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What Design Can Do unveiled in Beijing

Graphic Design

Posted by Mark Sinclair, 26 September 2011, 11:18    Permalink    Comments (0)

For Beijing Design Week, London studio johnson banks created a series of banners championing the collaborative efforts of British and Chinese design practices...

The enormous posters, collectively titled What Design Can Do (shown in all their glory at the bottom of this post), celebrate the 10th anniversary of the MA Curating Contemporary Design course at Kingston University. The program specialises in developing projects between UK and Chinese curators, museums and universities.

The six banners are on display in 751 D-Park's Power Square, on the towers of an old power station. The area, now regarded as the city's design hub, is close to Beijing's well known 798 Art District.

The studio worked with animators Realise to create the imagery for the posters, rendered using 3D software. "A series of slogans headlining international design ideas and theories were developed by the UK and Chinese project teams, designed to echo the passion for sloganeering which has formed a distinctive role in Chinese culture and society," explain johnson banks.

Details from two of the banners

The headlines include ‘New from Old', ‘Shared Design History', ‘Collaborative Practice' and the ‘Power of Making'. Two final themes focus on ‘Design Process' and the ‘Next Generation'.

What Design Can Do is curated by Professor Catherine McDermott Kingston University and Tingting Xu, a Beijing curator and graduate of MA Curating Contemporary Design Kingston University in partnership with the Design Museum in London. More details about Beijing Design Week at


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