The significance of the date of the Beijing Olympic premiere on 8/8/08 cannot be overestimated. The mythology of these numbers symbolizes not only future prosperity but also a confidence that is self-fulfilling to a nation of people who have sacrificed for centuries for the concept of self-worth and national pride.Whatever happens at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, it is safe to say that the date is a turning pointin this 5,000-plus-year-old culture.
Despite all of the challenges, predictions of environmental failure and potential political unrest, the future is positive.The young people of China are the beginning of a dynasty of their own, with confidence that they will help to change the world on their terms. Fueled by the Internet and a firsthand exposure to the West, they realize that the world of creative ideas is a playground that they are very familiar with. Like sports, they can and will play with the best: They are honing their skills on the field of international competition. The recent exhibition at the Victoria &Albert Museum in London, called "Contemporary Design of China," has fired the first shot across our cultural bow that there is more than meets the eye. Design will become a new competency within the new creative culture of China, and its ability to mix the richness of the past and a voracious appetite for the future will give birth to a new contemporary language of style. The Beijing Olympics is the culmination of a long struggle of a nation yearning to be young again.