Nils Toft: China is now having a place in global high-end market.


Nils Toft, born in Copenhagen in 1957, graduated as an architect and designer from the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen in 1985. He also holds a Master’s degree in Industrial Design and Business Development.

Starting his career as an industrial designer, Nils Toft joined the former Christian Bjørn Design in 1987, an internationally active design studio in Copenhagen with branches in Beijing and Ho Chi Minh City.Within a few years, he became a partner of CBD and, as managing director, ran the business.

Today, Nils Toft is the founder and managing director of Designidea. With offices in Copenhagen and Beijing, Designidea works in the following key fields: communication, consumer electronics, computing, agriculture, medicine, and graphic arts, as well as projects in design strategy, graphic and exhibition design.

Q:What makes you want to become the juror of the Contemparory Good Design Award, which is a newly established international design award tailored to the Chinese market?
A:I have followed the development in the Chinese design industry for many years and witnessed how fast it has grown.
I have previously with great interest, been a juror in a number of Chinese design awards and with the CGD, being as important as it is for the competitiveness through design, I could not pass this opportunity.

Q:We have noticed that your design studio has a branch in Beijing. What do you think of the consumer market and the level of industrial design in China now?
A:The Chinese consumer market has gone through many phases over the last 15 years. One of the most significant changes is how western design used to dominate the high end market, and was only accessible to a small group of consumers with great buying power. Now the high end market is more and more dominated by Chinese designs.

Q:What’s your definition of a good design?
A:When you understand the unique and strong idea behind a product, when you first see it or use it, then you have experienced good design.