"Sustainable design" will be one of the most important directions for future design education, research and design practice. "Sustainable design" differs greatly from simple "material product" output designs. It builds "sustainable solutions" to meet the specific needs of consumers through cross-integration between "products and services" with "results "and" efficiency", rather than pure consumption of material goods. The ultimate goal of this tactic design activity is to save resources and reduce environmental pollution and in the end change the quality of people's life. From this we can see that "sustainable design" is not purely emphasizing environment protection, but is also advocating equal attention being paid to user needs, environmental benefits, social benefits, and business development.
China is currently in the middle of an important economic transitional phase. Sustainable design must, on a research-level and application-level, play a big role. My personal view is that the current situation will hold great significance for the conception, methodology, and practice of international design education, and that the translation and publication of the relevant research and materials will be of crucial importance to the development of sustainable design education in China.
"Comprehensive modeling basis" is the most important and most basic course in the teaching and practice of industrial design. Design itself is an interdisciplinary and integrated system of knowledge, and the "beauty" and form of a design must be established according to specific rules and qualified in a specific way in order to be effective. The goal of design basis teaching is to cultivate students to have the comprehensive thinking ability and awareness. In other words, the cultivation of methodology for way of thinking and working is the critical component in design basis education.
Research achievements related to sustainable design: From his doctorate study, Liu Xin has been focusing on the examination and research of sustainable design on the theoretical, methodical and practical levels; his doctoral thesis won Tsinghua University’s outstanding dissertation award. In 2006, he participated in the "New Mobile Ideas" study, a study hosted by Professor Liu Guanzhong, about Metro transportation design and about solving modern urban traffic problems; in this project he proposed a new type of lease-type product service system design. In 2008, as group leader he took part in the Hong Kong 48-Hour Inclusive Design Challenge. From 2008 to 2010, as leader of the Chinese designation, he took part in the EU-funded Asia-Link project LeNS (The Learning Network on Sustainability) regarding sustainable learning networks: an Asia-Europe network of curriculum development plans multi-polar that is based on products, services, sustainable design system. From 2009 to 2010, as project leader, alongside Nokia he presided over the "Research and Innovative Design Projects for Youth Generation User" project: a comprehensive study on how urban young people communicate, providing service system-based studies on sustainable products. In 2009, Professor Liu participated in the "Development Trend of Domestic and Industrial Design", a vertical discussion held by the Ministry of Information and Industry (Professor Liu Guanzhong being the host); in the same year, he began to host the two-year Revitalization Fund Project, sponsored by Tsinghua University College of Humanities and Social Sciences, and the theme was: “The Teaching and Research on Sustainable Design Concepts, Methods and Practice”. Besides, he played a key role in the three-year “Sustainable Art and Design for Globalization Strategy” elective class program at Tsinghua University.
Related published works include the following: ‘Good design’ and ‘Good product’–The Evaluation of Design Thinking; A View of Product Design; his doctoral dissertation, Seeking Truth from Facts; The Evaluation System for Product Design; Primary Exploration on the Theory of Evaluation of Product Design; Regarding Thoughts About the Design Evaluation Standard; China’s sustainable design development and current situation; The Concept of Sustainable Design, Development and Practice; as well as the following papers published in English in the International Design Conference: Design for China Migrant Workers; User Value Based Product Adaptation: A Case of Mobile Products for Chinese Urban Elderly People; Design is the Problem: the Future of Design Must be Sustainable; The user’s value that is based on the value of product adaptability - the instance of mobile communication products for urban elderly; State of the Arts and Prospects of China's Education on Design for Sustainability; Present and Future Prospects on the Sustainable Design Education in China–The Teaching Curriculum Studies for Sustainable Design that Is Based on LeNS Cooperation Projects; translated works include: Design for Environmental Sustainability and Design Is the Problem: the Future of Design Must Be Sustainable.
Achievements related to integrated Modeling Basis:
After 2006, the major projects he participated in include: design projects for Qianjiang Motorcycle, design projects for the StarLight light control cabinet, human design project for Wrigley bathroom products, facility design project for the Olympic track and field stadium, design project for the Shenzhou-5 large-scale computer, landscape lighting design for Olympic central area, design project for the marine waters Yangtze River patrol boat. In 2008, for the teaching of and research done in the integrated design basis course, he was awarded first prize in teaching achievements by Tsinghua University. In the same year, he was accredited both the Beijing Education Achievement Award top prize and the 2008 National Education Achievement Award second prize. He published the following theses: Designed in China and ‘Chinese Style’, Thinking of Teaching Design Basis and the English language Compliant Product Design: A Case of User Research and Mobile Product Concepts Development (published in the International Federation of Design Research Community in 2009.)
Modeling basis 1, 2", The Expression of Vehicles via 3-dimensional Design 1, 2, Integrated Expression of Vehicles, Industrial Design Graphical Expression 1, 2; Design Methods and Procedures; Materials and Molding Process; Others
According to statistics compiled from 2006 on, Professor Liu has taught undergraduate classes for approximately 1400 class hours; he has guided nine graduate students, one of whom was accredited outstanding graduate by Tsinghua University in 2006.