Liu Guanzhong

Liu Guanzhong 


He was born in Shanghai in Sept. 1943. From 1961 to 1966, he studied in Department of Architectural Design, Central Academy of Art and Design (Five-year Undergraduate). From 1974 to 1978, he served as an interior designer at Beijing Construction Design Institute, mainly responsible for lighting design of public buildings.

He has finished “lighting design for Chairman Mao Memorial Hall as well as the structural design and implementation of the construction technology”. From 1978 to 1980, he took postgraduate program in Fine Arts Department of Central Academy of Art and Design. After graduating with a master’s degree, he became a teacher in the school. From 1981 to 1984, he was a visiting scholar at Stuttgart State Academy of Art and Design in Germany with a Western German DAAD Scholarship, during which, a “new utility patent” -----“nodes” was issued. In 1984, he returned to China to teach at Central Academy of Art and Design and he became the first dean of Industrial Design Department in China from Aug. 1984 to 1999, building up the industrial design education system in China. The industrial design syllabus was awarded the second prize of outstanding achievements for Beijing higher education in 1992. At the invitation of Nagoya Division of Federation of International Industrial Design Association, he gave a lecture in 1989. In the same year, he was awarded the medal of “Outstanding Contribution by Returned Overseas” by National Personnel Authority and Ministry of Education. He was conferred the academic title of professorship in Central Academy of Art and Design in 1992. In 1997, “Industrial Design System Textbooks” authored by him won first-class award of excellent achievements in Ten Northern Provinces. In the same year, “Industrial Design” was approved as Second-rank Key Subject by Ministry of Light Industry”. In 1998, he was accredited as “scholar of governmental special allowances”. In 1998, he was honored as “excellent visiting scholar” and honorary professor by the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. In 1998, he was appointed as Ph.D. supervisor of Central Academy of Art and Design. In 1999, he was awarded the Silver Prize of the ninth National Fine Arts Exhibition for his “Cellphone Conceptual Design”. In the same year, he was employed as professor and Ph.D. supervisor by Tsinghua University after Central Academy of Art and Design was incorporated into Tsinghua University. In 2000, the article “Science of Human Things-----Design Methodology” was included in the book “Must Read for Designers” (SBN 3-89850-018-7) by German HOCHENHEIM publisher. In 2001, “Industrial Design System Textbooks” authored by him won first-class award of excellent achievements for Beijing higher education, and second-class award of excellent achievements for higher education of Ministry of Education. In 2004, he was appointed by "IF" agencies as excellent design review members of China region. During 2002 to 2005, he was honored as “good teacher and helpful friend of students” for 4 times by Tsinghua University. He was appointed as director of Master’s Degree of Engineering Group of National Instructive Committee in Industrial Design Education in 2008, and appointed as president of Design Strategy and Prototype Innovation Institute, Academy of Arts and Design, Tsinghua University in 2009.

Major social positions: Honorary Vice President of China Industrial Design Association, Deputy Director of Industrial Dsign Committee of Chinese Artists Association, President of Design Strategy and Prototype Innovation Institute of Academy of Arts and Design (Shunde) of Tsinghua University, Researcher of China Institute of Design of Academy of Arts of China.

He has created theories such as “style design”, “matterology” methodology, “design culture”, and “symbiotic aesthetics”, which were accepted and cited in theoretical circles of industrial design in developed countries. He is one of the most famous academic leaders, with great social influence in the area of industrial design.


Research Interest:

Design methodology------matterology and industrial design mechanism and policies research.


Academic Propositions:

"Design" is a new born substance from industrial revolution, which from the beginning is born to solve the problem of “small production” but not the "large production". “Design” should be proved as the third category of wisdom and ability for human to survive in addition to science and art. Nowadays, with economic globalization, extension of technology potential, localization of demands, personalization of consumption, the original responsibility of design is distorted and the revolution of future lifestyle is now in the pipeline. Manufacturing “driven by design” will be the trend of Chinese manufacturing industry, which will promote our country’s transformation from a large manufacturing country to a great power in manufacturing and design.

“Design matterology” focuses on a particular person’s (group’s) demand, and realization of one’s aim is restricted by aim system in different time, circumstances, and conditions (external factors). The process of research about restricted factor besides “matter” is the positioning for “aim system” and a basis for evaluating, selecting, and integrating ”internal factors”, such as principles, material, technique, structure, modeling, products etc., and even the driving force of innovation in internal factors. This kind of innovation aims to innovate “new” matter or “service system”.

Knowledge of external factor is a modification or revolution in “aim system” of existing products or service system, which is the essence of design innovation and integration, as well as integrated innovation. It aims to deal with “matter” and solve problems, but not to pursue “materialized” product design stubbornly. Evaluation criterion of “design matterology” for innovation derived from Chinese ancient philosophy——“idea of use but not hold”,  “to stop before going too far”, which means “suitable”, “moderate”, “proper”, but not infinite yearning for desire and optimal solution.

This kind of theoretical exploration and research practices, which means to illustrate the theoretical views, way of thinking, and evaluation principle of “design matterology” and put it into practice, and apply the method of “design matterology” to do researches, innovative activity and practice, will not only promote the process of Chinese sustainable development but will also have more practical significance to sustainable development of emerging and developing countries.


Academic Achievements:

In 2005, he completed the project “Chopsticks”——the Asian “food” Culture in cooperation with Tsukuba University, Korea Advanced Institute of Science & Technology, and the Hong Kong Polytechnic University.

In Jan. 2006, his book Outline of Matterology was published by the Central South University.

In Jun. 2006, as executive editor of "China Industrial Design Yearbook", he was responsible for positioning, compiling, and reviewing of the book. The book was published by Intellectual Property Rights Press in June 2006 (ISBN 7-80011 -- 914/Z.440).

In 2006, he completed the social sciences research plan foundation project of Ministry of Education ------“Thinking Method and Design Methodology Research”.

In 2007, he participated in “User Study of Nokia Mobile Communication Products” Project.

In Oct. 2007, Serial Studies on Matterology of China's Ancient Designs (2 volumes) that he edited was published by Higher Education Publishing House, (ISBN 978-7-04-022958-5).

In 2007, he presided over Design and Research Project for Olympic Games Lightening, which was awarded “China Industrial Design Red Star Award Grand Prix Award” in 2008.

In 2007, he presided over Design and Research Project for Facilities Used on Olympic Games.

In Jan. 2008, as one of responsible people, he took part in the EU “LENS Sustainable Design Course Network” and was invited to give lectures in Holland.

In 2008, he presided over “Shenzhou Super Computer Project” entrusted by the 63rd Research Institute of General Staff Headquarter.

In July. 2008, he presided over SK Yizhuang International Cultural Industry Park—Industrial Design Planning and Study Project entrusted by Korean SK Group.

In 2008, he presided over “Zero Spot” Transportation and Vehicle Workshop Design and Research Project

In 2009, he presided over “Study Project for Global and Domestic Industrial Design Trends”, Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.

In July. 2009, Design Foundation for Comprehensive Styling was published by China Higher Education Press.

In 2009, he presided over the project “Research Center of Ningbo Industrial Design Strategy and Application” of Ningbo Economic Committee.

In Mar. 2010, he presided over the research project of Design Innovation Mechanism in Manufacturing Enterprises.

At present, he is participating in formulation of “Guidelines on Developing Industrial Design in China”, preparing the construction of “industrial design city” in Guangdong province and “Guangdong Industrial Design Training School” as advisor.


Academic Teaching (without course names):

Since 2006, he has taken undergraduate courses for 460 credit hours and postgraduate courses for 280 credit hours, and has trained 34 postgraduate students (29 have already graduated), 19 doctors (15 have already graduated).



Medal of "Outstanding Contribution by Returned Overseas" awarded by the State Ministry of Personnel and the State Educational Commission, 1989.

“Prize for Outstanding Tutors of Doctoral Thesis, Tsinghua University, 3 times from 2004 to 2006.

“Industrial Design System Textbooks”, first-class award of excellent achievements for Beijing higher education, and second-class award of excellent achievements for higher education, Ministry of Education, 2001

"Outstanding Teachers Award of Baosteel Education Fund ", Nov. 2005.

"Guanghua Dragon Award - China contribution to the Design Meritorious Figures” Gold Medal", China Guanghua Science and Technology Foundation, 2006

“Best Course of The Ministry of Education” for his course "Comprehensive Styling Foundation". He was responsible for the construction of this project from 2007 to 2010.

“The 3rd Session of Prize for Famous Teachers in Higher Education”, 2007

“Beijing Excellent Education and Teaching Achievements Prize”, first prize, for the course "Comprehensive Styling Foundation", 2008.

“Excellent Teaching Team of Beijing”, for the teaching team led by him, Sept. 2009

“National Excellent Teaching Team”, for the teaching team led by him, Oct.2009

“Excellent Teaching Achievements”, for the course "Comprehensive Styling Foundation", second prize, Ministry of Education, 2009.