College of Design and Innovation (D&I), Tongji University, was developed from the Art and Design Department of the College of Architecture and Urban Planning, Tongji University.
The design education at Tongji University began in the 1940s, and deeply influenced by the German “Bauhaus” school, it has long been based on the architectural education and formed an “absorbing and inclusive” learning style. Department of Art and Design began enrolling undergraduate students in 1986. The Department of Industrial Design was formally established in 1993 and the Department of Art Design was added in 2000, conferring Bachelor’s Degree of Engineering and Bachelor’s Degree of Arts. At the same year, the Department of Industrial Design was renamed the Department of Art and Design, which began enrolling postgraduates majoring in Design Arts in 2001, conferring Master’s Degree of Arts. In 2002, the department began enrolling doctoral students majoring in Design History and Theory, conferring doctor’s degree in architecture.
In May, 2009, Tongji University drew on the latest ideas and models of world design and innovation disciplines and developed the Department of Art and Design into the College of Design and Innovation, Tongji University. The establishment of the college aimed to better meet the need for design and innovation because of social, economic, technological and environmental changes, especially to meet the need for design and innovation when China is turning from manufacturing China to creating China and when Shanghai is changing the way of economic growth and upgrading industrial structure, and to conform to Tongji University’s sustainability-oriented discipline development strategy. The college is committed to the mission of cultivating “sustainable designing and innovating” leading talents needed urgently by the new era. The overall goal of the college is to establish an international, innovative, forward-looking and research-oriented world-class college of design with great sense of mission of the era, international perspective and native characteristics.
In 2010, Tongji University cooperated with Aalto University and established “Tongji-Aalto Design Factory” and “Tongji University Sino-Finnish Center”, which have become a world-famous internationalized, cross-disciplinary and open innovation platform through integrating design creativity, science and technology and economic management discipline with “design thinking”. In 2012, the College of Design and Innovation was chosen to be the pilot college at Tongji University, and carried out reforms and experiments in management system, talent cultivation, discipline construction, etc.
There are two majors at the undergraduate level in the College of Design and Innovation, Tongji University – Industrial Design and Creative Design. Industrial Design grants Bachelor’s Degree of Engineering and Creative Design grants Bachelor’s Degree in design. There are four undergraduate majors: Product Design, Environmental Design, Communication Design and Digital Media Design. There are design master’s program and academic master’s program at the postgraduate level, conferring Master’s Degree of Engineering and Master’s Degree of Arts respectively, including the following disciplines: Advanced Industrial Design, Advanced Environmental Design, Advanced Media Design, Interaction Design, Product Service System Design, Design Strategy and Management, Design History and Theory, etc. At the doctoral level, Architecture Design and Theory and Creative Design enroll doctoral students, conferring Doctor’s degree in architecture.
At present, there are 552 students in the college (380 undergraduates, 172 graduate students, including 21 doctoral students). There are altogether 50 international students in the college, accounting for 10% of the total student number. There are 48 full-time teachers at the College of Design and Innovation (22 professors and associate professors, and 26 lecturers). Moreover, the college hires many outstanding and accomplished educators and designers from different research fields as part-time professors, such as Ezio Manzini, Don Norman, Ken Friedman, Yrjö Sotamaa, Yrjö Kukapolo, Uwe Bruckner, Luigi Colani, Aldo Cibic, David Mocaski, Liu Guanzhong, He Renke, and Fang Hai. In 2014, the college officially started to implement Adjunct part-time teacher system, and making use of the geographical advantage of Shanghai, the college hires designers, and talents of design research and management to give lectures from outstanding design institutions from all over the world.
Currently, College of Design and Innovation, Tongji University, has become one of the most internationally renowned colleges of design, ranking among the world’s leading design institutions.
College of Design and Innovation, Tongji University, enjoys membership in CUMULUS, the International Association of Universities and Colleges of Art, Design and Media, ICSID, the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design, and DESIS, Design for Social Innovation & Sustainability. From 2007 to 2010, the Department of Art and Design and the College of Design and Innovation, Tongji University, were selected for three consecutive times as one of the world’s best colleges of design and courses. In 2010, College of Design and Innovation, Tongji University, was named one of the world’s best 18 colleges of design by PSDTUTS+ website. In 2011, “Tongji – Alto Design Factory” was selected as one of the five major global university innovation platforms by the famous magazine Monocle. In 2013, College of Design and Innovation was selected by the internationally renowned design magazine FRAME into the “Top 30 World Leading Master Programs”.
The design magazine, All Design, is edited by College of Design and Innovation, Tongji University, and has a great influence in the design community. Since 2013, College of Design and Innovation, Tongji University has cooperated with Holland Elsevier Publisher to publish an English journal of design research, Design Economics and Innovation. The first issue will be published in the spring in 2015.
College of Design and Innovation, Tongji University(D&I) was ranked 34th in Art and Design according to Quacquarelli Symonds(QS) world university ranking by subject in 2016.