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Journey to the throne

#china studio #china #events

// Thibaud Gouno

This boardgame is based on Chinese mythology

Thibaud was able to use his graphic design skills whilst creating his project

Journey to the throne leads the players to use their critical mind

Eric Mazodier, China Studio Course Leader, shares his views on Thibaud Gouno’s project:

Journey to the Throne is a board game combining myths and challenges from modern Chinese society, aimed at over 16s and for 2 to 4 players. Its creation was based on research on myths and their role in contemporary Chinese society. The Chinese use myths as an inspiration in real life; a means of finding one’s place in society and setting oneself goals. Board games are a form of transposition of society and its actors, connected by strategic links, conflicts or alliances.

Many traditional Chinese texts are largely ignored by our western societies […]. They constitute however important narratives in Chinese education just like the fairy tales of Perrault or Grimm in our society. […] Today, the Chinese government is encouraging the population to reconnect with traditional culture. Thibaud did a lot of research into how myths are used in Chinese society throughout its history: an unprecedented subject in the China Studio and a complex one due to the sheer scale and quantity of the data to be analyzed. […] He created a board game in which the players inhabit the world of Chinese myths. The game helps develop participants’ critical sense and presents the various characters in Chinese mythology. As an interactive designer, Thibaud opted for a traditional board game interface using his skills to encourage conversation and create a truly interactive game. […] Thibaud investigated the Chinese educational system and its actors. Several research tools enabled him to collect relevant information about the relationship between the Chinese population and this mythology. He succeeded in adapting his language and tools and dealing with a complex project without limiting himself to his speciality.”

Eric Mazodier
China Studio Course leader

This project was selected as part of the International Design Biennale of Saint-Étienne


Although Thibaud opted for a BDes in interaction design, his interest in graphic design developed from the very first year at l’École de design. He then continued his studies with the Transcultural Design MDes program at the China Studio where he experienced an anthropological design based on the understanding and analysis of Chinese culture. His perception of design was thus transformed – his aim was now to be enriched by new representations, to decipher the behavior of potential users and to find the right position for exploration. For him, a designer must get involved in different disciplines and stimulate his creativity through travel and cultural discoveries. Thibaud is a self-employed designer and artist.

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