Eric Cai Shi Wei: Idea Innocent Originality Reasonable


Originalism. The leading force of design revolution are Chinese designers, while our theoretical basis is Originalism. If there’s a revolution, then there must be a leading theme, according to revolutionary theories and styles. Without such a theme, it’s impossible to beat the so-called plagiarism and its followers. If there’s no effort towards Originalism and if Chinese Designer isn’t the protagonist of Chinese design, China will never achieve independence and freedom in design field. Originalism is the aiming core for all Chinese designers, and without it Originalism as a business cannot win.

Originalism is a thought-provoking, originality-leading, self-critical and design-related doctrine. If a troop of designers is equipped with such a doctrine and form a united front together with all the originalist designers, these weapons will defeat our enemies.

We must have faith both in ‘Originalism designers’ and in Originalism itself. These are two cardinal principles. If we doubt these principles, we can’t accomplish anything. Armed with Originalism theories and ideas, Chinese Originalism has brought a new working style to Chinese designers, a style which essentially integrates theories with practice, creating close links with the designer and making self-criticism possible. Originalism can never lead to a great revolutionary movement for the final victory unless it’s armed with revolutionary theories, knowledge of history and a deep grasp of practical movement. As we used to say, the rectification movement is “a widespread education movement of Originalism”. Rectification means that the designer should study Originalism through criticism and self-criticism. We can certainly learn more about Originalism during the rectification movement. It’s a difficult task to ensure a better life for the several hundred millions of people in China and to change it from a backward country into an international, developed and aesthetic one. That is why we need a rectification movement, which we should insist on not only now, but also in the future.

We must correct the fake, in order to take a deeper responsibility in this task and cooperate with revolutionary members overseas. Orientation Creative is not only our starting-point for all the practical actions of China Originalism, but it’s also a demonstration of the practical process and destination. All the actions of originality revolution should be based on Orientation Creativity. We only have two choices: a right and proactive originality or a fake and blind creativity. Experiences are the process and destination of originality. And designers’ practices or experiences can prove the validity of originality.

Originalism has laid down on the leading principles and policies of Chinese design revolution, as well as many working details and thinking principles.

However, though many designers may keep in mind specific working and thinking principles of Originalism, they often forget its leading principle and policy. In this case, we are blind, half-baked, muddleheaded designers. When we carry out a specific working principle and idea, we shall loose our bearings and stagger, because what suffers or gets delayed is our work.

Originalities and strategies are the marrow of Chinese Originalism. Chinese designers must pay full attention to these two points.

Struggles between classes. Among classes struggles, some classes triumph while others are eliminated. This is History, and it’s the same case in the history of design. In a design society, every designer lives as a member of a particular class, and every thought, with no exception, is stamped with the brand of a class. Design changes according to the development of paradoxes among creative thoughts: the paradox between creativity and creation, between the old and the new and the paradox among classes. These paradoxes push the design forward and accelerate the transition from old design to the new one. Due to the ruthless exploitation and aesthetic repression on public thoughts in a plagiarist way, the original designer was forced to stand up in order to resist their contamination. Only class struggle among designers and the struggles of the Originalism designers can support design development. We should organize ourselves as Originalism designers. If we are allied with all these designers, we can defeat plagiarists.

Without fighting or struggle, Plagiarism will never disappear.

It’s the same case with sweeping, in which dust will never clear up itself.

Who are our enemies? Who are our friends? This is a question of first importance for originality revolution.

The basic reason why all previous revolutionary struggles in China achieved so little was their failure to join with real friends in order to attack real enemies. Originalism is the guide of all designers, and no revolution ever succeeds when the revolutionary concept leads them astray. We must ensure that we will definitely achieve success in our revolution and will not lead the designers astray; we must stay with our real friends in order to attack our real enemies.

The designer who stands by the original designers is a revolutionist, while the one standing by the plagiarists is an anti-revolutionist. Anyone who pretends to be a revolutionist but acts like he’s not, is a false-revolutionist, while one who follows Originalism both in words and in action is a real revolutionist.

Plagiarists will never accept their failure; they absolutely will make their final beat. Even after the realization of an originality society, plagiarists will, by all means, make trouble and do plagiaries. This is undoubted and inevitable, and for this reason we should reinforce our vigilance.

It is a long process to succeed in ideological struggles between our Originalism and plagiarism, since the latter will have a long-term influence on our society. Provided that we have little or no understanding of this situation, we should make big mistakes and ignore the necessary fight with plagiarism. Both plagiarism and revisionism are doctrines against Originalism. Orginalism should constantly move forward with the development of practices. It will die when it stops development. But such development is bound to follow the leading principle of Originalism. Plagiarism takes Originalism as a dead doctrine while revisionism is a branch of plagiarism. Revisionism obscures the differences between Originalism and plagiarism, and, moreover, the differences between both classes.

What revisionism advocates is the latter one, not the former one.

Originalism. Originalism system will eventually take place instead of the plagiarism one. It’s an objective law which will never affect people’s will.

No matter how plagiarism prevents the development of the history of design: revolution will take place sooner or later and achieve the final success in the end.

Originalism designer never conceal his creative ideas. Definitely and undoubtedly, our future program is to carry China forward to Originalism. We are implementing not only the revolution of design system but also the revolution of basic education.

Both revolutions are tightly bounded.

The new design system has only just been established and requires time for its consolidation. It must not be assumed that the new system can be completely consolidated the moment it is established, because this is impossible.

We have to achieve a national-spread Originalism and insist on the originality revolution. Moreover, we must offer an education on the frequent and arduous revolutionary struggles.

And the prerequisite is an international cooperation.

It is a long-term process for both these struggles to give strength to Originalism system and to the struggle between Originalism and plagiarism.

Nevertheless, there should be a prospective in our mind that we are able to consolidate the new Originalism system and build up an new nation armed with modern aesthetics and modern design themes, as well as a modern spiritual culture.

To educate our designers is an essential and urgent work, but its thoughts are easily distracted. According to the experiences of the other countries with an advanced design, long-time preparation and careful work can lead to a real design originality, without which an overall and solid Originalism is impossible.

We must have faith, first, that designers are ready to step on the way toward Originalism under the leadership of China Originalism, and second, that the Originalism is capable of leading the designer along this road.

These two points are the essence of the matter. In addition to the leadership of Originalism, the fundamental factor are our designers themselves. More designers mean a greater ferment of ideas, more enthusiasm and energy.

Never before the designer have been so inspired, so militant and so daring.

Under the leadership of China Originalism, Chinese designers are carrying out a vigorous rectification movement, in order to put the rapid development of Originalism in China on a firmer basis. By means of practicing and reasoning, we should launch an overall revolutionary movement, consciously and freely, to deal with the problems between plagiarism and Originalism, the problems of designing principles, developments and working styles, and, the most urgent of all, solving the inevitable problems at this stage.

This movement must be a self-educated and self-reviewing one.

The Correct Handling of Contradictions among the Designer. Contradiction between enemies and us and between design ideas are two different types of contradictions. To understand them correctly, we must first be clear on what is meant by ‘originality’ and ‘enemy’. The classes which support and work for the Originalism are in alliance with Originalism designers. The classes which oppose, resist and destruct the establishment of Originalism are the enemies of Originalism designers.

For our designers the most important question is how to distinguish the right words and actions from the wrong ones. Considering our Originalism principles and the will of the overwhelming majority of our designers, the criteria should be as following:

  1. What should help to unite, not to divide, the designers of our country.
  2. What should be beneficial, and not harmful, to Originalism transformation and construction.
  3. What should help to consolidate, and not undermine or weaken, designers status.
  4. What helps, but not destroys, the alliance of Originalism designers worldwide.

Since two contradictions are different in nature, solutions are different either. To put it in short, the former are a matter of drawing a clear distinction between ourselves and the enemy, and the latter a matter of drawing a clear distinction between what is right and what is wrong.

Plagiarists tried to reflect their thoughts. They made no effort to express themselves on thinking and expression matters. It is impossible for them to hide away from the public attention. Rather than fight plagiarists’ performance, we should let them to freely express themselves. What we need to do is to discuss with them and criticize them.

Without criticism, the market would be filled with plagiarized designs and this would be an unexpected case for us. We should criticize the mistakes like we sweep poisonous weeds. In ordinary circumstances, contradictions among designers are not antagonistic.

However, if contradictions aren’t handled properly, or if we relax our vigilance and lower our guard, antagonism may arise.

War and Peace. Revolutions and revolutionary wars are inevitable in a design society, and without them it’s impossible to accomplish any leap in design development and to eliminate plagiarism.

Originalism is an antitoxin which not only eliminates the enemy but also its followers.

Originality revolution is so powerful that it can revise designs or pave a road for this revision. Every designer must grasp the truth: “ideas arise from Originalism.” The core task and the top of pyramid of Originalism is to reform the society. This revolutionary principle of Originalism must be achieved both for China and overseas. To achieve a lasting worldwide development of originality we must further develop our friendship and cooperation with other countries and strengthen our solidarity with all Originalism forms.

Making troubles, plagiarizing, making troubles again, plagiarizing again and again, even destructing. This is the logic of plagiarists and the unknown.

Fight, fail, fight again, fail again, fight again and again… till the victory; this is the logic of Originalism designer.

We shouldn’t be less vigilant because of our victory. Designers who are free from Originalism would put themselves in a passive position.

Design is improving, future is bright and no one can change this general historical trend.

We should carry on a constant propaganda among the designers regarding design improvements and the bright future ahead, so that they will build up their confidence for the victory.

Plagiarists and their followers are all paper tigers. All the plagiarists are like paper tigers. At first sight, plagiarists are terrifying people. But, in reality, they are nothing. From a wider perspective, the real power is in the hands of Originalism designers rather than plagiarists’ ones. Moving a stone to hit one’s own feet: this is a Chinese saying to describe fools’ performances. Plagiarists are like those fools. What they have done to Originalism designers is to push the latter one to become more active and more devoted to design revolution.

Plagiarists won’t live long, since what they focus on is to plagiarize other’s ideas and to destruct design development.

Consequently, worldwide designers are forced to cooperate and fight for Originalism. To kill the plagiarists’ repressions is the ultimate goal for all Originalism designers.

Dare to Struggle and Dare to Win. Designers of the world! We should unite and defeat plagiarism and its followers.

Designers of the world! Be courageous, dare to fight back, defy difficulties and go on wave upon wave. Then the whole world will belong to Originalism designers.

In design history the dying plagiarists tend to make a final strike to the Originalism power.

Some Originalism designers could be deluded, within a certain period, by the pretentious plagiarism idea that they are energetic outside but vulnerable inside, failing to grasp the essential fact that the enemy is nearing extinction while they are approaching victory.

We should get rid of all our impotential thoughts. All views that overestimate the strength of plagiarism and underestimate the strength of the Originalism designers are wrong.

Designer’s War. Originality war is designers’ war; it can be accomplished by motivating and relying on designers.

What is a true bastion of iron? Designers, millions of designers who genuinely and sincerely support Originalism.

This is the real iron bastion which can never be broken. Plagiarists will never beat us, whereas we will defeat them. We are absolutely capable to eliminate them and achieve the final victory.

All the leading principles of Originalism revolution are based on a core principle with which we should try at our best to arouse our creativity and, furthermore, exterminate plagiarists.

Team of designers. Chinese designers form a solid team which follows Originalism firmly. Especially at this moment, apart from designing, and insisting on Originalism and eliminating plagiarism, Chinese designers are also responsible for propagating, organizing and helping all the comrades in order to build up revolutionary forces and complete original designs.

Without propagating, organizing and managing, there’s no sense in our revolution and there’s no sense in the existence of designers.

All Chinese designers must always remember that we are the great Originalism Designers, we are the troops led by the great Originalism of China. Provided that we constantly observe the instructions of the Originalism, we are doomed to win.

The Designer Line. Only the Originalism designer is the force in making the history of design.Originalism designers are endowed with unlimited creativities.

They can stay together to design more deeply and more widely, improve themselves and increase society development. Designers have an inexhaustible enthusiasm for Originalism. Those who can only follow the old thinking routine are incapable of seeing this enthusiasm. They are blind and in a total black.

Those who simply follow the old routine underestimate this designers’ enthusiasm. They tend to disapprove every new idea and they fight them. Afterwards, they have to admit defeat and make an unserious self-criticism. These people are always passive, always hesitate and stop at the critical moment, and they’re always forced to move forward. Among all the innovative works, oppressionism is the wrong one, since it’s beyond what customers accept and against the principle of willingness.

It’s a disease. Designers who have a deep and detailed understanding of their own products think that customers should have their same or similar understanding. But the truth is that only after researches and studies we can see whether customers understand or are willing to pay for the ideas.

Among all the innovative works, flatterism is also wrong since it is behind what customers can accept and against the principle of guide the customer. It is a chronic disease. The designers, who have had no or only a little understanding of certain matters, consider that our customers should have same or similar understanding with us. But the truth is that our customers have already been far beyond us.

We should gather and form our right opinions from customers and we should also apply these opinions to customers and guide them. This is the fundamental communication with customers. We should undestand deeply the customers, learn from them, collect their experiences and finally form our own innovative ideas and thoughts.

Then we should communicate with customers and suggest them to bring those ideas or thoughts into reality, solve their problems and achieve their understanding and benefits.

Designers should continuously pay attention to customer conditions, benefits, experiences and markets. We should also keep an eye on the issue of customers’ development in enterprises, products and marketing. The services offered by us should include all the matters above.

Discussion, decision, implementation and examination are the services we provide for customers.

What we want them to recognize is that we are there for their benefits, and we stand side by side with them. From our services they can have a better and deeper understanding of our designs; they can accept, support and defend our original work. They also can help us spread our original products throughout the country. And, eventually, they can give us a hand in the victory of Originalism.

Thinking about Ideas. Original thinking is the lifeline to all creative work. This is particularly true nowadays, when the creative system is undergoing fundamental changes.

Thinking is the foundation of the creation. Unless they are imbued with progressive creative spirit, and unless such a spirit is fostered through a progressive thinking, it’s impossible to achieve a genuine idea, to arouse the creativities of designers to the top, and to provide an excellent basis for the most effective use of all our thoughts and performances.

Originalism is the link to unite all the designers for great innovative struggle. Unless it’s realized, any creative activity is out of our reach.

Our designers have always had a traditional style towards struggles, which we should keep on.

Furthermore, Originalism has been advocating a firm and correct thinking orientation. This orientation is inseparable from an arduous struggle. Without a firm and correct thinking orientation, it’s impossible to promote such a style, and vice versa.

What really counts in the world is to be earnest, and Originalism is the most earnest of all.

Relations between the Designers. Originalism designers should have two principles in mind. First, treating plagiarists ruthlessly, overwhelming them and eliminating them. Secondly, uniting and respecting our older generations.

We come from all the corners of the country and have joined together in a common revolutionary aim. Our designers must take care of each designer, and all the designers in the revolutionary ranks must care for each other, must love and help each other.

Originalism designer should have the idea that to develop creativity is a long, enduring and precise process. We have to convince the others by persuasion rather than by oppression. The result of oppression is just the seeming suppression not a real conviction.

We must make a distinction between the enemy and ourselves, and we cannot adopt an antagonistic stand towards comrades and treat them as we do with the enemy. We should communicate with our comrades with the enthusiasm to protect our design business as well as a political consciousness rather than attack and sneer.

Serving the Design. We should be modest and prudent, get rid of arrogance and rashness, and serve China design devotely.

Our starting points are the following: serve the design business whole-heartedly; stick constantly to Originalism; think about creativity rather than the profit; being responsible to Originalism and our customers.

Our duty is to keep ourselves to originality. Every word, every act and every thought must apply to originality, and whenever or wherever mistakes occur, they must be corrected immediately.

This is our responsibility for originality.

Originalism survives with sacrifices.

In many cases, our creative ideas are denied. But such sacrifices are worthwhile at the thought of harmfulness of plagiarism.

Even if we die for Originalism, it would be reasonable. However, we should try to avoid some evitable sacrifices.

Self-Reliance and Arduous Struggle. On which basis should our policy stand? It should stand on our own strength. That’s what self-reliance means.

We are not alone in the world; all the anti-plagiarism designers are our friends. But what we stressed on is self-reliance.

We will be able to defeat all plagiarists with our own force.

We advocate self-reliance. We hope for foreign aids but we can’t be totally dependent on them; we only depend on our own efforts and the creative power of our Chinese designers.

Designers themselves create design treasures. Only if we believe in our own fate, we could face problems and find solutions, rather than simply escape from them. Obviously, this is another route of Originalism.

Originalism designer must be prepared to overcome all difficulties with an indomitable will. Both plagiary forces and Originalism designers are facing problems. But, while problems to plagiarists are unconquerable, ours are easy to solve since we are a force with a bright future.

New ideas have always to experience difficulties while they grow-up.

It’s a sheer fantasy to imagine that Originalism business is a smooth sailing and success which will come without difficulties and setbacks. We cannot accomplish it without huge efforts.

What is an idea? An idea means struggle.

There are difficulties and problems to overcome and solve. We innovate and struggle to solve these difficulties.

A good designer is one who “the more he encounters difficulties, the better he performs”.

Correcting Mistaken Ideas. Even if we achieve a great success in our work, there is no reason to be arrogant. Understatement helps people to go forward. This is a truth we must always keep in mind.

Many ideas may become our burden, if we cling to them blindly and unconsciously.

Exploring Originalism is a heavy mission. What matters is whether we dare to take it on our shoulders.

Criticism and Self-Criticism. Originality doesn’t fear criticism because we are Originalists and the truth is on our side.

Criticism and self-criticism are our weapons for Originalism. We can get rid of our bad style and keep the good one.

We support active ideological struggles because this is the weapon to unify all the design groups. Every designer should take up this weapon. If we make mistakes, we should dare to accept criticism from everyone, because we are serving the client. If the critic is true, we correct ourselves. If it gives a benefit to our idea, we simply accept it.

We shouldn’t be just satisfied of our successes.

We should restrain our self-satisfaction and be critics of ourselves just like washing our face everyday. If we learn from our mistakes we’ll became wiser an we will have better ideas. Being perfect is impossible, even for talented designers.

But what we ask for is to make as few mistakes as possible. And once a mistake is made, we should correct it, the more quickly, the better.

Study. It is a tough job to transform a lagging and plagiary China into an advanced and innovative one.

Since we have little experience of this, study is indispensable for us. Design has been changing all the time. In order to adapt ourselves to new conditions, we must keep studying. Even those who have a better grasp of Originalism should go on learning, in order to absorb in what is new and study new problems.

We can learn what we didn’t know before.

We are not only good in destroying old design, we are also good in building up the new one.

Those who have experience must study theoretical knowledge and read seriously; only then they will be able to systematize and synthesize their experiences and transform them into a theory.

Only then we won’t consider their partial experience like a universal truth and commit empiricist errors.

In order to have a real grasp of Originalism, we should learn it not only from books, but also from revolutionary struggles, practical work and close communication with other designers. As a result, all of the designers would have a common language, with which designers share a common view of Originalism. If it happens, all of us will certainly work a lot better.

Knowledge is a matter of science and any dishonesty is impossible. What instead is required are honesty and modesty. Complacency is the enemy of study. We cannot really learn anything until we get rid of complacency.

We should keep an attitude which is “insatiable in learning” and “tireless in teaching” to the others.

Originally published in 2008

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