Over the last few weeks I’ve been emailing various designers in all fields imaginable, just to get a genuine feel of how designers are responding to China and its emerging design on the last year or so. I emailed the likes of Milton Glaser, Ben Wilson, Drew Millward, Stefan Sagmietser and Susan Kare, having sent out over 30 emails I’ve only had around 6 replies, which Iwas expecting with most designers being too busy or not being able to reply to all emails, as Milton Glaser put it, “If I answer all such emails, I’d have to quit the day job” as you can guess he didn’t answer my questions or give me any views on China.
This few lines answering continued for most of the emails I sent out, however one really took me by surprise. Sent by screen printer Ben Wilson, who I’ve been in contact with asking opinions and views, he has always replied, which is worth a weight in gold considering designers are too busy. Anyway his answer was…
” I’m afraid I wouldn’t be very effective in speaking to your topic concerning China’s emergence as a design superpower. Though it is obvious that China is continuing to emerge as a superpower in many global aspects, your email is the first I’ve heard of them threatening to take over the design industry as well? Though I’m sure there is truth to this idea, it is news to me? So, I’m not educated enough in the topic to give any meaningful insights. Sorry I can’t be help this time, anything I would say would be pure uninformed speculation. Hopefully this all makes sense? I wish you the best as you continue your education and career development. Thanks for thinking of me and taking the time to contact me.
It seems as though not everyone is aware of such emergence yet or hasn’t witnessed any 3rd generation movements. I have only taken note of how advanced they are becoming through mass research into up and coming designers and what the country is actually producing, all of which was impossible to find at first, its as though its all secretive and not really a topic people know is happening. The country itself has always remained against graphic design due to the propaganda days and was very set in its ways, but still there should be more of a sign that things are evolving and flourishing out east, and I’d have thought that the top designers would be the first to know, being at the top of the ladder in the industry, instead it seems like I’m exploring a subject that is unknown, which is both frightening when having to write a dissertation on it, but also exciting due to the fact of I can raise a subject that designers haven’t considered or given thought to yet. As for Ben Wilson, I was going to send a copy of the completed dissertation, which will be early January next year and hopefully spread the word of China and design, which has opened up my eyes and feel privileged to see such amazing cutting edge innovations.