“Xiang-Sharing Home Flavor” Design and Social Innovation Exhibition opens on June 19th at Expo Gate, a symbol of Milan Expo located in front of the Milan landmark - Sforza Castle.

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“Xiang-Sharing Home Flavor” Design and Social Innovation Exhibition opens on June 19th at Expo Gate, a symbol of Milan Expo located in front of the Milan landmark – Sforza Castle. The exhibition is hosted by the People’s Government of Hunan Province, China, organized by the Hunan Provincial Science & Technology Department and China Council for the Promotion of International Trade Hunan Sub-council, and co-organized by Hunan University, China-Italy Design and Innovation Center (CIDIC), and Markor Home Furnishings. As one of the Hunan Week activity series in Milan Expo, this event has been the first ever exhibition concerning Chinese culture held at the Expo Gate.

Mr. He Baoxiang, Vice Governor of Hunan Province, attended the opening ceremony, together with over 60 guests from Hunan Finance Bureau, Department of Commerce of Hunan Province, China Council for the Promotion of International Trade Hunan Sub-council, the Milan government, Politecnico di Milano, Giugiaro Design, Milano Makers and various media outlets.

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Night View of the Expo Gate

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The Exhibition

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Professor He Renke, Dean of the School of Design, Hunan University, introducing the exhibition to Mr. He Baoxiang, Vice Governor of Hunan Province

Xiang is the pronunciation of the following five Chinese characters – hometown (乡), Hunan Province (湘), being delicious (香), sharing (享) and thinking (想). The exhibition uses diversified culture carriers and presenting means such as visual, audio, products, design installation, and sculptures to immerse the visitor within a design space based upon the regional cultures of Chinese ethnic minorities and present the local home lifestyle to the world community. It possesses content under the auspices of eight different themes and these are: New Channel, Paper Cutting of Dong, Hua Yao Hua, New Silk Road Program, Ya’an New Home, Virtual Yuelu Academy, Jiang Home·Style, and Childhood Like No Other. The exhibition attracted many visitors and they participated in many of the interactive games at the exhibition.

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Cross-stitch work of Yao minority from Longhui

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App displaying regional cultures

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Paper-Cutting from Tongdao

At the opening ceremony, Professor He Renke, President of the Hunan Industrial Design Association, and Dean of the School of Design, Hunan University, introduced the theme of the exhibition and the progress made by the “New Channel” Design and Social Innovation Program; Professor Luisa Collina from the School of Design, Politecnico di Milano, and President of the International Association of Universities and Colleges of Art, Design and Media (Cumulus) congratulated the opening; Professor Collina was followed by Mr. He Baoxiang, Vice Governor of Hunan Province. Mr. He introduced the unique culture of Hunan Province and the long history of Hunan University, as well as the key cultural and economic development in recent years in Hunan Province. Mr. He welcomed all the guests at the opening to participate in the “Innovative Hunan” project.

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Mr. He Baoxiang, Vice Governor of Hunan Province, addresses the audience

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Professor Luisa Collina, School of Design, Politecnico di Milano; President of the International Association of Universities and Colleges of Art, Design and Media (Cumulus), addresses the audience

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Ya’an New Home

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Visitors trying the Virtual Yuelu Academy Installation

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Virtual Reality Interactive Installation

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Part of the team members

About the New Channel Design and Innovation Program 

The New Channel Design and Innovation Program is launched by the School of Design, Hunan University, supported by Markor Home Furnishings, and this year the program is going to collaborate with the Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) and Queen Mary University of London (QMUL). From early July to early August, the design group of New Channel will station in Tongdao County, Hunan Province, with more than more than 40 teachers and students from QMUL, PolyU, London Metropolitan University and Hongik University. This interdisciplinary group will work on constructing a more sustainable community of diversified culture, by exploring natural resources and local cultural resources in Tongdao. Besides, this group will try to arouse the local people’s awareness of their own culture, encourage them to take part in the process of industrial innovation, and to build a network-based information platform and design innovation alliance.

From 2009 to 2014, School of Design Hunan University has organized four Innovation Summer Camps, which are “New Channel”, Jiang Home+Style, Yougoo, HYH, and they were held in Tongdao County of Hunan Province, Kashi of Xinjiang Province, Youyang of Chongqing, and Huayao of Longhui. During the past five years, the design group of New Channel have finished large amount of work, include digitalization, visual design, video design, environment design, and product design and so on. Besides, the New Channel program participants give free drawing lessons to local kids, help them develop painting skills. The previous three summer camps has won awards as follows: “2011 China’s top ten public projects among enterprises”, awarded by Global Charity which belongs to China Soong Ching Ling Foundation; “Good Design Award 2012” (G-MARK) for community development and planning, which is the first domestic honor in this category; the first prize of “China Universities Industrial Design Competition” (CUIDC) in 2012, which is hosted by ministry of education; 2013, Best Producer Award, awarded by “Yue” Foundation. Achievements have participated exhibitions domestic and overseas, such as Milan Design Triennial, Beijing Design Week, Asian Design Week of Green Design, Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism\Architecture (UABB), Business of Design Week (BODW), and French Youth Film Festival. 2015, the output of New Channel series project debut at International Culture Makers’ Joint Design Exhibition, Milan.

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