphic design, and logo design. How to combine traditional Chinese elements with modern design is an important issue.

Rejecting one-sided symbolization of Chinese elements

At present, the fields that are highly sensitive to industrial design in China are automotive and mobile phone manufacturing. In the mobile phone manufacturing industry, the trend of integration into Chinese elements is quietly taking shape, and the application of Chinese elements with different visual effects to the appearance of mobile phones has brought different perceptions. Nokia's 6108 launched in 2003 was the most watched phone of the year with its back-to-the-middle sword and the Chinese handwriting input. Its vivid use of Chinese elements has brought a new look to the fashion of mobile phones. The domestic mobile phone Kejian K618's appearance in the design of the "He's cockroaches" and Amoi A6 mobile phone on the dragon is too superficial and formalized, the market response is flat.

"Industrial design should serve real-world needs. The application of Chinese elements must also conform to the great trend of development of the times. If the combination is not good, it will be easy to symbolize and superficialize," said He Songfei, a teacher at the Beijing Institute of Clothing. He Songfei believes that the reason why Nokia 6108 is more successful in industrial design is that the application of Chinese elements is closely related to the life style of consumer groups. “Handwriting input is more suitable for Chinese characters in digital products. It designs a stylus insertion and extraction method as a samurai sword with the shape of a sword. Its purpose is to strengthen the semantics of handwriting input and express and interpret such functions, contents and The unity of form and distinctive Chinese characteristics reflect the 'Chinese characteristics' more deeply than the simple affixing of a Chinese motif on some mobile phones," says He Songfei.

Nowadays, products have entered the era of differentiation. Product design must reflect individuality, and Chinese elements often result in lack of individuality in the process of application due to excessive commonality. For example, the thought of Chinese elements is the Red Lantern, Peking Opera Mask, Dragon, Cheongsam, Chinese Kung Fu, and Chinese Red. In fact, the Chinese element is far more than these. Its connotation is very profound and broad, and the form of expression is not limited to specific symbols. He Songfei believes that the great success of TCL Gem Phones in China is that its product design fits some deep psychological needs of Chinese consumers. Although this kind of gem culture is hard to say, profound and profound, it is not superficial and visualized after all.

Chinese elements must meet inner feelings and cultural identity

In essence, the rise of Chinese elements in the design field reflects the strong rise of traditional Chinese culture. The Beijing Olympics logo Taijiquan and the Beijing 2008 Olympic logo “China and India” all reflect the cultural inspiration that Chinese elements bring to the design field. Chen Meng, executive director of industrial design at the Beijing Industrial Design Promotion Center, believes that the application of Chinese elements in industrial design should be based on Chinese traditional culture and cannot be separated from cultural support. The symbolic and superficial Chinese elements cannot It fully embodies the profound heritage of traditional culture, and it may not necessarily bring true "soul" to the product. “After all, these elements should not only be reflected in the appearance of the product. The whole process of production, manufacture, consumption, and use experience should feel the presence of Chinese culture.” Chen Meng said.

In Chen Meng's opinion, Chinese elements do not have to be deliberately emphasized in the design process, and in particular they should not put the cart before the horse. Instead, they should label the “symbols” and “symbols”. "Some symbols can be used, but do not be forced to participate." Chen Meng added. Yan Yang, a professor of industrial design at the Fine Arts Institute of Tsinghua University, also believes that "Chinese elements" or "national characteristics" in industrial design cannot be deliberately pursued or even hard-fixed on the appearance of the product. It should be the designer's understanding of the national culture. A natural emotional expression.

"The connotation of design is culture". This is the view of George Yarrow, an internationally renowned car designer. Obviously, in the opinion of George Yarrow, design is not only a visual art, but also a multi-interdisciplinary subject. Designers need to have a variety of knowledge and skills, and the usual cultural accumulation is very important. Therefore, whether the cultural connotation can be reflected in the design, whether the Chinese elements can be skillfully integrated into the design depends on the designer's knowledge background and understanding of the culture.

As for how to apply Chinese elements to design, Chen Meng believes that it is necessary to conduct market research first, to clarify product positioning and determine product concepts. The most important thing is to grasp the psychological needs of consumers. Second, to study the deep cultural characteristics, Combining the features and functions of the product, the essence and core content of a certain culture are refined and created and excavated. Finally, a systematic overall plan is proposed to integrate the “Chinese elements” into the plan subtly, reflecting the product design. The overall sense.

In the 21st century, market competition is the competition of design. Behind the competition of design is the contest of culture. How to deeply understand and apply traditional cultural elements and add value for product design is worthy of in-depth study by the industry.

Source: Art Network

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