New Channel Design and Social Innovation Program is dedicated to protect the intangible cultural heritage in Chinese ethnic minority regions and help develop sustainable industries in those regions. Most of the exhibits on display in Milan are products of New Channel program.

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“Xiang-Sharing Home Flavor” Design and Social Innovation exhibition possesses content under the auspices of eight different themes and these are: Hua Yao Hua,  New Silk Road Program, Ya’an New Home, Virtual Yuelu Academy, the Paper Cutting of Dong, Jiang Home·Style, Childhood Like No Other, and New Channel.

Hua Yao Hua

Longhui·Hua Yao 

Huayao is a unique branch of Yao minority and inhabits in poor mountainous areas of Longhui County, Hunan province. The people are simple and honest and the resources are abundant in this area, but the average GDP per capita is less than 1/4 of the country’s average GDP per capita. To increase the income of local residents and achieve sustainable development of natural resources, economy and culture, we launched Hua Yao Hua project in 2014, hoping that through systematic methods of community research and social innovation, we can protect the unique local natural and cultural landscapes (especially intangible cultural heritage) and seek innovative business model to the diverse industrial output. To this end, we set up a team whose members are from various fields, such as culture studies, video production, fashion design, business model research, etc. Then, we founded HYH brand for local cultural products and selected 100 products from local “cultural goods” and “derivative products” individually. Further, combining with online website,we built a social innovation practice base in Huayao area to construct the O2O social innovation platform.

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Since June 2014, the project team have launched research on local cultural landscapes. At the same time, by hosting “New Channel ·Hua Yao Hua” summer camp and innovative design workshops, teachers and students from Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hunan University, Tsinghua University etc., cooperated with professional designers and designed hundreds of products (such as books, package, tourism products, App, etc.) based on local culture. This year, from July to August, supported by local government and sponsored by Markor Home Furnishings, designers and researchers from France, Italy, South Korea, Britain, Hong Kong and mainland China will come to Huayao area to conduct interdisciplinary research in many fields.

New Silk Road Program 2015

Changsha Kiln and Cross Cultural Communication

Changsha Kiln is a famous Tang Dynasty ceramic kiln. With its characteristic under-glazed polychrome painting technology, poetic decoration, Changsha wares stood out from the competition with the white wares in the north and celadon wares in the south. Changsha Kiln wares with exotic design styles were exported to more than 20 countries through the Maritime Silk Road.

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New Silk Road Program initiated by Hunan University is aimed to promote international academic communication concerning the studies of Changsha Kiln. Iran was the most important importer of Changsha wares. Thus, this year we have cooperated with Shiraz University and Iran University of Science and Technology in Iran and Indian Institute of Technology in India for Changsha Kiln research, which has yielded some important findings. 

Ya’an New Home

NEW HOME is a social innovation project aiming to help solve some problems in Ya’an caused by the 2008 earthquake. We have done several field studies in order to discover local resources that have been neglected in the past and also try to cooperate with local people to tap the neglected resources.

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Black-pottery of Yingjing is a national intangible cultural heritage and far from being developed. There are several problems in local industry such as lack of aesthetic sense, little varieties of art work and less and less practitioners.

We cooperates with many small workshops to design new types of Black-pottery. To inject vitality into industry, we also improve working environment and income to encourage young people to participate in this traditional industry together with local government.

In the future, we will build a cooperative platform with local government offering design and promotion channels for local workshops.

NEW HOME reflects the pursuit of a stable happy life in Ya’an and stressed the hope through the practice of social innovation, re-experiencing the warmth of home and embodying the essence of social innovation.

To accomplish the revitalization of the Black-pottery industry in Ya’an, we look forward to your continuous support.

Virtual Yuelu Academy

The project on the Virtual Yuelu Academy is a subproject of the interactive navigation program for historical sites and it was developed by the Comdesignlab team from the School of Design, Hunan University.  As one of the four most prestigious academies over the last 1000 years in China, Yuelu Academy has been a famous institution of higher learning as well as a centre of academic activities and cultures since it was formally set up during the Northern Song dynasty. The project took advantage of software such as 3dsMAX, unity and rebuilt a high precision model of 3D Yuelu Academy based on the map information, aerial photos and historical data, combining field measurement, mapping and sampling. Through lighting simulation, rendering, photos, texts and videos, the information can be stimulated in the virtual tour. We specifically optimized the performance features of mobile devices in order to allow real-time interactive video to be smoothly played on the HD screen on Android phones. By using the optical adapter and Bluetooth remote control handle, the users will immerse themselves in a three-dimensional virtual tour experience. This project offers great help to various fields such as online sightseeing, cultural projection and the research of ancient architecture.

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The Paper-cutting of Dong

The paper-cutting of Dong ethic group in China was originally used to decorate the Dong women’s clothes and has been inextricably linked to Dong women’s lives. In 2013, through the New Channel Design and Social Innovation summer camp, the story of Ms. Tan Shiqing, a folk artist of paper-cutting, was recorded and an interactive digital book was made. The three chapters of the book – “Record Paper-cutting”, “Decipher Paper-cutting”, and “ Recreate Paper-cutting “ tell the story about the inheritor of paper-cutting and demonstrate the characteristics and different pattern design of paper-cutting. When designing the book, we integrated some elements of Dong women’s lives into the font, pictures and binding to emphasize the handmade texture and female element. At the same time, we aim to bring the attention to the stories behind the design and show Dong people’s pursuit of happiness and innovation. 1-7

Jiang Home · Style

In July 2012, the New Channel project team, together with the School of Art at Xinjiang Normal University, launched a program called “Key Technologies and Application Demonstration concerning Xin Jiang’s Local Culture Research and Tourism Products Development”. With 43 volunteers traveling 5,500 kilometers, the project mainly studied areas including Kaidu-kongque ancient city, Ili and Turpan, and filmed four documentaries featuring the Jiang Home+Style project, the local children, architecture, handicraft and recorded stories about the intangible cultural inheritors. Divided into four teams, one team recorded the Kazak ethnic group’s traditional music, Kashgar folk music and the muqam; another team, the industrial design team, finished the design and modeling of 17 tourism products featuring the Xinjiang local culture, such as sculpture, toy brick and umbrella; the third team, the visual design team, designed 14 wallpapers; and the fourth team, the children’s drawing team, gave drawing lessons to 60 Kazakh and Hui children in Xin Yuan County and helped make over 450 drawings and handworks, resulting in a “Happy Show” at the local school.

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Childhood Like No Other

In the art classroom, the children are provided with a world of colors – the blue sky, dark blue night and red and golden sunrise and sunset.

Children deserve a colorful childhood like no other. Art plays a very important role in the early children education. The art education allows children to explore, observe, and pay attention to things and also helps build children’s patience and communication skills. During the whole project, we try to help the children notice everything beautiful around them in hope to bring a happy summer vacation for the local children.

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New Channel

Design and Social Innovation Summer Camp

Launched in the Dong Autonomous County of Tongdao, the New Channel Design and Social Innovation Program was co-organized by Markor Home Furnishings and the School of Design, Hunan University. This program is targeting at Chinese ethnic minority areas where the economy is less developed, but at the same time enjoy unique natural environment and rich intangible cultural heritage. Adhere to the “localization, internationalization, digitalization and modernization” as the goal, setting “community” as the research object, the project integrated different professions and disciplines. From 2009 until now, cross-media design activities were conducted during those summer camps including filming documentaries about intangible cultural heritage, recording folk music, and designing cultural products. The participants had very good interactions with the local people and helped support their sustainable development in the areas of nature, society, and culture of those regions.

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