Information design methods
As an important theoretical supporting point in the teaching and scientific research of information design, the research on information design methods is based on a deep understanding of conceptions and core value of information design. Summarizing the design thinking, creation method and research process in the process of design holds significance for cultivating the students’ ability in practice as well as creativity in solving problems. While the design methods are not the ultimate aim, the research on the methods is aimed to develop more effective methods to better carry out our design philosophy and achieve the design objective. Design methods have no fixed models and they are reflections of various design conceptions and thinking. The focus of research and teaching is to effectively convey and train ways of thinking reflected by various methods, to equip the students with a more comprehensive and reasonable understanding and scientific thinking modes to the design problems. Dr. Zhang holds that the development of information design methods should always stress that creative research of living styles is the core value of information design. Meantime, he puts forward a design method approached from the “virtual experience” of human being with the virtual objects in digital times and based on the characteristics of developments between human’s cognition and sentimentality, which offers a feasible thinking mode for research on information design methods. Applied research on exhibition space information design is a key area of Dr. Zhang combining the design theories with design practices. Because of the space conditions and operating models peculiar to exhibition space, it is also good place of experiment and practice for applied test of frontier information designs.
In the theoretical research, Dr. Zhang has published many academic papers in the core journals, national and international conferences including “Basic Principles in Virtual Experience Designs”, “Application of Digital Entertainment Technology in Designing Modern Museums”, and has published textbooks in those areas. Dr. Zhang’s doctorate dissertation, Research on Virtual Experience-Orientated Information Design Methods, highlighted his theoretical research achievements and won “2008 Excellent Doctorate Dissertations of Tsinghua University” second prize. In terms of artistic creation and designs, Dr. Zhang was involved in the design of many constructions including the Ecological Science Educating Museum in Shenzhen East OCT Park (along with its multi-media making), the Memorial in Atomic City of Qinghai Province, Daqing Petroleum Science and Technology Museum, etc. His creation won many awards on the provincial level or above such as the prize of excellence in the National Art Exhibition, gold prize in the International Indoor Design Exhibition of China and his works of art have been on display in various academic exhibitions.
Dr. Zhang teaches two courses: Information Design Methods and Information Design II. Information Design Methods is a specialized core course aimed to enable the students to have basic design concepts and thinking approach, grasp basic design means through teaching and practicing design methods, procedures. The courseware made by Dr. Zhang won second prize in the competition of Excellent Education Software in Tsinghua University. Information Design II is a specialized practical course guided by task practices to promote the students’ comprehensive use of their knowledge and ability, cultivate their ability to discover and solve problems in a systematic way, focus on exercising the students’ creativity.