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Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts (GAFA)

School of Innovation Design

China Full Member Institution

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Mission Statement

Guided by the needs of society, GAFA is highly integrated with national and international trends in technology, industry and humanities of common concern, bridging professional barriers, optimizing the teaching structure, establishing a close industry-university-research mechanism, and building “GAFA Innovation Platform for Art and Science Integration”, which covers contents, institutions and personnel for design education. We aim to gather academic and industrial elites, break disciplinary boundaries, and focus on social and economic hot issues, thereby integrating talent training, scientific research, artistic creations and social services.

International Role

GAFA has forged close ties with more than 50 fine arts colleges from countries and regions around the globe, including the Great Britain, France, Russia, Canada, the United States, Germany, Italy, Belgium, Switzerland, Japan, South Korea, Thailand, and Taiwan of China. Its sister universities include the Glasgow School of Art, I.E. Repin St.-Petersburg State Academic Institute for Painting, Sculpture and Architecture, V.I. Surikov Moscow State Academic Art Institute, the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp of Belgium, Zurich University of the Arts, L’École Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs – Paris, University of Toronto, Chiba University, Tokyo University of the Arts, National Taipei University of the Arts. It has been a common practice for GAFA to arrange for excellent teachers and students to study, exchange or conduct academic research in other countries or regions, set up exchange programs and cooperative training programs with overseas sister universities, launch international workshops and lectures, high-level art and design exhibitions, and high-level international academic seminars, and invite renowned overseas experts and scholars to hold lectures and academic conferences. GAFA also vigorously promotes education for international students, advances cooperation in running schools with high-level international universities in an orderly fashion, and actively expands the opening of higher education to the outside world to enhance the internationalization of its education programs. Based on its academic and disciplinary advantages, GAFA plays an active role in the cultural exchange programs between China and other countries. By presenting its academic research achievements and the excellent works of its faculty members and students to the outside world, GAFA is dedicated to telling China story well and having the country’s voice heard.

National Role

As the only institution of higher art in Guangdong Province and even in South China, GAFA is determined to develop high-caliber talents and boost academic research and artistic creation at a higher starting point through new initiatives. To make this happen, it will leverage the strengths of Guangdong Province as the pioneer, pilot and experimental field of the reform and opening up policy and those of the Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA) in historical, geographical, economic, cultural and intellectual resources. In this way, GAFA will better serve social development in the new era, play an active role in implementing national strategies like GBA development and work towards a more promising future driven by the country’s Belt and Road” initiative.

Following the principle of “integrating art with science, science with education, and industry with education”, it proactively serves regional economic and cultural development. In recent years, GAFA has undertaken more than 600 creation and design projects from governments, enterprises and public institutions, creating a significant number of impressive artworks, including Shenzhen’s city sculpture Pioneering Bull, Zhuhai’s city sculpture Zhuhai Fisherwoman, the statue of Mao Zedong in Youth on the Orange Island in Changsha, the design of Guangdong Provincial Government’s gifts in the commemoration of Hong Kong and Macao’s return to the motherland, the design and engineering of the Guangdong Hall of the Great Hall of the People, the PLA Naval Museum, China Pavilion of World Expo in Japan, as well as the Urbanian Pavilion and Shanxi Pavilion of World Expo Shanghai, Maritime Silk Road Museum, China Ceramics and Glass Museum, the Changjiang Civilization Museum, etc.; and the design of Bing Dwen Dwen, the mascot of the 2022 Beijing Olympic Winter Games, and city logo of Guangzhou. All these efforts have rendered strong support for cultural communication and industrial transformation and upgrading of the region and beyond.
Collaborating with partner universities or associations, GAFA has held a series of academic conferences and exhibitions to promote communications. Also, we held design competitions by collaborating with industries such as XPeng Motors and Vivo. We have been actively carrying out "curriculum cooperation", "project cooperation", "graduation design cooperation" and other diversified and comprehensive industry-academia-research cooperation with well-known domestic and foreign enterprises such as Tencent, GAC, Honda, and Toyota. We have trained a large number of excellent designers and provided intellectual support for the development of Chinese brands and industry.

Main Focus

For a long time, design education in GAFA has built the earliest innovative model of industry-academia-research teaching in Chinese art colleges and universities by linking classrooms, enterprises and society through project-based teaching on the basis of the industrial advantages of Guangdong Province and the location advantages of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.

For graduate students and postgraduate students, we focus on developing the following knowledge, abilities and qualities:
1. Basic knowledge 
2. Professional knowledge
3. Cognitive ability
4. Creative ability
5. Communication and collaboration ability

Faculties and Departments

The School of Innovation Design has five departments: Department of Industrial and Interaction Design, Department of Product Design, Department of Art and Design, Department of Dyeing and Weaving Art and Design, Department of Fashion and Apparel Design.

Under each department, there are 3-4 teaching and research centers with different research directions. The specific settings are as follows:

1. Department of Industrial and Interaction Design    
Intelligent Product Design Teaching and Research Center
Intelligent Interaction Design Teaching and Research Center
Intelligent Travel Design Teaching and Research Center

2. Department of Product Design    
Life Design Teaching and Research Center
System Design Teaching and Research Center
Service Design Teaching and Research Center

3. Department of Art and Design    
Cultural Integration Design Teaching and Research Center
Social Innovation Design Teaching and Research Center
Digital Experience Design Teaching and Research Center

4. Department of Dyeing and Weaving Art and Design    
Pattern Design Presentation Teaching and Research Center
Fabric Design and Engineering Teaching and Research Center
Fiber Art Design Teaching and Research Center
Material Media Design Teaching and Research Center

5. Department of Fashion and Apparel Design    
Clothing Art and Design Teaching and Research Center
Fashion Technology and Design Teaching and Research Center
Accessories Art and Design Teaching and Research Center

Bachelor Level Programs

We provide four-year undergraduate education, and students are awarded a bachelor's degree after meeting graduation requirements.

  • BA in industrial design,
  • BA in product design,
  • BA in intelligent interaction design,
  • BA in art and design,
  • BA in fashion and apparel design,
  • BA in fashion design and engineering.

Master Level Programs

We provide three-year postgraduate education, and students are awarded a master's degree after meeting graduation requirements. 

  • MA in design
  • MA in art and design
  • MFA in design
  • MFA in art and design

Research Activity and Main Areas

The School of Innovation Design focuses on multiple research areas, including but not limited to:

  • Intelligent product interaction innovation
  • Age-friendly Design
  • Intelligent mobility
  • Rural Revitalization
  • Design for Sustainability
  • Social Innovation
  • Museum Service Design
  • Smart Wearable Clothing Design

Doctorate Level Programs

We provide doctoral level programs for fine arts and also design, and the estimated duration of studying is 3 years. 

  • DA in design
  • DA in fine arts

Subject Areas for Exchange Students


Fine Arts

Teaching Languages


Semester Dates

Spring semester usually begins around March

Autumn semester usually begins in September


Bachelor: 1290
Master: 130
Doctorate: 2

Exchange Students

Incoming: 4
Outgoing: 10
Others: 2

Teaching Staff

Professors: 42
Lectures: 30
Part-time Teachers: 11

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