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26 October 2022: Shanghai, China

Digital Existentialism

After its premiere in 2021, Yang Design will also open its doors in the second iF Design Marathon with an impressive show of achievements: The creative consultancy agency with an international portfolio lets experiences and reflections of human actions in the pandemic meet the digital era. Designers are called upon to provide a critical mindset, a human-centred response to digital issues. For what awaits us cannot be considered well enough. The coming decades are out to wrest responsibility from designers - and to give them new tasks.

Reflections on ‘digital existentialism’ will also be explored in the latest annual China Design Trends Report.

China Design Trends Report 2023-2024 by YANG DESIGN

Digital Existentialism

The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the process of digitalization. Jamy Yang believes that designers should take a critical attitude toward technological and social changes, and think about how the relationship between people and things will change in the digital era from the perspective of design. At the same time he considers what new aesthetic value will be generated by digitizing machining technology, which is different from the age of craftsmanship and industrial civilization.

The essence of design is to create a more reasonable way of living for human beings. The existentialism reponds to human alienation and instrumentalization with resistance. In the era of digital civilization, the goal of digitization is to establish a complete simulation of the real physical world in the digital virtual world, and then maximize efficiency through the real-time interaction. This process is ongoing and irreversible, but not everything can be digitized. The real parts that cannot be quantified and digitized will become more and more precious.

Standing between the physical real world and the digital virtual world, we are always searching for the meaning of our existence as individuals. Should humans be turned into machines, controlled by efficient and precise algorithms? Or should we slow down and return to humanity, creating a relationship between people, things, and nature that is more friendly rather than antagonistic?

Blurring Boundaries

In the real physical world, the boundaries between people, things, and nature are limited by time and space. In the virtual digital world, the Internet and sensing technology break the boundary of this relationship, especially through visual and auditory information that can be digitized without the limitation of time and space, creating real-time communication. New forms of communication and interaction between people, people and things, and among things have emerged, and people interact with each other in the virtual world through digital interfaces.

The boundaries between things are disappearing: things are connected to each other through the Internet and sensors, enabling the interconnection of everything. Industries of furniture, household appliances, transportation, energy and others have been connected, and the boundaries are disappearing. The boundaries between people, objects and machines are disappearing: between the two parallel worlds, real and virtual, everything is connected through chips and sensors. The contact and communication between people and objects and machines has become a pleasant and smooth interactive experience.

In the "Starry Sky" collection products designed by YANG DESIGN for Casarte, optical fiber materials are applied to cover the surface of appliances to form the intelligent electronic fabric, creating human & appliance interactionthrough programming sensors. The intelligent luminous surface creates a better atmosphere and environment for users. Itprovides users with a new way of communication byvisualizing the running state of appliances through gradient light effect.

Jamy Yang

Founder and Design Director of YANG DESIGN and YANG HOUSE, Collector, most influential Chinese Industrial Designer by Forbes.

Jamy Yang successively studied at Zhejiang University and CAA, and received a full scholarship from the German WK Foundation to go to Germany to complete the Master of Industrial Design at the Muthus College. Then, he worked at the Siemens Design Headquarters in Munich. From 2005 to 2015, YANG DESIGN, Yang Mingjie Design Museum and lifestyle brand YANG HOUSE were successively established. Jamy has won hundreds of awards including Reddot Design Award, iF, Japanese GOOD DESIGN, IDEA, Pentawards Gold Award, and Asia's Most Influential Design Silver Award. Invited to participate in UNESCO, Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, France’s Saint-Etienne Biennale, Pompidou Museum, Goethe Institute, etc. His work is in the permanent collection of the Centre Pompidou in France.

With a combination of German logic thinking and Chinese humanistic spirit, Jamy has formed his own design philosophy and become partner with renowned global brands including Boeing, Audi, MINI, Hermes, Bosch, Schneider, Hennessy, NATUZZI, Huawei and Casarte etc., projects covering cross many fields such as lifestyle, home appliances, vehicles, space installations and so on. The cooperation projects with Greenpeace, One Foundation, Animals Asia Foundation, HOUSE VISION, etc., and the publication of "Design", "DESIGN FUSION" . “Can design change the society?“ show that he has recognized these challenges and is committed to doing something about it.