The School of the Design and Arts of the Beijing Institute of Technology (BIT), founded in 1984 as the Department of Industrial Design, is one of the design schools that first opened industrial design courses in China. As the culmination of 30 years of experience and exploration, the school has established its leading position in design education of the nation and been granted the membership of the Industrial Design Education Steering Committee of the Education Ministry of China. To meet the demand of rapidly developing economy for design talents in a broad spectrum of fields, five departments have been established since 2000, including the Department of Visual Communication Design, the Department of Environmental Art and Design, the Department of Cultural Heritage, the Department of Decorative Painting, and the Department of Traditional Art Crafts. In 2002, the school was officially founded, featuring a unique model of comprehensive development combining technology, design and art. To further the reform of teaching methods, draw on the most recent concepts and philosophies in design and art industries, and create vigorous academic atmosphere and more favorable teaching and research environment, the school officially adopted its current name in 2009. Meanwhile, the academic resources and teaching staff were integrated, optimized and augmented, so as to adapt to the future development of the school, and provide constant booster and solid foundation for successful careers of students.

After years of investment and construction, the school currently owns a variety of labs, workshops and institutes, including the Human Factors Engineering and Interactive Design Lab, the Digital Virtual Image Lab, the Automobile Design Workshop, the Modeling Lab, the Seat Design and Study Institute and the Military Product Design Workshop, serving the purpose of matching the rapid development of the school, and improving teaching effectiveness and students’ practical skills. They provide ideal training grounds for students to carry out design projects and artistic creations. The school also co-founded institutes for teaching, research and internship with well-known enterprises both in China and other countries, in order to improve students’ team spirit and creativeness. Apart from manual skills, the school attaches importance to cultivating students’ literacy in humanities, and encourages teachers and students to apply for academic and research projects featuring rational spirit. Meanwhile, the school frequently hosts or co-hosts various internal or international academic conferences or forums, and invites established western or Chinese scholars to make visits or give lectures. Keeping friendly relationships with many colleges and universities, teachers and students of the school, under the support of the nation, BIT and the school, regularly or irregularly study and conduct research in well-known colleges overseas, so as to update themselves on the most recent developments in fields they study and participate in international artistic creations.

Most of the teaching staff were graduated from well-known colleges or universities, and are influential scholars, designers and artists. With teachers excellent in artistic creation and research, the teaching quality can be ensured. Apart from giving academic instructions, the teachers encourage students to learn from traditional theories and social experiences. Over 30 years, the school has been using academic and social resources to help students gain experience in individual or group creations and encouraging them to participate in internships, so as to be involved in design and art industries and make their part of contributions to the development of society. Since its establishment, the school’s teachers, and outstanding graduates and alumni have been spreading across China and to other countries, achieving great results in a broad spectrum of fields, including military product design, barrier-free and universal design, interactive design, visual communication, architecture, internal design, landscape design, ceramics, painting, cultural heritage studies, and art theory. They have received recognitions and praises for their achievements and taken many well-known awards for design and art.

Under the guideline that to build BIT as an internationally recognized university with unique characteristics and featuring in science and technology in 2040, the School of Design and Arts will make use of its advantages in subjects of science and technology and bring about the integration between science and humanities as well as between design and art. On the course of establishing a design & art educational structure in modern form and on advanced visions, the school is trying to keep at the forefront of the artistic education and scientific research systems in the 21st century. With first-class teaching quality and research, the School of Design and Arts is on its way to become a representative and unique school of high standard in China’s design and art education and in scientific research.