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Establishment Ceremony of the UASR Design Sub-alliance and Appointment Ceremony of the XJTU-POLIMI School's First Academic Committee Held

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On Apr. 19, 2023, the Establishment Ceremony of the Design Sub-alliance under the University Alliance of the Silk Road and Appointment Ceremony of the Academic Committee of the Joint School of Design and Innovation was held in Milan Building, Innovation Harbour Campus, Xi’an Jiaotong University (XJTU). The Design Sub-alliance under the University Alliance of the Silk Road (UASR) was initiated by the XJTU-POLIMI Joint School of Design and Innovation. The meeting was attended by experts and scholars from all walks of life, including XJTU President Wang Shuguo, CAE Academician Liu Jiaping, XJTU Vice President Hong Jun, POLIMI President Representative Prof. Sergio Pignari, and Liu Keqiang, Deputy General Manager of Shaanxi Automobile Holdings Group, and presided over by Prof. Yang Shuming, Executive Dean of the Joint School of Design and Innovation.

Wang Shuguo extended a warm welcome to the guests on behalf of XJTU. He first introduced the “Design · Future” purpose of the Joint School of Design and Innovation, and starting with the industry anxiety caused by artificial intelligence in all walks of life, deeply elucidated the technical and emotional attributes of design. He pointed out that compared to artificial intelligence, human designers had a unique ability to focus on humanistic experience and emotional interactions. Designers should not only extend human vision, touch, hearing, and other intelligence, but also assume the heavy responsibility for inheriting human civilization. President Wang earnestly asked the first year’s undergraduates of the Joint School of Design and Innovation to design human-computer friendly works that can make great contributions to the development of the world with their broad mind, advanced design concepts, and deep humanistic care. He hoped that the UASR Design Sub-alliance could inherit culture and design the future based on the community with a shared future for mankind.

Academician Liu Jiaping talked about the academic philosophy of architecture discipline in his speech. He emphasized that architecture was a discipline based on engineering and serving the people, which should pay attention to the coordinated development of the engineering, humanistic, and artistic attributes of architectural design and shoulder the responsibility for inheriting human civilization and improving the living environment. He further stressed that due to today’s global emphasis on sustainable development, design students should pay attention to environmental protection in the learning practice, reduce carbon emissions in the construction process, and achieve green development of architectural design while improving the living conditions of the whole people.

Sergio Pignari, President Representative of POLIMI, reviewed the history of cooperation between POLIMI and XJTU. He said that the original intention of the establishment of the Joint School of Design and Innovation was not only to realize exchanges and interactions between teachers and students of the two universities, but also to comprehensively promote interdisciplinary academic exchanges, achieve advantage complementation, mutual benefit, and win-win development of the two universities through the international platform of open cooperation, and create a more harmonious environment for international technological innovation progress and economic development cooperation between the two countries. Prof. Pignari showed that POLIMI was very glad to have reached the current cooperative relationship with XJTU and looked forward to further exchanges in the future.

Liu Keqiang, Deputy General Manager of Shaanxi Automobile Holdings Group, said at the Plaque-unveiling Ceremony of the Joint Design and Innovation Center that on the occasion of the third anniversary of General Secretary Xi Jinping’s inspection in Shaanxi, the signing of the Framework Agreement on Strategic Cooperation between the Group and XJTU to found the Joint Design and Innovation Center was an in-depth implementation of General Secretary’s important instructions, which would surely inject new vitality into the development of the enterprise. He believed that the establishment of the Joint Design and Innovation Center would build a new platform for student entrepreneurship, enterprise services, technology research, and achievement commercialization in the future.

XJTU President Wang Shuguo and POLIMI President Representative Sergio Pignari unveiled the plaque of the “Design Sub-alliance under the University Alliance of the Silk Road”. Since 2013, the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has gone through ten years, opening a new chapter in the economic and cultural development of China and the world. Taking the opportunity of the times, the “UASR” also ushered in the eighth year of its establishment. Under the guiding principles of the 20th CPC National Congress, the Alliance has deepened the harmonious academic co-construction under the BRI with a proactive opening-up strategy and built a solid bridge for building the community with a shared future for mankind with academic reciprocity and mutual trust.

On the same day, XJTU and Shaanxi Automobile Holdings Group jointly founded the Joint Design and Innovation Center. Before that, the Joint School of Design and Innovation, XJTU and the Group had carried out multiple school-enterprise cooperation activities in practical teaching, talent cultivation, and so on, signed the Agreement on the Off-campus Undergraduate Practice and Education Base of XJTU, and jointly built the youth growth brand “Shaanqixing Science and Technology Innovation Platform”.

It was learned that the “UASR Design Sub-alliance” was initiated by XJTU and jointly established under the UASR framework through the equal and amicable consultation of the heads of architecture and industrial design disciplines in many universities to spur the academic exchange and common prosperity of design discipline. It will lay a foundation for the countries and regions along the Silk Road to cultivate high-quality interdisciplinary grand design talents with international vision and play an irreplaceable role in boosting inter-university exchanges, talent cultivation, scientific research cooperation, and cultural communication among universities in different countries and regions.

Previously, XJTU had presided over the establishment of disciplinary sub-alliances of energy and power engineering, mechanical engineering, management, and law and promoted in-depth disciplinary exchanges and cooperation among the member universities.