THE FIRST STAGE

The first stage (1956-1976) is characterized by the improvement of the teaching system and other notable milestones. From 1956 to 1966, the teaching system of the then Central Academy of Arts & Design (CAAD) was improved continuously. A training mechanism that focused on undergraduate programs and supplemented by postgraduate programs was set up, which laid the foundation for the arts & design teaching system in China. At the same time, the Academy has made great contributions to the design of major Chinese construction projects. Faculty and students from the Academy were the main force for the architectural ornament and interior design of the ten-major engineering projects – including the Great Hall of the People – all completed within one year in order to celebrate the National Day in 1959. Then the ten years from 1966 to 1976 is a period of chaos when the “cultural revolution” brought all teaching and creative activities in the Academy to a halt. Still, the Academy played an essential role in the design of important projects such as the New Building of Beijing Hotel and Memorial Hall of Chairman Mao, which was constructed between 1974 and 1976.

THE SECOND STAGE

The second stage (1977-1988): After China adopted the Reform and Opening-up Policy at the end of 1978, higher education institutions across China resumed their yearly recruitment, and the Academy entered a new era of development. Starting from 1978, the teaching activities at the Academy returned to normal. The number of students admitted into the Academy increased considerably and efforts were made to offer better programs. Postgraduate programs were integrated in addition to the undergraduate programs, and specialized fields of study were increased from three in the Academy’s early period to six. In 1979, a team of artists and designers composed mainly of the Academy’s faculty and students headed by Zhang Ding, the Academy’s dean, undertook the fresco project of the Capital Airport lounge in Beijing. This is the first time since the founding of the People’s Republic of China that an immense fresco was created and constructed, causing quite a stir in the fine arts circle in China. The fresco in the Capital Airport lounge is not only a milestone in the development of contemporary Chinese fresco, but heralded a new thriving period of contemporary Chinese art. Teaching, researches and creative activities at the Academy kept improving in the 1980s. In this period, the Academy established a complete system including undergraduate and postgraduate programs. Meanwhile, it began to offer research-based PhD programs in design. Regarding teaching, the Academy emphasized the combination of theory and practice, inheriting and innovating, teaching and production. It emphasized the studies and researches of national art and folk art, as well as all types of design approaches at home and abroad. It also paid much attention to studying the relationship between theory and practice, art and science, creation and life, and design, technology and materials. In April 1982, at a national conference to review the country’s arts & design discipline curriculum of colleges and universities under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Culture, the participants agreed that arts & design programs of all other colleges and universities would adopt the curricula of the CAAD. This was an indication of CAAD’s core role in the arts & design education in China.

THE THIRD STAGE

The third stage (1989-1999) saw further improvement in the teaching system of arts & design, which values experiments, practice and teaching at the same time. In the 1990s, in line with the era’s trend of national development, the Academy put in place a teaching system of arts & design with strong Chinese characteristics, forming a complete range of programs for undergraduates, postgraduates, and doctoral students, as well as non-degree training programs for people who are interested in arts & design. The Academy established its design institutions with state-approved certification. The faculty and students enthusiastically participated in design practices, which greatly benefited teaching and studying, and laid the foundation for the further development of arts & design education in China in the 21st century. The Academy’s representative design works during this period include interior design of the China World Trade Center, logo design symbolizing the return of Hong Kong to China, the design of the flag and emblem of Macao Special Administrative Region, logo design for the Bank of China, logo design for the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, and the design of “The Blooming Bauhinia”, a large sculpture given as a gift to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region by the Central Government.

THE FOURTH STAGE

The fourth stage (1999-now): The Academy repositioned itself by shifting its focus to research and the training of high-caliber artists and designers with all-rounded qualities. In November 1999 the Central Academy of Arts & Design merged with Tsinghua University and changed its name to the Academy of Arts & Design, Tsinghua University. Relying on Tsinghua University’s highly-developed teaching resources and comprehensive strength, as well as the Academy’s own complete system of arts & design teaching, the Academy adopted a “comprehensive, research-based and open” mode of teaching, setting its goal on cultivating “high-caliber and high-level artists and designers with creativity and diversified styles.” By then, it has developed a more comprehensive teaching system for the undergraduate and postgraduate programs. In 2001, the Academy held the “International Exhibition of Art and Science” at the National Art Museum of China. Based on an international seminar featuring theoretical study of the same theme, the Arts and Science Research Center of Tsinghua University was founded. The center was devoted to academic researches. From then on, the Academy shifted its focus from teaching to teaching & research. After restructuring, the Academy now has six institutes for theoretical research and 17 institutes for art practices. The process and results of the researches will in turn promote the Academy’s teaching. By July 2010, the Academy’s programs covers 25 special areas of study under Art and Design. It has made notable progress in offering better programs and making academic achievements. It took first place in a national performance appraisal involving over 1,000 arts & design colleges in China. Faculty and students from the Academy have won many awards in important exhibitions and design contests both at home and abroad. They also played very important roles in the design of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games and the design of the 60th anniversary celebration ceremony of the People’s Republic of China.



The first stage (1956-1976) is characterized by the improvement of the teaching system and other notable milestones.


From 1956 to 1966, the teaching system of the then Central Academy of Arts & Design (CAAD) was improved continuously. A training mechanism that focused on undergraduate programs and supplemented by postgraduate programs was set up, which laid the foundation for the arts & design teaching system in China. At the same time, the Academy has made great contributions to the design of major Chinese construction projects. Faculty and students from the Academy were the main force for the architectural ornament and interior design of the ten-major engineering projects – including the Great Hall of the People – all completed within one year in order to celebrate the National Day in 1959.


Then the ten years from 1966 to 1976 is a period of chaos when the “cultural revolution” brought all teaching and creative activities in the Academy to a halt. Still, the Academy played an essential role in the design of important projects such as the New Building of Beijing Hotel and Memorial Hall of Chairman Mao, which was constructed between 1974 and 1976.




The second stage (1977-1988): After China adopted the Reform and Opening-up Policy at the end of 1978, higher education institutions across China resumed their yearly recruitment, and the Academy entered a new era of development.


Starting from 1978, the teaching activities at the Academy returned to normal. The number of students admitted into the Academy increased considerably and efforts were made to offer better programs. Postgraduate programs were integrated in addition to the undergraduate programs, and specialized fields of study were increased from three in the Academy’s early period to six. In 1979, a team of artists and designers composed mainly of the Academy’s faculty and students headed by Zhang Ding, the Academy’s dean, undertook the fresco project of the Capital Airport lounge in Beijing.


This is the first time since the founding of the People’s Republic of China that an immense fresco was created and constructed, causing quite a stir in the fine arts circle in China. The fresco in the Capital Airport lounge is not only a milestone in the development of contemporary Chinese fresco, but heralded a new thriving period of contemporary Chinese art. Teaching, researches and creative activities at the Academy kept improving in the 1980s. In this period, the Academy established a complete system including undergraduate and postgraduate programs.


Meanwhile, it began to offer research-based PhD programs in design. Regarding teaching, the Academy emphasized the combination of theory and practice, inheriting and innovating, teaching and production. It emphasized the studies and researches of national art and folk art, as well as all types of design approaches at home and abroad.


It also paid much attention to studying the relationship between theory and practice, art and science, creation and life, and design, technology and materials. In April 1982, at a national conference to review the country’s arts & design discipline curriculum of colleges and universities under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Culture, the participants agreed that arts & design programs of all other colleges and universities would adopt the curricula of the CAAD. This was an indication of CAAD’s core role in the arts & design education in China.




The third stage (1989-1999) saw further improvement in the teaching system of arts & design, which values experiments, practice and teaching at the same time. In the 1990s, in line with the era’s trend of national development, the Academy put in place a teaching system of arts & design with strong Chinese characteristics, forming a complete range of programs for undergraduates, postgraduates, and doctoral students, as well as non-degree training programs for people who are interested in arts & design. The Academy established its design institutions with state-approved certification. The faculty and students enthusiastically participated in design practices, which greatly benefited teaching and studying, and laid the foundation for the further development of arts & design education in China in the 21st century. The Academy’s representative design works during this period include interior design of the China World Trade Center, logo design symbolizing the return of Hong Kong to China, the design of the flag and emblem of Macao Special Administrative Region, logo design for the Bank of China, logo design for the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, and the design of “The Blooming Bauhinia”, a large sculpture given as a gift to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region by the Central Government.





The fourth stage (1999-now): The Academy repositioned itself by shifting its focus to research and the training of high-caliber artists and designers with all-rounded qualities. In November 1999 the Central Academy of Arts & Design merged with Tsinghua University and changed its name to the Academy of Arts & Design, Tsinghua University. Relying on Tsinghua University’s highly-developed teaching resources and comprehensive strength, as well as the Academy’s own complete system of arts & design teaching, the Academy adopted a “comprehensive, research-based and open” mode of teaching, setting its goal on cultivating “high-caliber and high-level artists and designers with creativity and diversified styles.” By then, it has developed a more comprehensive teaching system for the undergraduate and postgraduate programs.


In 2001, the Academy held the “International Exhibition of Art and Science” at the National Art Museum of China. Based on an international seminar featuring theoretical study of the same theme, the Arts and Science Research Center of Tsinghua University was founded. The center was devoted to academic researches. From then on, the Academy shifted its focus from teaching to teaching & research. After restructuring, the Academy now has six institutes for theoretical research and 17 institutes for art practices. The process and results of the researches will in turn promote the Academy’s teaching. By July 2010, the Academy’s programs covers 25 special areas of study under Art and Design.


It has made notable progress in offering better programs and making academic achievements. It took first place in a national performance appraisal involving over 1,000 arts & design colleges in China. Faculty and students from the Academy have won many awards in important exhibitions and design contests both at home and abroad. They also played very important roles in the design of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games and the design of the 60th anniversary celebration ceremony of the People’s Republic of China.