Liu Guanzhong, Father of China's Industrial Design

Liu Guanzhong, a famous academic leader and theorist of industrial design in China, founded China's first "Department of Industrial Design" in 1984 after returning from studying abroad in Germany. He is now the responsible professor and doctoral supervisor of the Academy of Fine Arts of Tsinghua University, and is known as "the father of industrial design in China".


"China has industry and has not completed industrialization"

In spite of the heated discussion about Industry 4.0 outside, in Liu's opinion, this concept obscures the basic fact of domestic industrialization development: China is not a real manufacturing country, but a processing country. The so-called "system" means specifications, standards, processes, equipment and assembly lines.

Teacher Liu said that "making" belongs to others and "making" belongs to us. The most obvious feature of "manufacturing" in mechanized mass production is drawings. All processes must be operated in strict accordance with the drawings. Drawings are orders, while drawings of many factories in China are imported from abroad. The essence of drawings is "design in advance". An industrial designer must consider the whole process of manufacturing, circulation, use and recycling.


At present, the development of China should refer to the perspective of philosophy and aesthetics. In the past, we all followed the European and American way to catch up. In today's world, we must find another system, and find our ideas from this system. This is China's plan. It is impossible to do this in the current European and American economic mode. We don't share the cake with him, so he doesn't have to treat us as imaginary enemies, so we must change our thinking.

Mr. Liu took screws as an example. At present, M3, the smallest model in the national standard, can be produced, while M1 screws still need to be imported. In fact, there are screw factories everywhere in China, and there is only one screw factory in Japan, so people can keep improving. Germany has only three home appliance plating plants, while almost every factory in China has plating plants. The pursuit of "small and comprehensive" in production is what Lao Liu called "the social concept of small production". He does not know how to complement and cooperate upstream and downstream of the industrial chain. The biggest feature of an industrialized society is that "my advantage is that you do not understand, and your advantage is that I do not understand, so that there will be cooperation. Otherwise, like you and me, it will be competition."


Teacher Liu went abroad to give lectures and found that the "Made in China" branded products were decreasing sharply, which indicated that the demographic dividend supporting China to become a world processing factory had disappeared. A boss asked Teacher Liu, "Is there any way to save the enterprise?" Teacher Liu refused to open such a rescue formula. "There is no such magic weapon in the world. If you don't do something basic, you are opportunistic.". Teacher Liu also knew that the enterprise should not be blamed. If the enterprise wants to pay salaries and taxes, it can only look at the present. The government, like the "parents" of enterprises, should make long-term plans for enterprises; The treatment of new things of "innovation" is like raising a baby. You can't leave it alone if it doesn't produce benefits in a short time. Some basic industry standards, technical research, patent protection, etc., must be led by the government and industry associations themselves.

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