China ready to become design superpower, says award committee

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According to the organizers of the red dot award, the word's largest design award in terms of submissions, the People's Republic is now adding innovation to its portfoliio.

China's reputation has been that of a quick and cost-efficient manufacturer (and sometimes that of a copy cat), but red dot's initiator Peter Zec, who is currently touring the country, says this is about to change.

"China has dramatically caught up and faces a promising future," Zec said in a statement on October 20.

"Instead of continuing to merely serve as a manufacturing country for products designed in the Western world, China aims to expand its significant role in the world's economic market with its own designs and innovations, thus becoming a serious competitor [...]."

Zec's opinion is backed by an initiative, launched by the Chinese government, called 'Innovation instead of Imitation,' which aims at developing China's own creative industries by providing funding incentives and investing into training.

According to red dot, the country's design programs are currently being expanded -- and are apparently starting to pay off: Business Week just listed two Chinese courses among its list of the world's best design programs.

The Icograda World Design Congress (October 24-30) is held in Beijing this year, with the first Beijing International Design Week running concurrently. Red dot will exhibit a selection of design trends and award-winning items at the Beijing Art Museum during the fair.