New normal – International design research seminar, 9 September 2021

This event has now passed.


11:00am until 1:00pm, September 9 2021


Design Research Society Festival of Emergence,

The Event

The New Normal – International Design Research Seminar at the Design Research Society Festival of Emergence 2021, was co-organized and hosted by the School of Design, China Academy of Art (China), with the School of Design and Creative Arts, Loughborough University (UK). The event attracted 136 participants.

This seminar encouraged extensive dialogue about research fields and topics of mutual interest, aiming to build a research platform and create opportunities for future collaboration between design researchers at China Academy of Art (China) and Loughborough University (UK). The sharing of research provided in-depth exchanges about future research challenges beyond the Pandemic.

After introductions by Bi Xuefeng, Dean of the School of Design (CAA), and Prof. Cees de Bont, Dean of the School of Design and Creative Arts (Loughborough University), the seminar invited ten speakers from China Academy of Art and Loughborough University, five from each. The research topics include visual communication, textile and fashion design, industrial design, integrated design, and design theory.

Paired speakers:

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Yu Qiongjie · Lecturer in Visual Communication, School of Design, China Academy of Art · Exploring the Design Language of Motion Posters in New Media · Yu spoke about the new normal after the epidemic, and the uncertainty we must all now face. She noted that design processes now in reflected in the diverse perspectives on poster design, and the exploration of new forms to convey a complexity of meanings.

Rob Tovey · Lecturer in Environmental Graphic Design, School of Design and Creative Arts, Loughborough University · We will remember them’: Covid-19 & Grassroots Memorials · The epidemic is obviously not a single-country problem, so it is even more necessary to put the national dimension in a global context, increasing research in public space under the new normal conditions, to better understand the global public sphere.

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Huang Siwen · Lecturer in Textile Design, School of Design, China Academy of Art · The New Approaches to Textile Design in the East Design Context · Huang emphasized that creation should have an international vision, a historical perspective, a cultural dimension, and a global outlook. It is necessary to merge big data with artificial intelligence, advanced technology, and obtain a sustainable oriental lifestyle through designing.

Ken Ri Kim · Lecturer in Textile Design, School of Design and Creative Arts, Loughborough University · Covid-19 Digital Transformation & Technology in Textile/Fashion Industry · Will digital design weaken its artistic value compared with traditional hand-woven clothes? And how do prevent the emergence of homogeneity? This requires research to expand design vocabularies and diversification of design languages.


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Gao Fenglin · Senior lecturer in industrial design, School of Design, China Academy of Art · Life Consciousness Under Micro Perception — Energy Awarenes · Based on the concept of “micro-design”, Gao elaborated on the ontology of design. The essence of design is not to create more beautiful shapes, but to cultivate human sensibility and self-awareness.

Roberta Bernabei · Senior Lecturer in 3D Design, Silversmith and Jewellery Design, School of Design and Creative Arts, Loughborough University · Craft Research and Its Economic, Social, and Cultural Impact · After the epidemic, more and more designs use artificial intelligence and artificial filters to decorate the human body. This produces an innovative entertainment effect, which will have a huge impact on the economy, culture, and society.

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Guo Jinyong · Senior Lecturer in Integrated Design, School of Design, China Academy of Art · The Colour System Design for 19th Asian Game 2022 · Guo systematically presented the colour design for the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games. Through a large number of case studies and interpretations, he pointed out four principles of colour design: the colour theme fits with the local cultural genes; the colour order is consistent with the management; the colour design is integrated with the theme; the colour presentation echoes the emerging media.

Falli Palaiologou · Lecturer, School of Architecture, Loughborough University · Historic Urban Landscape · Falli introduced the concept of ‘urban form +’, that is, the urban phenomenon produced by the combination of many urban elements, including the digital narrative of the city, aging issues, heritage, and sustainability, etc. This approach constructs a unique research methodology of urban morphology, urban maps, and empirical research.

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Yao Zhijie · Senior Lecturer in Design Theory, School of Design, China Academy of Art · City Regeneration with New Normal of Design · By asking the question of ‘what is the new normal of design’, Yao proposed a theoretical framework: the change of the rules; comprehensiveness; new language; collaborative and cross-cutting; co-creation; network awareness.

Robert Harland · Senior Lecturer, School of Design and Creative Arts, Loughborough University · Seeking to Build Theory from Graphic Design Research · Compared with other design disciplines, what is the value of graphic design research? Robert introduced the relationship between the urban design and graphic design, calling for more theory from graphic design, and how the field of graphic design extends to architecture, civil engineering, and urban design, emphasising the ‘meso’ scale.