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        On October 15, 2020, at the Press Conference of Beijing Normal University Future Design Center (FDC), Wang Shoujun, Vice President of Beijing Normal University and Director of BNU Zhuhai Administrative Committee, made an official announcement of launching the FDC "Future Design Seed Fund". This Seed Fund is to provide financial support for outstanding designers, design teams and companies around the world, with a maximum funding of RMB 2 million yuan.

 Wang hoped that by introducing this seed fund the best designers around the world could be attracted to Zhuhai, making this city a gathering place of innovative design talents. He also expected this seed fund could maximize its potential in attracting talents, organizing social forces, carrying out design innovation research and optimizing training mode of FDC.

Upon the official launch, Beijing Normal University is now accepting submissions for the Future Design Seed Fund.


I. About Beijing Normal University at Zhuhai and Future Design Center

In order to build a "comprehensive, research-oriented and world-class university with Chinese characteristics", Beijing Normal University (BNU) has established the Zhuhai Campus as a significant constitutional part. Sticking to the strategic deployment of “One University, Two Campuses”, Zhuhai Campus will develop with the unified positioning as Beijing Campus, based on the principle of “High standard, New mechanism and Internationalization”. In August, 2017, Guangdong Provincial and Zhuhai Municipal governments, and BNU signed a tripartite agreement in Guangzhou to jointly bolster the development of Zhuhai Campus and in April, 2019, the construction plan of Zhuhai Campus is officially approved by the Ministry of Education.

Future Design Center (FDC) is a research-based center established in November 2019 and it carries out the preparation for the establishment of Future Design School (FDS) of Beijing Normal University estimated in early 2021. Grounded at the cross-disciplinary research in design, technology and education, FDC fosters an integrated practice of research, education and practice through collaboration across humanities, arts, design, technology, and social sciences, and provides problem-driven and project-oriented education within complementary disciplines. It covers three research directions: Future Lifestyle, Art and Technology, Future Design Education. FDC aims to equip innovative talents with comprehensive analytical skills, cutting-edge vision, professional literacy and scientific and humanistic concepts. With the goal of providing pioneering and exploration practices for design industry, FDC also focuses on the design and development of experimental products applied in practical environment with international advanced standards.

II. Background and Significance

With the emergence and application of new technologies, the world is moving towards a new way of life, featuring “diversity, electronics, new languages, new communication modes and experience". However, the research in the field of future design has not received enough attention and support for designers and design studios in China. In order to stimulate the innovation of designers in this field and to build up a global talent pool, the FDC and the FDS (in preparation) officially launched the Future Design Seed Fund on October 15, 2020.

The Seed Fund is a public welfare fund designed to support outstanding designers, design teams and design companies around the world. By providing a good platform for designers with the spirit of "future innovation", the exchange, observation, research and self-examination of designers can be facilitated, making them link art with technology with social responsibilities. With the Seed Fund, the FDC and FDS (in preparation) expect to attract and gather the world's outstanding designers to Zhuhai with seed funding and make Zhuhai a gathering place for innovative design talent.

The Seed Fund invites a panel of eight experts from leading art schools in China and abroad, as well as the judges with the world's leading design awards and design disciplines.

Launching the Seed Fund aims to identify design talents and youth teachers worldwide for the talent pool of FDC and FDS (in preparation). It will help to organize a wide range of social forces to jointly carry out scientific research; to build a new type of practical training platform and optimize the training mode for talent innovation; to deepen university-enterprise cooperation and accelerate the transformation of scientific research results in FDC and FDS (in preparation).

III. Judges

TAN Ping

Chair of the Experimental Art Committee of China Artists Association

Director of National Research Center of Contemporary Arts

Former Vice President of Chinese National Academy of Arts

Former Vice President of Central Academy of Fine Arts

GAO Peng

Researcher at Beijing Normal University

Director of Future Design Center, Beijing Normal University

Member of Fine Arts Council, Chinese Museums Association

Council Member, Central Academy of Fine Arts

Honorary Director, Today Art Museum


Professor of Changjiang Scholar Program

Member of Expert Review Panel, Chinese National Commission for UNESCO

Review Board Expert of Degree Authorization Point Adjustment, Office of the State Council Academic Degrees Committee

Former Dean of School of Design, Central Academy of Fine Arts

XU Ping

Associate Dean of the School of Design and Dean of Graduate School, Central Academy of Fine Arts

Director of Institute for Design Culture and Policy, Central Academy of Fine Arts

Chair of the Review Board, 7th Chinese State Council Academic Degrees Committee of Design Discipline

Tony Brown

Tenured full Professor of the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-arts de Paris, France

Former Dean of the Sculpture Department

Director of the Doctoral Program“La Seine”

Former Provost of the Parsons School for Design, Paris


Professor of Remote Sensing & GIS, Peking University

Firstly proposed the concept of “Digital City” and applied it into 2008 Beijing Olympic Games

Won 12 Science and Technology Progress Awards on the national and provincial level

Miriam Mirolla

Tenured Professor at Academy of Fine Arts in Rome

Chair of Theory of Perception and Psychology of Art at Academy of Fine Arts in Rome

Leading expert in global futurism research

Tim Yip

Art Director for Stage

Film and Fashion Designer

Visual Artist

Won the Oscar for "Best Art Direction" and the British Film and Television Academy award for "Best Costume Design"


IV. Funding Method

Number of funded projects: 10-15

Funding amount: ¥500,000-¥2,000,000 per project

MAR 2021 Release list of shortlisted candidates and the first instalment of the fund (30%).

DEC 2021   Conduct the mid-term assessment and release the second instalment (30%) to the qualified finalists.

OCT 2022- NOV 2022 Release the results and the third instalment (40%).

The finalists are preferred to be recruited as teachers or partners for FDC and FDS (in preparation).


V. Application Requirement

1. Individuals, teams or companies may apply ("individuals" refers to natural persons, "teams" refers to communities or legal entities consisting of two or more natural persons, and "companies" refers to corporations established in China for profit-making purposes in accordance with the Company Law).

2. Individuals or team and company leaders must meet the age of 25 years or older.

3. The research field or design project shall meet one of the three directions: future lifestyle, art and technology, future design education.

4. The finalists shall involve outstanding students from the FDC and FDS (in preparation) in the project for internship.

5. The project plan shall be feasible for implementation with reasonable budgetary control.

6. The exhibition and exhibits should be able to be maintained in good condition for the three-month exhibition period.

VI. Application materials (both Chinese and English versions required)  

1. A scanned copy of the ID card or passport of all participants of the individual, team or company.

2. Brief introduction of the individual/team/company, including but not limited to: contact information, habitual residence, self-introduction, portfolio of past works or research results.

3. 1,000-2,000 word thematic statement.

4. Over 20-page PowerPoint presentation of the Project Plan, including but not limited to: project concept, implementation plan, time schedule, and budget.

VII. Submission  

Please submit the application materials to email: fdc@bnu.edu.cn by January 15, 2021 with the subject named "Future Design Seed Fund + Applicant Name".

Contact: 86-756-3683973

VIII. Schedule




OCT 15, 2020

Launch the “Future Design Seed Fund”

OCT 16, 2020-JAN 15, 2021

Submit the project plan

JAN 16, 2021-JAN 24, 2021


JAN 25, 2021

Release list of shortlisted candidates

JAN 26, 2021-MAR 21, 2021

Plan review

MAR 22, 2021-MAR 30, 2021


MAR 31, 2021

Release the finalists (10-15 projects);

Release the first instalment of the seed fund

JUL 2021-AUG 2021

Summer camp of Future Design Seed Fund

DEC 2021

Mid-term report

DEC 2021

Mid-term assessment;

Release the second instalment of the seed fund

APR 2021-SEP 2022.9

Refine design plan

Expert coaching

OCT 2022

Attend the result press release and exhibition

NOV 2022

Release the third instalment of the seed fund

IX. Statement of Activities

According to national laws and regulations, applicants who submit the proposal on their own initiative will be deemed to have made the following irrevocable declaration on the proposal submitted.

Declaration of Originality: The application’s project plan is the original work of the applicant and does not infringe any copyright, trademark or other intellectual property rights of others, and the plan has not entered into commercial channels in any form. Otherwise, FDC and FDS (in preparation) will disqualify the applicant from applying and being shortlisted, and reserve the right to investigate for legal responsibility.

Intellectual property rights of the finalists: The results and copyrights of the shortlisted projects are owned by both Beijing Normal University and the designers.

X. Emergency Termination

The Future Design Center and the Future Design School (in preparation) reserve the right to disqualify any individual, team or company that lacks the ability to execute the project, lacks responsibility for the design work, or is unable to complete the work according to the predetermined requirements.

The right of final interpretation this activity belongs to the Future Design Center and the Future Design School (in preparation).