design companies that provide services to these companies have had the chance togrow, too.This showed when Tsinghua University and The University of Salford, UK, coorganizedthe D2B 2009 Tsinghua International Design Management Conferencein April, 2009. Despite the financial crisis, there were very positive responsesfromacademia and industry all over the world. The conference signified that design managementis being studied in China on a consistent and long-term basis and that thedevelopment of the Chinese market remained of interest to the world, even duringits recession period. A few months later, in November, the city government of Beijingtogether with the Central Academy of Fine Arts, hosted the Icograda WorldDesign Congress Beijing 2009, which was one of the more important internationaldesign symposia in China these years. At the same time, seven Mainland Chinadesign colleges joined the Cumulus International Association of Universities andDesign and Design Management in China 435Colleges of Art, Design and Media, ensuring future collaborations between designeducation in China and the world. We can therefore say that an international basisfor the academic development of design and design management in China has beenformed.Chinese Design Management of the FutureSignificant changes are occurring in the design businesses and design managementin manufacturing companies. For the OEM service manufacturers and exportcontract manufacturers, product designs were often simply the reproductionof an existing prototype and the design concerns were more about product form,colour, material, ergonomics and production process. As the market grows, designdifferentiation in styling alone is no longer sufficient. Today, manufacturers needto face not only the challenges presented by downstream development of new technologybut also upstream supply chain concerns such as customer service, marketanalysis, sales forecasts and business strategy, in order to exploit any blue oceanmarket potential arising from design innovation (Kim and Mauborgne 2005).The design industry is also extending its capacity into original concept creationincluding technological and market innovations as well as conventional aestheticand engineering designs, model making and tooling services. The Shenzhen NewplanIndustrial Design Co. Ltd is a good example of a design consultancy fullyutilizing the well-established supply chain of the Pearl River Delta region as aplatformto provide the market with a one-stop service from product development tomanufacturing.At the upstream, user studies are increasingly popular. Design and managementconsultants often team up to address market integration and to provide a companywith strategic product design and brand building proposals. Design diversificationand innovative integration are happening everyday and this is just the beginning. Designmanagement plays an important role in the diverse supply chain and this trendis sure to continue.
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