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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Chinese preferences for household wooden products : ideas for developing 
a Canadian aboriginal designer strategy Jun, Xuan


The iconic Canadian aboriginal culture is deeply rooted in the lives of Canadian aboriginal people. It is widely spread and represented across Canada by distinctive and sophisticated art styles. However, Canadian aboriginal designed products are sold mainly on the domestic market. Expanding to international market will be attractive to some aboriginal designers. The Chinese household product market is desirable since it is very large but there are a host of unique domestic designs and cross-cultural designs preferred by Chinese consumers. The purpose of this research is to evaluate Chinese culture and consumers and designers/artists’ preferences toward household products, in order to assist in designing a cross-cultural wood household products marketing strategy for Canadian aboriginal designers. This study collected exploratory information through open-ended questionnaire surveys of 407 Chinese household product consumers at 22nd China International Furniture Expo in Shanghai, China. Semi-structured interviews with 22 Chinese designers and artists at the home show and Dongyang Woodcarving City Centre were conducted to develop further insight into Chinese design preferences. The results indicated that Chinese household product market is currently dominated by “New Chinese” style designs, which is a representative of a cross-cultural style that combines traditional Chinese design elements and modern design elements. Most Chinese consumers at the home show preferred cross-cultural designs other than traditional designs. The surveyed consumers and the interviewed designers/artists revealed their preferences in household product designs with a focus on design style, design elements, and materials. Both consumers and designers/artists indicated that they preferred to use Alibaba-Taobao as a purchasing/selling channel due to its enormous consumer base in China.

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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International