Looking Inward: Design Research in China

Conducting design research in an emerging market like China takes cultural understanding, patience, along with a level of empathy that is not normally gained overnight. In this presentation, Cathy Huang will take an inward look at China to bring forward key challenges that China Bridge International (CBi) is encountering while trying to gain insight through design research in China.

How does Social Conformity, Confucius, Utilitarianism and the belief that concealing ones economic status create obstacles for gaining insight in China? How does a research project navigate the many cultural, social, psychographic, and geographical differences when doing research in China?

These represent a few of the questions Cathy will discuss in her presentation. The background and foundation for her thoughts and perspectives will be presented from the findings of many cases studies and experiences gained from her work at CBi -- an insight-based innovation and design strategy firm. A firm that is empowering leading Chinese companies, multinational corporations and peer-consultancies to bridge success through design research and design management in China and the emerging markets.

Cathy is a respected Thought Leader in the design industry. Under her guidance, CBi has become the primary design research and innovation strategy consultancy in China.

She was the first Marketing Director of GE/Fitch China, and the former Project Manager of Haier Design Centre, where she acquired practical design knowledge and built strong relationships within the global design community.

Cathy has judged numerous renowned design awards, including the iF Design Award China, Pentaward, Electrolux Design Lab, China's Most Successful Design Awards, China Innovative Design Award, CCTV Grand Ceremony of Innovation.

She is frequently invited to speak at international conferences in America, Europe, Asia and often lectures at leading colleges and universities around the world, such as The Danish School of Art & Design, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, the China Europe International Business School, the China Central Academy of Fine Art and Tongji University, among others.

Her design views have been featured in CNBC, Fortune China, Design (Korea), ID magazine and many other media. Cathy has published two books: "Mobile Inspiration" and "Managing Design for Business Success: Readings & Case Studies on Design Management", and many business and design articles.

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