De Liu

video / alumni / industrial-design

About Alumni Awards

The Alumni Awards provide an opportunity for ArtCenter to publicly recognize the talent, service and influence of our alumni.

2022 Alumni Awards

De Liu, 2022 ArtCenter Alumni Award, Distinguished Mid-Career

Co-founder of Xiaomi Corporation, De Liu (MS 15 Industrial Design) has received the 2022 ArtCenter Alumni Award for Distinguished Mid-Career Achievement. Liu has deployed the strategic thinking he cultivated during his time in the Graduate Industrial Design (Grad ID) program at ArtCenter to usher a wave of technology innovation and affordability to households throughout China. 

"As a child I loved drawing, craving kites and carving stamps," he says. "Before every project, I would ponder my creative process. Looking back, this would have been my earliest attempt to view the world from a design perspective."

Liu's entrepreneurial journey was ignited by his deep conviction in the power of design to innovate. He took the helm of Xiaomi's industrial design division and built it into a tech giant. 

De Liu

I stumbled upon the ArtCenter Viewbook. At that very moment, I knew it was where I wanted to be.

De Liu

In fact, it was Liu's 2010 ArtCenter thesis project featuring customizable plush toys that has inspired the innovative business practices that continue to drive Xiaomi's success today.

"I stumbled upon the ArtCenter Viewbook," he recalls. "At that very moment, I knew it was where I wanted to be."

Under Liu's guidance and dedication to a user-centric philosophy and the notion of making the joy of technology accessible to all, the company’s wide range of products garnered over 500 domestic and international design recognitions. 

"After the huge success four smartphone business, we started contemplating our next steps," says Liu. "At this pivotal moment, the critical-thinking skills I acquired from ArtCenter really helped, as we were encouraged to approach challenges holistically and see the big picture."

Liu recognized the unique opportunity for the company's strategic expansion and spearheaded an innovative business model to invest in nearly 250 startups spanning 200 product categories to establish an IoT ecosystem. 

This strategic initiative propelled Xiaomi into new realms of innovation, particularly in smart home technology, wearable devices, and personal and household consumer products, making it the third-largest smartphone company." 

The accompanying video was an ArtCenter production through and through and we are deeply grateful for this talented team:

Director & Editor: Rahat Mahajan (MFA 16 Film) | Producer: Christine Spines | Special Thanks: Keiko Doi & Lan Yu | Producer (Xiaomi): Jianyu Liu | Camera (Xiaomi): Niu & Zhao | Motion Graphics: Mohit Sebastian | English Subtitles: Keith Wang | Sound Mix: Jeremy Jung | Assistant Editor: Corey Howard | Art Center MGX: El Ogrodova (BFA 11 Graphic Design)