Cross-cultural design to the max!

Dec 3, 2019 | 0 comments

Our Chinese adventures are almost coming to an end again.

Time has passed insanely fast here in Changsha (as usual) thanks to the nice work I can do here. The past 1,5 months I’ve been helping Visual Communication and New Media students at Hunan Normal University to challenge and grow their creative skills, to let them think out of the box and to use new (design) perspectives and tools while working on their projects.

At the moment I’m collecting and editing photos and videos of the process and the results. But I’m just too excited to not already share some previews.
So here we go…!

Sharing design perspectives

In this exhibition you can feel a pleasant mixture of Asian- and Western design perspectives. Here in China, students are taught to focus a lot on illustration and on telling stories. This is not always the best start for a design process. So here is a little trick I always use:

When I design, I always start with a concept. This is the foundation of my project. This conceptual foundation helps me to make well-considered choices. I especially need this foundation at moments when I’m in doubt about what the next step is.

And making well-considered choices is exactly what Chinese students find difficult in my experience! For this reason I focus on the concept, on the message they want to communicate. This helps them to make clear choices while using techniques such as illustration and storytelling they’re familiar with.

Cross-cultural design to the max!

What was the class about?

100 years of Bauhaus, one of the most influential art movements in history that shaped the way we see art and design today. With its many forms of expression, Bauhaus offers a lot of inspiration and good starting points for all kinds of projects.

Together with my Canadian colleague Max Harvey, I introduced the students to Bauhaus and helped them to develop their own contemporary interpretation of it.

During this six week course, the students had one clear assignment; to make a series of (animated) posters that would announce Bauhaus-related exhibitions while being projected on a surface of their choice.

This led to exploration, experimentation and testing.
Our students challenged themselves not only to express their points of view but also to reinterpret Bauhaus-elements that was key to their experience of what defines Bauhaus.

The result was a truly impressive exhibition filled with a huge variety of interpretations and works – big and small, projected on white walls, on printed surfaces and even on a dress!

To give you an impression of some of the works, the students made GIFs for you 🙂


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