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China Good Design Raises The Bar

A new international competition aims to set the benchmark for good design in China.

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BY Janice Seow

June 22nd, 2016


Top image: The international jury of China Good Design 2015 

China’s design industry is on the rise, developing in tandem with the country’s huge and fast growing economy, and an increasingly sophisticated consumer market. More and more, the term ‘Made in China’ is becoming a positive reference as local design professionals embrace their cultural roots and – armed with business savvy and skills honed in institutions around the world – create homegrown brands that are gaining recognition both locally and abroad.

From within this positive climate, a new award has emerged to bring the best local and international designs to the attention of the China market. Established in 2015, China Good Design is the first independent international design competition to be set up in China.

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Prof. Dr. Peter Zec

The award has been created by Prof. Dr. Peter Zec, Founder and CEO of the Red Dot Design Award, which is today one of the largest and most prestigious international competitions for product and communication design.

“In the past, China was the production line of the world. But now, many Chinese entrepreneurs and the Chinese government understand that design brings higher value to products, and not just manufacturing,” says Zec, who is also an internationally acclaimed design expert and author.

“So from this point of view, I think it’s the right moment now to share the idea of good design with the Chinese entrepreneurs, with the Chinese consumers, and also with the companies who want to sell their products in China,” he says.

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Purity Nature lunch box. Manufacturer: Xiamen Guanhua Xingye Industry & Trade Co., Ltd., China. Design: Chen Junfeng, China – China Good Design 2015 (Gold Winner), Tableware and Cooking Utensils category

China Good Design is opened to local designers and companies, as well as international firms who wish to market their products in China. Zec foresees that in the future, the award will become a very important benchmark for ‘good design’ in the country. He says, “If there is a new brand from abroad who wants to get the attention of [the local] consumers, the best way to do it is to win in the China Good Design award, and carry the label on the product and packaging.”

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ChiQ Cinema System. Manufacturer: Sichuan Changhong Electric Co., Ltd., China. Design: Homwee Technology (Sichuan) Co., Ltd., China – China Good Design 2015 (Winner), Consumer Electronics and Cameras category

China Good Design will follow the same stringent judging standards that the Red Dot Design Award is famous for. “All our judges have to sign a ‘Code of Honour’, which means that a judge cannot judge on his own products, he cannot even have his own products in the category that he is judging. This sounds very common, but it’s not. There are many other design awards where the judges can have their own products in it, and they just leave the room while their products are being judged. But this is not enough. So Red Dot and China Good Design are much tougher on this point,” Zec explains.

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On-site judging of China Good Design 2015 entries

Submissions to this year’s China Good Design competition will be assessed by an international jury made up of independent industry experts, such as Gordon Bruce (USA), Martin Darbyshire (UK), Aleksandar Tatic (Germany/Italy), Prof. Cheng Neng Kua (Taiwan), and Prof. Renke He (China).

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On-site judging of China Good Design 2015 entries

Also unique to the China Good Design competition is the fact that all nominated entries will be presented in an exhibition one day after judging, which is something new, even for Red Dot. “It is a new experience, and I think it’s fantastic for the public… they can really see the results immediately and judge for themselves,” says Zec.

In addition, participants will have the opportunity to ask questions and exchange ideas with the judges in a “Meet the Jury” session following the judging process, which Zec describes as “a new form of communication in design awards.”

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China Good Design award ceremony 2015

“I believe that China Good Design will soon become one of the biggest and most successful awards in the world because China is the biggest market in the world. And I think the whole world will learn one day from China about quality, and about good design.

“It is my wish that our design award will lead China to be a very successful nation in design, and all the participants from the very first moment will be the pioneers of this kind of development of a leadership in design in China,” says Zec.

Important dates
Regular submission: up to 11 July 2016
Latecomer submission: 12 July – 12 August 2016

For full details of the China Good Design 2016 competition and to submit your work, go to chinagooddesignaward.com