In 2010, Shenzhen was awarded as City of Design by UNESCO with highly praises, “As a rapidly growing city, impressive with a short but vibrant history and a young population. With government’s support, vibrant industrial design institutions, and booming digital designs as well as environment-friendly packing design, Shenzhen has won positive and firm reputation in industrial design. Strategically, Shenzhen is transforming under the guide of design while balancing economy development with sociocultural prosperity. “
Shenzhen enjoys equal dialogue opportunities with world’s top design circle after awarded as City of Design. One year later, Shenzhen delegation competed with international peer on London 100% Design Exhibition for the first time. Two year later, local government drew a blueprint by issuing Measures on Speeding up Industrial Design Industry. Three years later, Shenzhen International Industrial Design Fair, the world’s largest, came out as a bridge for design exchanges between Shenzhen and the world. In the past five years, SZIDF has been successfully held for four years. Therefore, Shenzhen deserves to be the City of Design with numerous achievements in industrial design.
Quantity and Scale rank the top of China
According to Shenzhen Industrial Design Profession Association (SIDA), by the end of 2016, there are over 6,000 industrial design institutions, of which over 500 industrial design enterprises, nearly 1,500 design studios and project and planning agencies, and almost 4,000 design departments in manufacturing enterprises, with about 150,000 employees including designers. In 2016, output value of Shenzhen industrial design was about 6.9 billion Yuan (only including professional industrial design institutions), an increase of 15% year-on-year, contributing to economic value of over 100 billion Yuan.
Quality escalates with IPR protection
As mentioned in Shenzhen 2016 White Paper on the Development of Intellectual Property Rights, in 2016 the number of domestic patent applications in Shenzhen reached 145,294, an increase of 37.74% year-on-year, and the cumulative number of domestic effective invention patents reached 95,369, an increase of 13.67% year-on-year. The number of patents per 10,000 population is 80.09, 10 times of the national average (7.98), ranking first among the major cities in China for 13 years in a row, which has reached the level of Europe, America, Japan and South Korea.
Shenzhen is making efforts in IPR protection across industries, also including industrial design industry. In April this year, the country’s first IPR protection workstation for the industrial design industry was set up as a comprehensive online and offline IPR platform in Shenzhen through five sectors: two online platforms (industrial design works database and online Q&A), two centers (IPR consulting center and IPR dispute mediation center), and one IPR training camp. Initiated by SIDA, the workstation will develop the potential and edges of enterprises to have more and better patents.
“It is a habit to apply for a patent now, as it is much securer”, says Liu Baiqiu in an interview. As the founder of Design21g in Shenzhen, a new design company, Liu is very concerned about original protection, “but shanzhai phenomena are much less than before”, to his comfort, IPR protection in Shenzhen is also getting better now.
Though the world is impressed by its flourishing industrial design, Shenzhen never stops innovating and pursuing Shenzhen Quality in Shenzhen Speed from learning from Hong Kong, to endeavoring to overreach Hong Kong, and finally to the world’ s design center.
Richard Hutten, the most successful Dutch designers and founder of Dutch Design Movement, praises on this change, “I’m very impressed by top design here, and design deserves more attention than ever before. China’s design is amazing, and has achieved a lot. People are crazy about my works on the Fair and take photos of them, and share them online. I am so satisfied.”