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Title: Seeking cultural originality : a critical study on contemporary product design in China
Author: Yu, Peipei
Awarding Body: Birmingham City University
Current Institution: Birmingham City University
Date of Award: 2018
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The intention of this thesis is to explore, by a critical perspective, the originality of product design in China, along with the expression of Chinese cultural values in product design in the contemporary international arena. Starting from literature reviews of design in China, this research focuses on both historical and cultural aspects of product evolution. It will take into account the indigenous innovation phenomenon - 'shanzhai' and 'Chineseness' in order to pursue a comprehensive understanding of the origin of product design and innovation trends in a contemporary context. Also, interview data from senior designers and professors from various design institutions and companies in China has been elicited in order to understand different perspectives. IKEA and MUJI have been selected as the main case examples to demonstrate their design principles, brand loyalty and cultural impact, based upon their experiences in transcending national borders through global policies. Xiaomi has also been used as a case study to support the study of Shanzhai phenomenon, while the case study on PINWU and SHANGXIA has also been conducted to study the current interpretation of contemporary Chinese product design in China. Furthermore, there will be interpretation of their brand management, marketing strategies and brand philosophies as case examples, which may indicate new directions for design in China. Ongoing, extensive literature searches and data analysis have revealed significant relationships between design, creativity, culture, branding and marketing. This research has identified the important influences of cultural values in product design in globalised markets which are needed in order for Chinese design institutions and companies to deliver their indigenous values to a competitive world.
Supervisor: Jiang, Joshua ; Jerrard, Bob Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: T100 Chinese studies ; W200 Design studies