Third “Silent Class”

The third “Silent Class of 2019” at FW. GID Office, China by GID International Design

On May 26th, the third “Silent Class of 2019” was held at FW.GID Office, China by GID International Design in Shanghai. The pouring rain did not dampen the enthusiasm of the students hungry for knowledge.

FW.GID Office, China by GID International Design

The GID office located on No. 338, Fengyang Road used to be a printing house. The innovative renovation by designers gave rise to a new perception of space out of the old architectural design. The whole space, dotted by paintings, sculptures, and artistic furniture that the founder Gary Zeng selectively brought back from all over the world, is like an art museum. Students from the special education class of Xuhui University of Continuing Education Shanghai, Shanghai Youth Technical School for the Deaf and Shanghai Institute of Technology had a wonderful afternoon in this artistic and distinctively designed space. 

 C Foundation’s volunteers in Shanghai and Shanghai Puki Coordination Agency for the Deaf jointly pulled off the “Silent Classes of 2019” project for hearing-impaired design students. The first class was held at Ideal Home Show on March 17th, where design KOL Xu Xiaodong shared his thoughts on design; the second class was held at W+S Lifestyle Gallery on April 26th, where C Foundation Director Ben Wu delivered a speech “What it takes to become a designer”. Step by step, the “Silent Classes” project took hearing-impaired design students forward on the design journey and introduced the design industry to the students, and explained how to become an excellent designer.

The Class 

The third class

The third “Silent Class of 2019” took place in FW.GID Office and invited Gary Zeng, founder and Director of GID International Design, Head of the Chinese District of Singapore FW International Design and designer of the TV show Dream Home. Gary Zeng delivered a speech “Exploring the Way of Formation of Art and Aesthetics”, in which he talked about issues such as the enlightenment of design and the exploration of contemporary oriental aesthetics, hoping to provoke students’ imagination and imparting to them new knowledge about aesthetics. 

Designer Gary Zeng

Gary Zeng said that “every design can find its root in certain species on the planet, and modern designers should think about the formation of aesthetics from the perspective of forms of species; when we examine the excellent works of others, the copy-and-paste approach would not work; instead, we should deconstruct those excellent designs based on our own aesthetic values and approaches and then arrive at our own design. That is a very important core principle for designers just starting their career. 

When Gary Zeng’s micro-level visual art works created during his travel and overseas study programs were projected onto the screen, the students were shocked by the artistic and visually striking photos. Gary told them that to see with their heart things that could not be seen otherwise is the charm of design and the precondition to create designs that differ from those created by the mediocre. He suggested that the students should develop the habit of looking for beauty in the world with their heart.”

Design “Joy of Ice and Fire” (bing yu huo zhi huan)

What is the most useful to students is Gary’s theory of “collection repository”. Gary won the Red Dot Award for Product Design with his stereo design that combines eight functions, an object that is a candleholder, vase and ice bucket, among other things, all in one. With his own example, Gary illustrated the need to record one’s ideas when one has them, regardless of whether they are useful or not and whom the potential clients would be; with this approach, one stores desirable information and methods in a “repository” and makes it into a storage room of creative ideas; as time goes by, information and ideas accumulate in the “repository” and become inspirations that could be put to use anytime.

Red Dot Award winner, Basket Stereo


Following the speech, Gary showed students around the building and introduced to them its history and present, allowing students to savor what time has done to the building and see the beauty of design with their heart.

In this third “Silent Class”, Gary touched upon a wide range of topics from contemporary art, industrial products to interior space and from the development of design thinking to design habits that need to be formed. His valuable experience encourages students to love life, pursue beauty, extract design expressions from the nature, and to apply the contemporary language to products and spaces for aesthetic reconstruction that gives them new aesthetic value. 

Group picture

This third “Silent Class” was streamed live via NetEase Home and recorded as well. The video playback allows hearing-impaired design students nationwide to watch the interesting and valuable class anytime they want, giving them a little boost on their journey to accomplish their dreams and lead a fulfilled life.

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