Design Master's Speech | Chen Dongliang: Industrial Design Empowers High-quality Industry Development
Publisher:Hebei Industrial Design Innovation Center (HIDC)
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Industrial design is a new productive force of combination of science and arts; the content of innovation-driven development strategy; and the core competitiveness of future industries.

 ——Chen Dongliang


Chen Dongliang, Vice President of China Industrial Design Association and Chairman of Beijing Industrial Design Promotion Organization. He created Beijing Industrial Design Promotion Center, the first government promotion organization for industrial design industry in China. As one of the pioneers of domestic industrial design, he devoted to the research and promotion on industrial design for 12 years and engaged in technology research and development, design management and design practice for long term. He won many national awards on science and technology, at same time, joined social activities to drive the development of industrial design.

In Xiongan Design Forum of Hebei International Industrial Design Week 2021 (HIDW 2021), Chen Dongliang gave a speech of “Industrial Design Empowers High-quality Industry Development” about some achievements and experiences in industrial design.


What is industrial design?

What is industrial design? This topic has existed for a long time.

International Council of Societies of Industrial Design (ICSID) gave many new definitions of industrial design constantly, which showed some hallmarks of industrial design development over the years. 


ICSID proposed in 1980s:

The mass production of industrial products, by virtue of training, technical know-how, experience and feelings and give visual materials, structure, shape, color, surface processing and decoration to a new quality and qualifications, called industrial design.

In 2006:

Industrial design is a creative activity, which aims to establish multi-dimensional quality for products, processes, services and systems throughout the life cycle. 

In 2015:

Industrial design is a strategic problem-solving process that drives innovation, builds business success, and leads to a better quality of life through innovative products, systems, services, and experiences.

Industrial design is a new productive force of combination of science and arts; the content of innovation-driven development strategy; and the core competitiveness of future industries. 

As an combination of cultural creativity and scientific innovation, design changes our lives without doubt by leading the social aesthetic custom and new consumption trend.



Design & Manufacturing & Technology

Design is inseparable from manufacturing.

When people first made stones into tools or when people first made containers out of clay, in which design started.

If a pottery can meet the need of function and integrate the aesthetic attitude of the creator, it is the early form of the original design. Design comes into being in the practice of human life and production.

Design empowers manufacturing.

Chen Dongliang summarized the relationship among design, manufacturing and technology in different periods:

Handicraft stage = design + (handicraft) single manufacturing

Mechanization and electrification stage = design + (machine) mass manufacturing

Informatization and intellectualization stage = design + intelligent manufacturing


Human history shows the process of science and technology empowering manufacturing constantly, in which human invent and discovery new science and technology for manufacturing to promote the transformation and upgrading of the manufacturing industry.

Along with the age of Internet of Everything, manufacturing is influenced by computer integrated manufacturing (CIM), Internet, Internet of Things, digitization, artificial intelligence, blockchain and biotechnology.


Today, we are in the age of Internet of Everything. The number of devices connecting to the Internet of Things is about 20-50 billion in 2000 and it may be more than 1 trillion by 2030.

Due to the Internet of Everything, informatization and intellectualization, changes follow from single design to systematic design to system of systems. Industrial design should develop itself in the scientific and technological revolution, because it doesnt only serve for a single product.


Thinking about Industrial Design

Machine-oriented product design would turn into an interdisciplinary system engineering. With an complicated system, intelligent interconnected products are equipped with mechanical components and software system or cloud software, which is a design ecology of hardware+software+content.

The future design teams are based on mechanical structure engineers and software engineer rather than only based on mechanical structure engineers. Chen Dongliang said, the previous design masters were not enough and fit for the age of Internet of Everything. 


In the era full of intelligent interconnected products, industrial design must be reflective of software design thought; the issuance of software products drives software improvement; industrial design needs more comprehensive knowledge integration.

Designers should improve abilities for challenges from the technological revolution, through knowing the trends of technology research and development, understanding users needs, grasping culture gene and mastering feasible business model for industrialization achievement.

Human face more and more complicated and interconnected problems including social problems, environment problems and economy problems. Design has involved in a deeper “socio-technical system” revolution caused by innovation in technology, society, organization and mechanism.


For the changes caused by industrial revolution and scientific and technological innovation, Chen Dongliang said, design industry proposed sustainable transformation design to drive our society into a more sustainable and ideal future, in order to solve these thorny problems (for example, climate change, crime, poverty, pollution and other problems).

It means design serves not only the traditional innovations in materials, products and business models, but also community construction, urban renewal, production and consumption system reconstruction, lifestyle remodeling or more extensive social transformation, with intentions and abilities (even very limited so far).