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Xiao Chao Xi

Born in Beijing, China, Xi Xiaochao obtained his bachelor degree and master degree both from the University of Science and Technology Beijing, China. From 2007 to 2012, he served as the Director of the Digital Design Laboratory of the University of Science and Technology Beijing and finished a series of design projects, e.g. the original utensil research combined with the Beijing opera culture and the music robot band design. After several years’ practice and exploration, he decides to pick up the topics of Chinese traditional culture and semantics of Chinese characters to continue his research. In his master’s degree thesis - The inheritance and innovation of semantics in traditional utensil creating – he concludes the rules of the traditional utensil design from a new perspective. In 2012, he enters PolyU to carry on his research.

Research Title
Design Semantics and Ideograph: Relationship of Designed Objects with Morphemic Symbols of China

Supervisors
Dr. Kenny Chow (Chief Supervisor)
Prof. Cees de Bont (Co-Supervisor)
Mr. Benny Leong (Co-Supervisor)

About the Research
Since the Chinese economic reform, the pervasion of Western culture has caused severe ‘Westernization’ in the modern Chinese society. Although it has brought about an extraordinary leap in China’s development, the impact of such radical ‘mutation’ that is diverted from the long-standing culture on the progression of modern China is relatively disappointing. As one of the main approaches dealing with this globalization phenomenon, a kind of ‘localized thinking’ has drawn much attention in recent years. A multitude of designers have explored different design projects with fruitful results and uncovered some issues in design field.

In order to identify practical methods of localization in modern design industry, Xi’s study starts with modern ‘localized design’. He chooses the core of material and spiritual characteristics of Chinese culture – the Chinese character culture, and studies the corresponding pictography and ideography based on results of Chinese graphology research, with an emphasis on its relationship with China’s (East Asian) product design. The upshot will be an original design theory centralizing the cultural heritage of Chinese character forms and meaning.

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