SIGS Graduate Story | Chen Wei: Designing for a cause

Chen Wei is a 2020 Master of Fine Arts graduate of Tsinghua SIGS. Majoring in visual communication design, he has received numerous awards in international, national and provincial competitions, and shows great passion for design.

Constant revision is part of the design process

Art design requires both business knowledge and professional design skills, and Tsinghua SIGS provided an excellent environment and curriculum for that. During these few years, I have been to Anxi county, Fujian to learn more about rattan iron crafts which are an intangible cultural heritage, and also visited companies such as Batar Jewelry. With the guidance of my tutor, I was involved in major design projects for the 8th International Congress of Chinese Mathematicians and others.

Design requires constant revision and it is common to experience feelings of frustration during the process. I hope that my designs can not only improve people’s lives, but also help spread Eastern culture and its heritage.


Chen Wei (first on right) in Anxi County, Fujian

International Exchange opportunities

I was very fortunate to participate in a joint program by the Royal College of Art and Imperial College London in my second year of Master's. I met designers from around the world and together, we learned about the Double Diamond design process and applied it to social innovation to improve designs for everyday life. During winter break, I also went to South Korea with fellow Tsinghua students to further our design skills by visiting universities, museums, and exchanging with local designers. Finally, I participated in the Dentsu Innovative Talent Training Camp and learned creative thinking strategies from Japan's Dentsu Corporation, one of the world’s largest comprehensive advertising companies, and won grand prize in the final exhibition.


Joint program between the Royal College of Art, Imperial College London and Tsinghua University

Inspiring reflections

For my thesis project “A New Era for Labeling”, I wanted to address how people tend to attach labels to groups and individuals. Labeling is a very common way of thinking, but may make us quick to judge a person and jump to conclusions without knowing the facts. After initial research, I transformed a series of common identity labels into graphic designs, and hope that they can inspire people to reflect on this habit and social phenomenon.



Chen’s thesis project: A New Era for Labeling

 Designing to improve lives

In a sense, the design process is about rediscovering yourself. Good designs come from one’s understanding and experience of life. I encourage future graduates to remain observant to people’s needs, as we have the power to design and improve various aspects of daily life.


Photos provided by interviewee 

Edited by Karen Lee