Cui Xiaosheng

Cui Xiaosheng

Associate Professor
Academic Positions:
Member of Institute of Interior Design of Architectural Society of China (CIID)
Member of Interior Design Committee of China Industrial Design Association
Member of China Arts and Crafts Association (CACA)
Research Interests:

The Expressive Language of Image Design

Contemporary Socio-cultural and Interior Design
Academic Propositions:

The expressive language of image design is an essential part both of design education and design practices. The word “design” originates from the Italian word “disegno", meaning to draw an image. During the Renaissance, with the development of scenography, geometry, mathematics, and engineering, architects and designers who mastered drawing skills (not construction skills) gradually improved themselves to become artists other than craftsmen, obtaining higher social statuses. As a result, design had been developed into an intellectual activity, and image design and modern design came into being almost at the same time.


In the late 1990s, the application of digital technology greatly stimulated the development of the image design. Under such a new situation, image design inherits the traditional strengths and changed with the time, and became a valuable research subject. In the era of digital technology, the relationship between image design and design ideas has the following characteristics.


1) It is the medium between design ideas and reality. Image design expresses the idea of the design in an intuitive way while acting as the means for exchanges between designs and the designers’ mind.


2) Designed images convey the ideas of their designer. A design, before it is materialized, needs complicated yet clear languages to express the idea behind it, and the images are such means as they provide the opportunity of creation beyond material entity.


3) Images are immaterial substances. Hand-painted images are not only the reproduction, but also a part of the design, and the forms and expression of images and the design may have something in common. In this way, the experience of image become closer to the experiences of design, and even some designers get lost in the experience of image, becoming more subjective. The design of images are the shortcuts to realize their “dreams”, as we can see by comparing an image and a design that the former is much more closer to the ideas, having an obvious immaterial feature, while a design is material. For this reason, during the designing process, images often are the critical area between materiality and immateriality. They are the gateway to the mind of the designer, and in fact, is often regarded as the reflection of designers’ thoughts.


Research on contemporary design image goes beyond skills, mostly involving design history, art history, architectural history, visual culture, semiotics, sociology, education and psychology. Therefore, it is a challenging interdisciplinary filed.


My research focuses on the relationship between contemporary interior design and social culture. Under the general background of global cultural transformation, the contemporary environmental art design is highly related to the changes in society and culture. Therefore, my interests mainly focus on this field. My doctorate dissertation, Studies on Interior Design in the Background of Consumer Culture, studied the issues related to interior design from a sociological perspective. On this basis, my research expanded to sociology, semiotics, media studies, cultural anthropology and many other disciplines, aiming at the changes in interior design in the context of social and cultural transformation which have now become my research interests.


In current social and cultural context, interior design cannot just focus on the level of form and decoration. Its development in China has reached a very important turning point, and formalism at present is unable to meet the needs of our time and social culture. Therefore, new design ideas and methodology must be explored, which in turn requires us to seek answers from sociology, anthropology and ecology, and to pay more attention to sociological research in daily life. Consequently, we must combine our analysis of phenomena in the consumer culture with background research, while continuing to further the design research in aspects of sociology, phenomenology and typology, striving to discover new design theories and methodologies for interior design.

Research Achievements:

I have published a series of audio-visual textbooks Design Hand-painting Expression--the Interaction Between Thoughts and Expression (CD-ROM), and Design and Expression--Design Sketches of CUI Xiaosheng. I am currently working on two textbooks, i.e. Hand-painting Design Expression (China Water Power Press) and Interior Expression Methodology (Central Radio and TV University Press).


I’ve also published some papers such as “On the Uncertainties of the Borders of Contemporary Space”, "Analysis of 'Pan-aesthetic' Tendencies in Contemporary Interior Design", "The Temptation of Art and Marginalization in Contemporary Interior Design", “Status Quo of Contemporary Interior Design under the Temptation of Consumer Culture”, “Returning Back to Normal”, as well as a book named Consumer Culture and Interior Design.

Academic Teaching:

Design expression, concept of space, and interior design