Xiao Wei: Chinese Designers Should Combine Western Techniques, Chinese Heritage

Award-Winning Young Interior Designer Interviewed At Fifth Annual China International Design Fair

Young interior designer Xiao Wei

Young interior designer Xiao Wei

Last month, Zhang Zhifeng, the founder and chief designer of the Chinese high fashion house NE-TIGER discussed the future of Chinese fashion design at the Prestige Brands Forum in Shanghai. According to Zhang, although Western brands remain dominant in the Chinese market and China has yet to produce a true “luxury” brand that can compete with them on a global scale, the development of modern Chinese design has picked up speed in recent years:

[B]ased on the market potential of billions of [people], based on China’s 5000 years of civilization and its cultural heritage of Confucianism, Buddhism and Taoism, and based on the passion and creativity of the new Chinese generation of designers, I believe in our future in the Chinese luxury brand industry.

This week, following statements to this effect by designers like Zhang Zhifeng, Chinese designers have converged at the Fifth Annual China International Design Fair (taking place May 6-8 in Beijing), meeting to discuss everything from Chinese architectural design to interior design, all under the banner of China’s “green” design boom. (Which in the last few years has incorporated everything from auto design to fashion design.)

Today, Sohu spoke to one of the young designers taking part in the fair, interior designer Xiao Wei, who briefly discussed his thoughts on the future of contemporary Chinese design in a globalized world. (Translation by Jing Daily team):

Sohu Home: After studying abroad, how can Chinese designers maintain their [design] personalities? And how can they send their design out into the world?

Xiao: I think Chinese design has its advantages. China has five thousand years of culture, and we Chinese desingers should develop our strengths, integrating advanced Western concepts and advanced artistic technology, combining it with our cultural heritage to improve our design abilities. I’ll give an example. When we present a project bid, we should present a story to our [clients], one with Chinese characteristics, yet making sure to integrate Western design practices. This kind of alternate approach is what I’ve used lately in my design work.

This goes back to the question you just asked, how to tap into China’s cultural characteristics [in design]. I think this shouldn’t be too hard for Chinese designers. The key is to study China’s heritage, study Western techniques, and combine the two.


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