We’re kicking off 2020 with the World Design Rankings as they stand, and it seems like China has steadily found its way to the number 1 position, with a stunning 1538 A’ Design Awards over the years. The World Design Rankings provide a window into which country is the most progressive when it comes to design thinking and more accurately, which country houses the world’s best designers. As of the beginning of this decade, China, USA, Japan, Italy, and the UK sit at the top five positions of the global design rankings.
The list, created by the A’ Design Awards and Competition organization aims at capturing the year on year design progress of each country. With as many as 106 nations on the list, the World Design Rankings are an ever-changing, ever-evolving set of rankings that wholly encapsulate design progress through their awards program. With the 2019-2020 edition still accepting submissions, it’ll be interesting to see how the rankings change this year. If you want to see your country on the top (along with showcase your best work to the world) take a look atour piece on what Design Awards can do for your Career.
We’ve meticulously compiled a few of the 1538 designs from China that shone at the A’ Design Award. Scroll below to see our selection and if you do want to help your country rise higher up the design rankings, the A’ Design Awards are still accepting submissions till the 28th of February! Every entry you submit raises your country’s score (even more if it wins an award!).
01. Flexpai Flexible Smartphone by Royole
Flexpai sits at the top of our list for being the very first folding smartphone to ever be released to the public. Beating the likes of Huawei, Samsung, and Motorola to the race, Royole managed to debut the Flexpai back in 2018, long before anyone really knew what flexible smartphones would look like. Kudos to them, right?!
02. Nike+ Run Club Pop-up Gym by Coordination Asia
Designed to grab attention in Nike’s signature style, this pop-up gym sits on the streets, beckoning passersby to take a look inside. The hexagonal gym comes with an eye-catching exterior and a 6-part pod system on the inside with a treadmill in each pod. Dynamic media surfaces are used throughout the kaleidoscopic interior and exterior, wrapping participants in a temple-like setting devoted to the running experience, in the heart of Shanghai’s Times Square.
03. Ultratime 001 Watch by Bob Lei, Fever Chu and Jay Chan
A platinum award-winning design, the Ultratime 001 Watch comes with rotating discs and a silver line that helps point at the time corresponding to the position of the discs below it. Its angular placement, along with the clean design of the watch gives it minimalism with a touch of chaos. The watch’s crown sits at an offset too, making the timepiece rather interesting to look at!
04. Floh Travel Luggage by Rohan Siebel
Perfect for the urban dweller who wants to effortlessly weave through the crowded streets and pathways, Floh is travel luggage that comes with wheels and a handle, but it isn’t like most travel luggage. The luggage-holder doubles up into a scooter that one can use to ride around either an airport (provided it isn’t heavily carpeted) or even the streets while heading to work or back home. You could, however, also detach the wheels and wear the Floh as a conventional dual-strapped backpack too. It’s all up to you!
05. Changyu CS Brandy by Tiger Pan
Tiger Pan’s bottle design for Changyu CS Brandy aims at showcasing exactly how precious Changyu’s famed brandy is. Operational for 120 years now, Changyu is a prestigious winery brand in China, and the bottle helps reinforce the company’s brand value. It comes with a textured exterior that acts as a great tactile pattern for gripping while pouring, while also setting the bottle apart from regular alcohol bottles that rely mostly on print to differentiate from the competition. The CS Brandy’s eyecatching 3D pattern is further complemented by the bottle’s gradient that goes from dark on top, to transparent at the base, creating a sense of awe and mystery.
06. Meditation Seat Ware by Gao Fenglin
Gao Fenglin’s Meditation Seat can only be sat on in a certain way, directing the user’s behavior and encouraging a seating position that keeps your back upright, and your legs folded inward. The seat comes with an unusual design that naturally gets you to sit with your legs crossed in a meditative pose, allowing your posture to be corrected, spine kept straight and making sure you’re physically as well as mentally healthy.
07. Tai Chi Sales Center by Kris Lin
Kris Lin’s Tai Chi Sales Center aims at creating a healthy and inviting environment for the building’s customers by relying on forms that evoke a sense of beauty. The building’s facade, although seemingly chaotic, has a sense of stability and balance in it, and actually comes with a dark and light set of blocks denoting the Yin and the Yang in Chinese culture.
08. Hangzhou Zhongshuge Bookstore by Xiang Li
This bookstore is literally what heaven looks like to bookworms. What seems like an endless tsunami of books is in fact Xiang Li’s imagination of what a ‘forest of books’ would look like, with an undulating landscape wooden flooring, and lighting leaking from within bookshelves, just like you’d find in a forest with how sunlight leaks through branches. Of course, Xiang Li’s interpretation isn’t completely literal, but the Hangzhou Zhongshuge Bookstore is literally every book lover’s dream come true. An endless landscape just filled with knowledge to tap into and wisdom to be gained.
09. YOGA 900s Convertible laptop by Lenovo (Beijing) Ltd.
There’s sheer beauty in Lenovo’s Yoga 900s hinge. Comparable to that of the Microsoft Surface Book, this laptop’s hinge looks beautiful, efficient, and unbeatable. It also ties two sleek laptop bits together, i.e., the screen and the keyboard. Designed using a combination of rose gold, matte black, and just hints of metallic grey near the flexible joint, the Yoga 900s is more than a machine, it’s art and technology combined.
10. Guilin Yanshan Wanda Exhibition Center by Tengyuan Design
The Guilin Yanshan Wanda Exhibition Center is quite a work of art, considering it’s a space to display or exhibit work. One’s eye immediately goes to the ceiling, which seems like staring into either a kaleidoscope or a mandala, thanks to its beautiful radial design that draws on local culture and humanistic characteristics such as Guilin landscapes, Guangxi bronze drums, cliff stone carvings, and therefore integrates regional characteristics into its design, bringing in a local cultural flavor that inspires awe as well as casts a beautiful diffused light into the space for exhibitions.