The School of Design at Jiangnan University has a history dated back from the modeling department of Wuxi Institute of Light Industry founded in 1960. It is the main birthplace of modern design education in China, and the pioneer and modeling college of design education reform in China. After 60 years of construction and continuous reform, especially undergoing the transformation of the new economy and the information industry, it has become a high-level design discipline featuring light industry, and having an important influence at home and abroad. It is one of the most active international practice contributors as well as the demonstration base for training outstanding design talents for the industry. As a pioneer in the practice of integrating art and engineering in China, it has won four times the National Teaching Achievement Award, and is the one of the only two institutions in the country that is continuously supported by the key construction project of the first, second and third phases of the national 211 Project.
The school is committed to build a first-class design school dedicated to innovative, international, and research-oriented design education, focusing on interdisciplinary system innovation. Being in the leading position in the country with distinctive characteristics of light industry, the school ranks in A category in the fourth round of discipline evaluation done by the Ministry of Education (2017), the fifth place in China's Best Universities Discipline Ranking (2023), and the third place in the postgraduate design program ranking done by RCCSE in 2018. It is also the key disciplines in the "13th Five-Year Plan" of Jiangsu Province, as well as Jiangsu Provincial superior discipline (in construction).
There are 207 faculty members in the school, including 167 full-time teachers, among which there are 25 professors and 100 associate professors, and more than 60% has overseas studying and visiting experience. It is the mission of the school to train new designers and design leaders that are socially responsible, well respected in the future industry, and are able to adapt to the transformation challenges of the new era, new economy, and new society. Guided by global problem challenges and industry trends, the school further promotes research-oriented teaching and mission-driven active learning.
There are currently over 3300 students at school, including over 50 doctoral students, more than 700 master’s students and over 2500 undergraduates, among them, there are 34 international students and more than 20% Chinese students with international exchange experience. The school currently offers the following programs: PhD in Design, Master in Design, Master of Fine Arts, Master of Arts, Master of Engineering in Fashion Design and Engineering, Master of Art in Digital Media Arts Design and Theories, as well as 10 undergraduate programs in Industrial Design (English taught), Product Design, Environmental Design, Visual Communication Design, Public Art, Fine Arts, Fashion and Apparel Design, Digital Media Art, Clothing Design and Engineering, and Performance. Among all programs, product design and environmental design are selected as national first-class programs, and the almost all major programs are selected as national specified programs, key construction programs in Jiangsu Province, and Jiangsu Province Branded programs, etc.. The school is a national-level design talent training model innovation experiment base, and the "art design professional teaching team" has been awarded as a national teaching team. The school focuses on internationalized teaching and offers one English taught Master program- the International Program of Masters in Interaction and Service Design, and one English taught Bachelor program in Industrial Design, which are open to worldwide enrollment.
The school has repeatedly won outstanding achievements in various important design competitions at home and abroad. It is the only university awardee in the country that has won the Industrial Design Gold Award from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology. It has won 4 times IDEA Award, 51 Red Dot Design Awards, and 22 IF Design Award, as well as 11 Asian Design Yearly Award and China Environmental Art Design Awards, being one of the most active domestic institutions participating in international exchanges and competitions.
Our alumni are highly recognized by the industry and society of being with broad vision, comprehensive knowledge and innovative capability. A great number of our alumni are now leading talents and pioneers in innovation and entrepreneurship for the Chinese design education and industry, and have made remarkable achievements in the fields of design and creative industries. More than 30 alumni are now the deans and presidents of design institutions and schools, many of our alumni are founders of domestic well-known design companies and innovative industries, and many outstanding alumni are taking important roles in companies and institutions such as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Alibaba, Tencent, Huawei, Baidu, Sina, Midea, Netease, Guangzhou Auto, Volkswagen (Shanghai). Among our alumni, there are the design team for APEC national leaders' clothing, design chief for Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics mascot "Bingdundun", entrepreneurial teams that brought VR technology to the Spring Festival Gala hosted by China Central Television, as well as the young talents who have been selected into the "2023 Hurun Under30s Entrepreneurship Leader", "2023 Forbes China 30 Under 30 list of top Chinese entrepreneurs under the age of 30 ", "Guanghua Dragon Award-China's Top Ten Outstanding Young People in Design Industry". Talent training is further education and excellence. Every year more than 10% of our graduates receive offers from world-renowned universities and design schools including the Royal College of Art, Imperial College, Parsons School of Design, Politecnico di Milano, and Delft University of Technology to continue to study for master's and doctorate degrees.