Wuxi Expo showcases China's top-notch designs

Wuxi Expo showcases China's top-notch designs

The 18th China (Wuxi) International Design Expo, which concluded on September 10, showcased top-notch industrial designs from home and abroad and provided inspirations for industrial insiders. During the three-day event held in Wuxi, Jiangsu province, an exhibition section dedicated to the 10 winners of this year’s WIPO-China Awards for Outstanding Patented Chinese Industrial Designs was a big draw to visitors. The National Intellectual Property Administration (NIPA) and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) have co-presented the annual WIPO-China Awards for Outstanding Patented Chinese Inventions and Industrial Designs since 1989. They are the country’s top prizes for patented inventions and industrial designs.

Among the award-winning designs on display was the Mars rover Zhurong, which is part of China’s Tianwen-1 Mars exploration mission. It landed on the Utopia Planitia, a vast plain in the northern hemisphere of the red planet, on May 15, 2021. The Mars rover combines technology and culture, Zhang Wangjun, Senior Designer at the Institute of Spacecraft System Engineering, a subsidiary of the China Academy of Space Technology, told China Intellectual Property News. The six-wheeled solar-powered rover, resembling a traditional butterfly-shaped kite, is named after the god of fire in ancient Chinese mythology. Its design also incorporates elements of Chinese characters. With a height of 1.85 meters and a weight of 240 kilograms, Zhurong can travel at a speed of 200 meters per hour on the Martian surface.

Xiamen Golden Dragon Bus presented its flagship model, a purple luxury coach using its award-winning design. Its exterior adopts the aesthetic design concept of “fluid sculpture” melded with aerodynamics. The front grille is slightly inclined, and the side panels are designed with hidden illuminated decorations that span from the front to the rear. The rear panel has sculptural surfaces and a wing, giving it a dynamic and visually striking appearance. The vehicle’s drag coefficient is only 0.548, reaching an excellent level. Compared with the coefficient range of 0.7 to 0.8 for general coaches, the ultra-low drag coefficient is of great significance to the fuel economy, handling, safety, energy conservation and emissions reduction of the coach. Industrial design features a comprehensive reflection of technology and art. For any designer, it is not an easy job to innovate, China Intellectual Property News quoted Manager Cao Ying as saying. “For a coach, a perfect design is not just about being aesthetically pleasing. It should not only reflect a unique taste and style, but also factor multiple aspects such as safety, energy consumption, and convenience into consideration,” Cao said. Winning the award will give a further boost to the company’s improvement in technological innovation and influence over the industry, Cao added.

Another award-winning design is from electric vehicle startup Xpeng, which focuses on eco-friendliness and has been applied to the company’s P7 model. It enables a recycling rate of more than 97% in the model’s materials and the EVs are to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by over 1 million metric tons throughout their entire life cycle. Mainly appealing to young people, the model has sold approximately 150,000 units and generated more than CNY30 billion in sales since it was launched in the market three years ago, according to the company.

Great Wall Motor’s award winner is a SUV design, which drew inspiration from traditional Chinese culture, and has been applied to the company’s Tank 300 model. GAC Group, a Guangzhou-headquartered automaker, puts an emphasis on new energy vehicles. “Compared to the space occupied by the engine and transmission lay-out in traditional fuel-powered vehicles, the mechanical layout of new energy vehicles takes up less space,” said Dan Ka, Director of the Exterior Design Department of the GAC R&D Center. “We have taken advantage of this feature to widen the interior space.” Yet to achieve a larger interior space, the overall exterior tends to be more square, which can increase the drag coefficient during driving, Dan said. By leveraging GAC’s continuous research in aerodynamics, the designers have achieved the “optimal solution” to address this concern, striking a balance among expanding the interior space, creating a dynamic body posture, and reducing aerodynamic resistance. A short front overhang, long wheelbase, and wide wheel track have all contributed to maximizing the practical value of NEVs and creating a spacious interior, Dan said. The award-winning design has been applied to GAC’s Aion Y series.

The number of new design applications in China totaled 795,000 in 2022. According to WIPO, China takes the lead in the world in the number of patent, trademark and design filings, the China Daily reports.