Zhang Lei


Professor, Graduate Supervisor

 

Educational Background:

In 1990, I graduated from the Industrial Design School of China’s Central Academy of Crafts and Arts with a bachelor’s degree. In the same year, I became a teacher there.

From 2002 to 2004, I was a student at the Université de Technologie de Compiègne (France) and obtained a master’s degree in Industrial Design upon graduation.

 

Member of the French Young Designers Association

Member of the Paris International Arts City’s Artists Association

Member of the Chinese Industrial Design Association

Expert member, sitting on the judging panel of the China Pavilion at Shanghai Expo

 

Research area:

Industrial design methods and visual rendition

 

Academic proposition:

The research aim of innovative industrial design methodology and visual rendition is to integrate methods of innovation with design expression. Visual rendition is not merely the outward expression of innovation; rather, it is directly integrated into the entire process of design innovation. Research in this area is based on teaching experience in specialized courses and the long-time, practical application of design. Taking into consideration the unique characteristics of the multi-faceted field which is industrial design, this research should focus on educating students how to find, define and resolve problems encountered in design innovation, so as to aid students in making better use of their personal experiences to explore their fields of interest to find answers, ultimately establishing the correct work habits and thought process required.

In 2005, together with Liu Zhensheng, Shi Xiping and Ma Sai, I compiled the textbook Design Expression, in which the section “Comprehensive Design Expression” broke through the traditional ideas regarding expression ability as a skill. In it, design thought process, as well as the acquisition, management and application of design information elements, were all integrated into new course content and teaching methods: in the field of industrial design education, this was a significant moment.

The research is mainly about: on the basis of industry design's traditional design process and methodology, through scientific observation, evaluation and comparative analysis, researching the thought process and process of innovation behind design choices, and promoting those process via real-time design expression. The goal is to boost the efficiency, increase the richness, and improve the visual aspect of the process of innovation. Furthermore, on such basis, the research can conclude what innovative methods of talent cultivation can be applied to China's education system. Since I became a university teacher, I have been teaching both undergraduates and graduates. My main courses are Design Expression and Research of Visual Rendition. As statistical trends show an increase in the demand for talent, I believe that increased research in this field will be very important to the national field of design education in the cultivation of the said talents.

 

Academic achievements:

Since I became a teacher in 1990, I have worked for several famous domestic and overseas companies in both product modeling design and development. I have more than 30 design products manufactured and sold in China and abroad, including: IBM (China) TA-1 hubs, ID systems utilized in the stadiums of the 2008 Olympic Games, speaker systems designed for use in China’s high-speed railway stations, children’s toy water bottles for French glassware company SAINT-CONPIN, and public facilities constructed for the 2008 Olympic Games. I have also been in charge of several national-level projects, including National Project nr. 985 “Tsinghua University, Research and Development of Humanoid Two-leg Robots,” “Image System Design for the National Scientific Literacy,” “Image Design for China’s Propaganda Team of Science Popularization,” and “China Science Popularization Day: My Low-carbon Life in 2010.” I have also finished several design research projects in cooperation with several world-famous companies including IBM (US), Nokia, Nissan (Japan), Hyundai (South Korea) and Johnson Controls (US). I have over 20 theses published in domestic and overseas journals, with my major theses and works being Perception and Creation, Innovation-centered Profiling Training, Security Design in Automobile Design, Basic Profiling Education for Vehicles, To Learn in Practice, and Integral Solutions of Design and All-Dimensional Design Service. Many of my design works have won awards in China and abroad, including China Light Industry Design Top Prize, being nominated for the France IMAGINER Product Design, Top Prize being awarded for the design of public facilities in the 2008 Olympic Village, the Jury’s Award in the International Arts and Science Exhibition, the Award of Merit in the First Arts Exhibition and selection for the 11th National Arts Exhibition. In 2001, I was named as one of the Young Teachers of the Year by Tsinghua University’s Fine Arts College.

 

Teaching experience:

I began teaching design from 1990. My main courses include: Graphic Design Expression of Industrial Design, Graphic Design Expression of Vehicles, 3D Profiling Basics and Computer-aided Design.