Dongjiang questions whether there will a coherent
'Chinese Dream', just as there was an American one
The Interior Motives conference is all about offering fresh perspectives on the future challenges of car design, hence why it was fitting that the opening keynote be delivered by Yang Dongjiang, an interior designer, architect and assistant dean at Tsinghua University's Academy of Arts and Design.
The keynote documented the recent rapid changes that have characterised architectural development in China, and the complex position that has placed its designers in.
It's no secret that the pace of change in China been extremely rapid, but the irrational obsession with building huge skyscrapers as a visual representation of the nation's new-found success, plus the irrational way in which cars are designed here shows, says Yang, the consequence of the fact that China has been closed for too long.
Add in China's subsequent rapid absorption of international ideas of design, and the resulting blend, understandably, lacks coherence for now. But how will the designers of China's future, both at home and abroad, bring about a distinct, cogent design identity?
To explore how that might happen, the first session of this year's event followed the title theme of this year's conference.