Against the theoretical background of anonymous history, this article investigates local activities of modern design in China by means of a case study, in which approaches such as observation, interview, document analysis, and subjective understanding are introduced to meet the target. The goal is to illustrate that the inconspicuous aspect of Chinese modern design, although characterized by anonymity and confronting the highlighted part, is in fact a key component of the historical process of Chinese modern design. The study leads to several conclusions. First, the local activities of modern design are evolving instead of stagnant in China. Second, the criteria used for assessing design have been diversified from different angles, in which economic factors often play a part. Third, the distinct line drawn between designers and users is doubtful, and ordinary people are not the passive recipients of the solutions offered by designers. Fourth, at a grassroots level, local factors infiltrate into the anonymous activities of modern design in many respects, which causes Chinese modern design to be extremely varied in visual form. Briefly, from a local view, the activities of modern design show the characteristics of evolution, diversity, initiative, and originality, although they appear to be obscure and humble and always attract little attention.

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