Challenges as well as opportunities for China's Design Industry

In a recent interview with Plastics News, Cathy Huang, President of CBi shared her insights into the state of sustainable design in China and what steps the Chinese government is taking to encourage a greener approach to design.

The interview, which is also accompanied by a video, was conducted at the Industrial Designers Society of America's international conference in Miami last Autumn.

The article was also picked up on by the China Business Business Network.

China has lots of design grads, but not enough job opportunities

Cathy Huang, founder and president of China Bridge International, a 7-year-old design research and design strategy consulting company in Shanghai, reflects briefly on some of these issues in a video interview from the Industrial Designers Society of America’s international conference in Miami this past fall.

CBi was China’s first such design management firm back when she founded it, according to Huang. Since then, the subject of design is garnering much more attention there, with college and university degree programs proliferating. There now are more design-related degrees offered in China than any other discipline, except for computer science, she said. The problem is that fewer than one in five Chinese design graduates are finding jobs in their area of specialization. That’s a big problem now, and the government is beginning to invest heavily to try to spur job opportunities for such graduates.

With 1.3 billion people, China also is ratcheting up its efforts in the areas of sustainability, green design and the promotion of eco-friendly materials and products. And global corporations interested in that market are following suit.

Huang said CBi recently completed a major research project with the Chinese design center of South Korean electronics giant Samsung, in an effort to help the firm refine and advance its eco-design strategy. This issue is looming large as sustainability will be a key focus of the World Expo 2010 that will take place in Shanghai from May through October. The event is expected to attract 70 million people.

“The Chinese government is starting to take the initiative to develop this area. For example, we are now working with the Shanghai government to build up a large-scale materials library in Shanghai,” Huang noted. The goal is to provide and expand the knowledge in China of material choices, with sustainability being a key factor. “The government is going to invest a huge amount of money in this area.”
Connect with us to learn more
We look forward to hearing from you.

Short Contact Form - English