Culture Club
Wallpaper|October 2019
A new digital hub has launched to promote and preserve China’s design heritage worldwide.
Yoko Choy

Ten years ago, Wallpaper* sent a team of its best people to survey modern China. Aptly named ‘Made in China’, the special issue explored the vast landscape of the country’s creativity, connected with its movers and shakers, and attempted to paint a picture of its future. In the past decade, we have witnessed China’s rapid development in its creative industries, surpassing itself in every way. What was seen as the world’s factory has evolved to become ‘China by Design’.

China’s fortunes have fluctuated vastly throughout its long history, but now, thanks to its colossal manufacturing industry, its meteoric economic rise since the late-20th century has generated a middle class that is reviving interest in the nation’s culture. The country that gave its name to one of our most ubiquitous goods is seeking to return its once-famed diverse culture to the world stage; this time, however, it plans to achieve it by engaging with the creative community via focused networking and exchanges.

In 2003, Nanjing University – one of China’s most prestigious academic institutions – established the Natural Heritage Institute (NHI). A decade into documenting the nation’s heritage, the NHI joined forces with China’s Nationality Culture Foundation, setting up the Cultural Heritage and Sustainable Development Fund (CHSDF) in 2013 to preserve traditional crafts and cultural diversity, and ensure that skills are passed onto future generations. In addition, it aims to promote these national assets to the global community and help them to flourish in the contemporary world.

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