Faculty Heng Zhi

Heng Zhi

University Lecturer, Design History and Theory

MA Industrial Design, University for Applied Arts, Vienna (2007)
PhD Candidate, University for Applied Arts, Vienna

heng.zhi@uni-ak.ac.at

Heng Zhi joined the Department of Design History and Theory as a university lecturer in 2021, having previously served as a curator of the collection at the Vitra Design Museum, Weil am Rhein, an assistant professor in the Manual and Material Culture Programme, New Design University, St. Pölten, and a lecturer in the Design and Context Programme at the Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna. She studied industrial design at the University for Applied Arts Vienna and Politecnico di Milano, and is currently a PhD candidate in the Department of Design History and Theory, University for Applied Arts Vienna. Her PhD investigates the emergence of design policies in China, and how the state imperative of design innovation merges with the local tradition and practice of copying to shape the design culture in contemporary China.

Her research interests lie in critical design practices and alternative understandings about the modern concepts related to design in non-Western contexts. She has given invited lectures at conferences and institutions such as the Digital Design Summit Weimar, Technical University Beijing, Zurich University of the Arts, University of the Arts Basel, and University of the Arts Kassel. She has curated and chaired numerous exhibitions and symposiums in Europe and China, among others at the Vitra Design Museum, Tsinghua University Beijing, the Victor Papanek Foundation Vienna, Technical University Beijing, and the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna. Her own design work was exhibited at locations such as the Museum for Applied Arts Vienna, London Great Western Studios, China National Museum, and Shanghai Power Station of Fine Arts. She was granted the Marietta Blau research scholarship in 2013, the project fund of Austrian Federal Ministry for Education, Arts and Culture, and the Otto Mauer Funds for Contemporary Art in 2010. She has also made regular contribution to design and art magazines (Surface Magazine, Modern Magazine, Anothermag, CoboSocial), TV (ZDF, France 3 Alsace, SWR) and newspaper (Spiegel, Frankfurter Allgemeiner Zeitung, Deutschland.de).

Selected Lectures

„Kopie, Kreativität und Designkultur in China“, Digital Bauhaus Summit, Weimar (6.2018)

„Auswahl, Sammlung und Vermittlung der Designobjekte bei Vitra Design Museum“, Zurich University of the Arts (11.2017)

“Creativity and Copy: Design Culture in China”, University of the Arts Basel (11.2017)

„Monobloc: Der Weltstuhl aus einem Guss“, Embru-Werke, Zurich (06.2017)

„Kopie und Shanzhai“,University of the Arts Kassel (05.2017)

„Shanzhai und die Kultur der Kopie“, University for Applied Arts Vienna (05.2016)

“Understanding Shanzhai”, Vienna Open Festival (09.2015)

Curated Exhibitions

“Seats of Power”, Vitra Design Museum, Weil am Rhein (10.2018–02.2019)

“Hans J. Wegner: Designing Danish Modern”, Vitra Design Museum, Weil am Rhein (03.–06.2018)

“Kazam! The Furniture Experiments of Charles and Ray Eames”, Vitra Design Museum, Weil am Rhein (09.2017–02.2018)

“Ettore Sottsass: Rebel and Poet”, Vitra Design Museum, Weil am Rhein (07.–09.2017)

“Monobloc. A Chair for the World”, Vitra Design Museum, Weil am Rhein (03.–07.2017)

“Dieter Rams. A Modular World”, Vitra Design Museum, Weil am Rhein (11.2016–03.2017)

“Radical Design!”, Vitra Design Museum, Weil am Rhein (06.–11.2016)

Volkswagen Presentation at Beijing International Motor Show (02.–03.2014), co-curated with CE+CO Hamburg

“HUMUS: Mario Terzic and the Art Gardens”, Tsinghua University, Beijing (03.–10.2012), co-curated with Lu Yang