This September, I was part of a three-week Icograda board visit to mainland China and Taiwan, first stop Beijing. Our eyeopening junket began with a multi-day Board Meeting and Icograda Design Perspectives Seminar in the bustling city. We also toured schools and design studios, and I participated in the formal opening of the Red Cross International Poster Exhibition.* Capital highlights included the warm fellowship and wonderful sightseeing provided by our gracious hosts—including the Great Wall of China, the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square.
Next stop, Shanghai. The Jinmao Tower (third highest building in the world) in this sky-scraping metropolis was the venue for the ‘logo2002 Identity and Communication Conference’ in which our board members took part. A variety of lively receptions and show openings afforded the opportunity to meet designers from across China and to see different facets of this rapidly growing city. The Shanghai Graphic Designers Association helped convene a historic first meeting among Chinese Icograda members and provisional members, from Shanghai, Beijing, Nanjing, Suzhou and Shanxi. A special treat for our hard-working board was a guided bus tour to the ancient canal town of Tong Li and the Humble Administrator’s Garden in Suzhou.
*You can view a video showing a selection of Chinese design works from the Red Cross International Poster Exhibition as well as from Suzhou (another exhibition I juried) on exhibit at the DDD Gallery in Osaka, Japan here. You can read more details of this memorable first trip into China by an official design organization in the editorial I wrote for the Icograda BoardMessage (one-page PDF).