Thursday, July 17, 2008

China working to revive innovative image

With the 2008 Summer Olympics quickly approaching, the spotlight is on China. Some of the countries most famous inventions have been gunpowder, paper, silk and the toothbrush. According to this article in the International Harold Tribune, China is trying to resurrect it’s image of innovation. In a recent exhibition at the Albert and Victoria Museum in London, researchers spent four years compiling China Design Now.

With all of the rapid growth taking place in China, the next step is to turn from a manufacturing country to a country that excels at inventing new products. Shanghai, Hong Kong, Shenzhen and Beijing are emerging as centers for innovation and design. In Beijing, architects have been able to build the world’s largest airport, as well as the bird’s nest stadium for the Olympics. Designers have made an effort to make all the buildings for the Olympics sustainable. A key to keep this new innovation and design going is the education of design through China. Schools have been growing significantly in number, however, China needs to take care to make sure that these schools are filled with the quality teachers and can provide a good education.

One of the museum curators, Lauren Parker, who helped design the exhibit had this to say about China’s future:

“The key challenges do not lie so much in the creativity and aspirations of individual designers (China has those), but in the development of a nurturing infrastructure which will develop its design strengths further. Most importantly China's government needs to invest in the country's designers, creating a supportive environment where design can flourish, and design companies can grow and thrive.”


aljensen said...

China definitely has a lot of energy compared to the more lethargic (and deliberative) pace of the West - whether this is a good thing or a bad thing, in some ways in could be seen as a bit of both.

Together with our Chinese friends we have been working on a site to teach people beginner's Mandarin Chinese. Throughout this enterprise I have felt a spirit of collaboration and enterprise on the part of the young Chinese people assisting us. If you're curious, the site link is

Jennifer said...

aljensen --

Thanks for reading our blog! I believe China is going to be a huge part of the innovation that takes place in the years to come. It'll be very important to have Americans who can communicate in their language.


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