The international artistic elite reflects on the future


The opening ceremony of the 2021 Tsinghua International Conference on Art and Design Education (ICADE 2021) was held at Tsinghua University, Beijing, October 29, 2021.

“The world is facing enormous changes unprecedented in a century,” Lu Xiaobo, dean of the Academy of Arts and Design at Tsinghua University (AADTHU), told “The rapid development of technology and the global pandemic have made people think about the future direction of humanity.”

The Tsinghua 2021 International Conference on Art and Design Education (ICADE 2021), under the theme “ASK: Our Diverse World”, was held from October 29-31. The conference brought together academics, experts and students from over 50 leading art and design institutes around the world, including the Central Academy of Fine Arts, the Royal College of Art, Tokyo University of the Arts and Parsons School of Design.

One year of preparation, it was the first time that Tsinghua had organized such a large-scale global event, creating an international platform for academic exchange as well as a multicultural communication bridge. Comprised of five sections – Presidential Forum, University Symposia, Graduation Exhibition, Workshops and Student Forum – the conference showcased new trends in art and design education, researching the historical value of art and of design between difference and consensus. However, many foreign participants were unable to attend in person due to the pandemic and therefore participated via video link.

“As we are at a critical moment in human progress, we want to identify the future historical mission of arts and design, and what talents we want to cultivate when technologies bring great changes to people’s lifestyles and production methods” said Lu. “We are faced with increasingly complex problems and cannot rely on a single discipline to find systematic and comprehensive solutions. We need to have interdisciplinary awareness and capabilities. At the same time, new ideas, knowledge and technologies are always emerging. “

Designs for the new post-pandemic world

“We need to redouble our efforts to show the value and unique contributions of arts and design education. For the education of arts and design, we have challenges and opportunities. create a new future ”, said the professor Naren barfield, Vice-Rector and Rector of the Royal College of Art, at the ICADE Presidential Forum 2021 on 29 october. He explained that models of education have been changed by the global crisis caused by the pandemic, and added that people have to adapt to new situations but can open up to the wider world through new technologies and online communication.

In total, 26 directors of leading art and design institutes reflected on the high-level framework of arts and design education during the forum, as well as how higher education institutes can play their role in adaptation and innovation for the new normal.

Allyson Green, dean of the Tisch School of the Arts in New York University, believes that as humanity undergoes an information technology revolution, artists and designers must work with scientists, engineers, sociologists and global health practitioners to find creative solutions to problems complex worlds.

“Art is like a fire that evokes people’s passion for life and gives people their desire to live. Design is an important force in responding to various social crises. We need to discuss and exchange on new topics in them. global arts and design with an open attitude, and to build a new model looking to the future ”, agreed Fan Di‘an, president of the Association of Chinese Artists.

Xu Fen, president of the Hubei Institute of Fine Arts, noted that the future education of arts and design should integrate scientific theory and practice, break down disciplinary barriers and develop in the direction of rationality, innovation and concern for humanity. “It is not a digital entertainment provider, but an interdisciplinary integration platform and lab,” Xu said.

Lu Xiaobo added that the technological revolution, industrial transformation and the pandemic are reshaping the way of life of humans, as well as the existing forms, division of labor and organizational methods of many industries. This in turn changes relationships between people and between countries. “Design, as the ability of human beings to shape their own environment, always contains an ethical responsibility,” he said. “It’s a powerful approach to shaping our daily lives, our social relationships and even defining us.”

Beyond the future and the world

More than 60 professors and academics participated in eight university seminars on October 30, both in person and online, discussing a range of topics from artificial intelligence and metaverse to quantum computing. They covered themes including new species in an interdisciplinary paradigm, new value in mutual learning of form and function, new direction in finding a path for the revival of traditional heritage and new aesthetics. in a morphological reconstruction expression.

Meanwhile, the International Forum of Art and Design Students brought together academic productions of graduate students, doctoral students and young academics from China and in the world, through two sections: “RE: ACTOR – International Forum of College Student Creativity” and “ASK: Our Diverse World – International Art and Design Doctoral Forum”. The objective was to build a platform for high-level, open-minded and multidisciplinary academic exchanges, advancing the development of the arts and design and promoting integration between the different disciplines.

Of 29 October-Nov. 15, international art and design workshops showcase a range of creations from teachers and students, including ‘weightless’ dresses designed for space, robots and art installations on humanity’s response to the impending ecological crisis. In addition, the International Art and Design Institute Graduation Exhibition, as well as its online exhibition (, showcases the educational achievements of 50 leading art and design institutes. Composed of 10 sections and more than 2,000 books, it offers students a platform to communicate with each other from various professional perspectives.

“I think that if the world is still full of hope, there are still misunderstandings, cultural gaps and even conflicts between peoples”, Peng gang, vice president of Tsinghua University, told “But when the emotions and the spiritual aesthetic elements pursuing beauty can be awakened, it will eventually help the world to change and make it more harmonious.”

He continued, “At this time, on such an occasion, we can enable so many accomplished academics, artists and young students from around the world to communicate in various ways here in this event. In itself, this is a very valuable attempt in this special era, helping the arts, design, beauty, and the integrated development of aesthetics and technologies to better connect. “

The international artistic elite reflects on the future



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