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UDA Webinar 2023 Vol. 2 of 6

Visual Creativity Experiment of City Image Based on Gift Logic, Events, and Topics

Yao Xupeng, Ph.D. 

Associate Researcher, the Institute of Branding and Communication, Shandong University 
Associate Professor, Shandong Yingcai University 

City Image is a macro concept. Different scholars have interpreted it differently from their research perspectives. From the visual art perspective, the City Image clearly defines the media and the symbolic attributes. It includes many aspects visual, sensible, and audible. But through the representation, an accidental characteristic of the City Image can be found from the perspective of phenomenology. The phenomenological concept generally thought that contingency and unpredictability break the continuities of time of activities or events. People originally defined events as unexpected things, and what happened to people was more like a surprise, which made human society open to and changed by new events. An integral part of the development of human society. This openness energizes the human being, making one’s life an adventure rather than the intended development of a program. The topic can be interpreted as the material of the discourse and the source of the narrative, and it is also the characteristic event that is talked about. “Eventalization of City Image” can break people’s long-standing fixed cognition of city image and bring about changes in “surprise.” This “surprise” is more like the expression after gift giving, reflecting the connection with “gift logic” sex. Compared with urban image design in the conventional sense, event-based urban images are also more likely to trigger “topics” and discussions, and their diffusion and dissemination effects are stronger. 

The visual representation of topics can use visual elements from urban natural landscapes, social landscapes, and collective memory to find graphics and symbols recognized by specific groups and use the form of information visualization to connect events, activities, images, and vocabulary combinations. Find out the historical and staged topical hotspots and future trends in the city, and determine the appropriate visual elements and forms of expression to better focus on the city image with the help of event effects. This design takes Jinan as an example. Through the above process and the logical support of Marcel Moss’s “Gift” theory, the theme of the city image activity of “City Seeking Gifts” is determined, and the overall planning is carried out from the perspective of visual creativity. And design to provide a certain method reference for the city image’s deep excavation and visual creativity. 

Webinar Contents


Albert Young Choi, Ph.D.
UDA President Emeritus
Professor, Hanyang University ERICA, Korea


Yao Xupeng, Ph.D.
Associate Researcher, the Institute of Branding and Communication, Shandong University 
Associate Professor, Shandong Yingcai University 

Discussion with all attendees

Final Remark by Mediator

About Presenter

Yao Xupeng is an associate researcher at the Brand and Communication Institute of Shandong University. He got a doctorate of PHILOSOPHY in DESIGN (Theory and Practice of Art Design) from Macau University of Science and Technology. He is the Director of the Brand Design Department of China Magic Pod Culture Media. Since 2014, he has participated in many academic and design exchanges organized by the San Jose Art City Hall in California, USA. He got the Model Artist Award of the US Beacon Artist Association and was one of 100 outstanding national and international Beacon artists in 2018 – 2019. 

He has been engaged in the research of visual communication design for a long time, has designed the brand image for the government and many enterprises, and has led the team to design papers and electronic journals for some publications. Recent research fields involve the design of Urban Images and Cultural Creativity. By comparing the combination of visual elements of Chinese and foreign urban images, explore the feasibility of constructing the positive and negative poles of the urban image through “Topical” and “Gift” visual design elements. This webinar is about his doctoral research project. 

In keeping with the UDA mission of celebrating global awareness and providing educational and professional opportunities in communication design, UDA offers webinars, one of many activities to develop our design awareness in society and culture. 

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