Tang Lintao

Tang Lintao, Associate Professor

Dr. Tang Lintao was graduated from the Industrial Design Department of Beijing Institute of Technology, obtaining his B.A. and M.E. in 1995 and 2000 respectively. From July 1995 to September 1997, he worked at the Beijing Industrial Design Center as a junior designer, involved in many projects and acquired some awards; from April 2000 to September 2001, he worked at Shenzhen Huawei Technology Ltd. as senior designer. From 2001 to 2004, he served as a student under the guidance of by Professor Liu Guanzhong, Ph.D. at the Academy of Arts and Design of Tsinghua University; from March to August of 2003, he visited the Institute of Ergonomics and Design (Essen University, Germany) as a Ph.D. student; in July 2004, he obtained his Ph.D. degree in arts. From 2004 to 2006, he worked on post Ph.D. research at Tsinghua University, and from July of 2006 to present, he has been teaching at the Industrial Design Department at the Academy of Arts and Design of Tsinghua University. In June 2007, he was awarded the German Chancellor Scholarship of Alexander Von Humboldt Foundation, and went to research at the State Academy of Arts of Stuttgart and Darmstadt Applied Science University for 15 months. From March 2010 onwards, he was assigned as vice director of the Institute of Design Strategy and Prototype Innovation at the Arts and Science Research Center of Tsinghua University. In May of that same year, he served as vice general secretary of the Zhongguancun Design Industry Association.


Research Orientation:

Design Methodology and Design Thinking

Lifestyle and Design Sociology Research 


Academic Views:

Research through Design

In terms of the relationship between design research and design practice, the common view is that research provides the knowledge, and practice uses that knowledge. Therefore the gap between knowledge and practice enlarges. However, the facts indicate that research not only provides knowledge. It is in itself a kind of design, which can be used to solve real problems in practical ways. E.G. Some German and Japanese universities and commercial design consulting agencies cooperate with large corporations to do long-term, goal-directed and in-depth research, solely aiming for a practical solution to a real-world problem. It is fundamentally different from purely scientific research aimed at discovering one “universal law”. Additionally, design practice always includes an element of research. For example, during the design process of IDEO, Apple Corporation sought advice and opinions from professionals in many fields such as sociology, psychology, and linguistics. In reality, there is no sharp line separating practice from research, rather, they are just both ends of a continuum.

Regardless of whether research is theoretical, applicable or basic in nature, the final goal is very clear: to create better and more practical designs. Therefore, we shouldn’t treat them as separate entities. Although a clear distinction appears between people doing research and those in practice, the contents of their work are still very similar. A designer would say that “design as research”, while a design researcher would say “research as design,” this alone is enough to indicate that design research and design practice are essentially one and the same.


Academic Achievements:

“Investigation and Research About the Function of Industrial Design after China's WTO Entry,” cooperative research projects with Hong Kong Polytechnic University, 2002

“Chopsticks–Asian Food Culture Research”, cooperative research projects with Hong Kong Polytechnic University, KAIST Korea, and Tsukuba University, 2004

He participated in the “‘System Design Methodology’ is the Foundation of Quality Oriented Education for Knowledge Structural type, Synthesis Type, Innovative Type Talents” planning discussion, held by the National Education Science Department, part of the “Tenth Five-year plan“ research project preceded over by Professor Liu Guanzhong, 2005

He participated in “Thinking Method and Design Methodology Research” held by the State Educational Committee Social and Scientific Program chaired by Professor Liu Guanzhong, 2005

He participated in the May 985 Program for higher education the second session special projects for philosophy and the social sciences ”Chinese art design education development strategy research”, Tsinghua University, responsible for one of the three subjects: art design related industry development strategy research, 2007;

He wrote The Method of Industrial Design, published by China Architect Engineer Press (ISBN 7-112-08560-8), 2006   

He obtained the German Chancellor Scholarship from Alexander von Humboldt Foundation as senior visiting scholar, 2007

He worked on the public lighting design of Olympic Park, and won the China Industrial Design Red Star Award Grand Prix Award,