Cai Jun

Cai Jun, Professor, PhD Supervisor

Degree: BA(1978-1982)

Administrative Position:Dean 2006-2009

Social Positions:

Council Member/China Industrial Design Association

Council Member/Beijing Industrial Design Promotion Organization

International Advisor of World Design Capital Seoul 2010, South Korea


Research Interests:

Design Strategy and Management

Contemporary Western Design Theories


Academic Proposation:

1. Design Strategy and Management:

Since 1990s, changes in modern industry and development of global economy have changed the definition and content of design. With its increasing influence on corporate innovation and economy, design is playing an increasingly important role in corporate strategy and the market.


Design Strategy and Management focuses on the user-and-market-centered corporate design strategies and management systems that enterprises make to cope with the global competition and challenge. It explores how to deal with the relationship between the design development and market environment, how to decide the direction of its design development and its competition strategies, how to decide the corporate culture reflected in design, and how to formulate and carry out the decided development plan and action program.


While design strategy involves the medium and long term planning of the enterprise as well as the strategic planning and development direction of its products, design management focuses on the implementation of the route, planning, resource and regulations of the strategic planning. Both design strategy and design management center on the enterprise’s integrated innovation in its brand, culture, cost, technology and services and the management and application of the innovation. Research and education in this field, only available in a few universities in China, are getting more and more attention at home and abroad. Some of the researches combined with case studies and the research projects have been accepted and implemented by enterprises.

2、Contemporary Western Design Theories:

The theoretical system of contemporary Western design has gone through an important period in 1960s, and many new ideas and theories were put forward in 1980. Due to the new structure of social material production, the interaction between global economy and local culture, ecology, environment protection, high technologies and their influences on social culture, we need to transform the conception mode and theoretical understanding of the artistic design in the traditional industrialized period to the post-industrial and information society.


This research focuses on the development and changes in design conception from the industrialized society to the post-industrial and information society since the last century, reviews its theoretical system and development process in the historical order, summarizes the main schools and doctrines, makes clear the evaluation system, criticism system and focuses of attention of western design theories in different stages since1920s, and describes and analyzes important theoretical issues and ideas, so as to offer advice to the artistic design in China, which is in the similar social development stage.

This research project has been sponsored by China Social Science Projects 2010. The research team of five professors has begun the pre-research preparations, and related reports and books will be published in 2013.


Academic Achievements:

I. Projects of Industry, Education and Research:

1.Study on Lifestyle and Aesthetic Trends of Chinese Consumers


Project Leader:Cai Jun

Team members: Liu Zhiguo, Yan Yang, He Yin,

Company: Motorola China


The research focused on the lifestyle and aesthetic trends of Chinese consumers and put forward the corresponding research models, providing a research platform for the strategic design positioning for Motorola


2.Feasibility Research on Mobile Medical Diagnostic Platform  


Project Leader:Cai Jun

Company:GE China


By researching the demand for health care in China's medium and small cities and rural areas, the research put forward the concept of mobile medical care. 


3.Research on Design Trend and Features of Mobile Phones in South Korea, China, and Japan


Project Leader:Cai Jun

University:National Seoul University


The research team of National Seoul University, Tsinghua University and Tsukuba University researched on the design of mobile phones in South Korea, China, and Japan.


4.Research on Office Furniture and Life Style of Middle-Income Groups in China  


Project Leader:Cai Jun

Company:Herman Miller


The research focused on the present status of the Chinese furniture market, the layout and environment of office space and the lifestyles of white-collar workers.


5.Research on Hardware Interface Language Design


Project Leader:Cai Jun, Liu Zhiguo

Company:Lenovo (Beijing)


The research focused on the relative studies in the product's hardware interface language, operating symbols and operating behaviors, brand language recognition and expression, extraction of symbolic language, and the establishment of hardware interface language model.      


6.Design of Skyworth New Concept Product 2007


Project Leader:Cai Jun,

Team members: Liu Zhiguo, Zhang Lei



The research focused on the market strategy and recent product development of Skyworth and put forward a series of new concepts of LED TV products for 2007.


7.Research on Nokia-Tsinghua Cooperation Frame Work


Project Leader:Cai Jun,

Team members:Liu Zhiguo, Zhang Lei, Liu Jikun, Liu Xin

Company:Nokia China Research Center


This study consists of two parts: 1, Research on the design of future wireless mobile communication devices. 2, Use of mobile communications products in China's migrant workers group and elderly group. The first study focused on wear mode and structure of the future small-size modular products, while the second one focused on how migrant workers and elderly people use mobile communications devices. With user-oriented research methods, this project put forward the research and design proposal for mobile users. At the end it published two papers at international conferences and obtained a patent.


Study on User Language and UI of Growing Market


Project Leader:Cai Jun,

Team Member:Liu Ji Kun, Liu Xin

Company:Nokia China Research Center


The project focused on the user study and UI design for context awareness that covered user study and sociology research. The team focused on research for interactive relation between users with public space like Expo. The privacy technology and user requirement for mobile use is also applied for innovation by scenario research.


8.LeNs Project – Learning Network for Sustainability


Project Leader:Cai Jun,

Team Membe:Liu Xin

University:Politecnico di Milano


The LeNs project is the learning network for sustainability supported by EU. Seven universities from countries such as Italy, Finland, the Netherlands, India, Thailand, and China, joined this network to build the course network for global sustainability. As a member of LeNs, Tsinghua is the only university from China contributing to the network.

9.Research on Lenovo Flash Disc Design


Project Leader:Cai Jun,



The project focused on the market, user, and new user group of flash discs. By building up the design language of the brand, analyzing and aping the users’ lifestyles, it developed a new design concept.


10.Research on Design of LCD TV Concept


Project Leader:Cai Jun,

Company:LG Korea


It is a research on conceptual design of LCD TV based on users' lifestyles and the environment demand. By systematically applying the user research methods, it made exploration and innovation of future product concept based on user groups and use environment.


11.New Generation Contact Awareness


Project Leader:Cai Jun,

Team members:Liu Ji Kun, Liu Xin

Company:Nokia Research Center


It is a research on user behavior and product opportunity based on the lifestyles of the new generation. By researching and analyzing the new generation's lifestyles and behavioral evolution, it sought opportunities for future business models and product innovation.


12.Innovative Development and Cooperative Research on Lighting Products  


Project Leader:Cai Jun,

Company:YangYe Electric Ltd.


The research focused on the product development and marketing innovation strategy by SMEs. Product strategy and innovation were combined with new business model, product planning, design management and integrated branding strategy, thus developing the original design capability of SMEs.


II. Works and Award:

Dental Unit Design Project/Excellent Design Award/ The 9th National Art Exhibition (1999)

“Ming@Style”- Furniture Design / Silver Award/ The 10th National Art Exhibition/Collection by China National Art Gallery (2004) 

Conceptual Lighting Installation / The 2nd Art and Science Exhibition (2007)


III. Publications:

1997 “Industrial Design and Product Development in Corporate Strategy" (1st China-Japan Joint International Symposium on Industrial Design.

1998 “Design Strategy and Corporate Innovation” (For Chiang Industrial Charity Foundation, Hong Kong)

1999 “Reconstruction and Integrate the Corporate Design Strategy" ( Selected as the best paper by "Ten-Years Paper Collection" from China Association of Industrial Design).

1999 “Professionalism and productiveness in Industrial design” (99’ Industrial Design Seminar, Mainland China & Taiwan)

2000 “Industrial Designers and Design Company in China – the present situation and potentiality” (KIDP Forum, Korea)

2000 “Industrial design in China: the transformation and change” (ICSID News No.3)

2001 “Design strategy – the weapon for win in the new century”(Seminar in 2001 Shanghai international Industrial Design week)

2001 “Position and Research of Design for Rational Consumption and Emotional Consumption” (Tsinghua 2001’ International industrial design forum and China industrial design education symposium)

2001 “Recognition Design” (Art and Science/International Exhibition and Global Symposium)

2001 “Adaptation and Transformation: Design Education in Fast-Changing China”(ICSID 2001 Educational Seminar)

2002 “Research for design strategy of localization” (Tsinghua International Design Management Forum)

2002 “The Design Value of Localization and Globalization” (New Values of East Asia Design in the 21st Century) Seoul National Univ. Korea

2004 “The Comparison between skill based design education and research based design education” (China ID Education Conference)

2005 “The Positional Elements in Design Strategy” (D2B - The first International Design Management Conference, Shanghai)

2006 “The Historic Thinking for the Relation of Design Education and Industrial Development” (Arts& Design, China, 2007/12)

2008 “An Evaluation of the Positional Forces impacting upon Design Strategy” (Design Management Journal, Volume3, 2008)

2009 “The Research & Practice of Design Management Course for MA Program” ("D2B2: Tsinghua International Design Management Symposium, Beijing, 2009”)

2009 “Design for China Migrant Workers: A Case of User Research and Mobile Product Concepts Development “ (Xin Liu1, Jikun Liu1, Jun Cai2, Ying Liu2, and Xia Wang2) HCII Conference/ 2009/



1. Undergraduate:

Design Strategy, Methodology and Design Process, Project Training, Product 3, etc.

2. Postgraduate:

Design Strategy and Management(16 hours, 2 credits)