Our MBA's Power Behind the Medal Design for the 19th Asian Games | Hangzhou 2022

At the 100-Day Countdown to the Hangzhou Asian Games themed by "Together, for A Brilliant Future", the Medal for the Games was grandly released.

Release of the Medal for the 19th © Asian Games Hangzhou 2022

The medal serves as a significant visual representation of the 19th Asian Games Hangzhou 2022. It acts as a crucial medium for showcasing the cultural characteristics and competition concepts of the host country and host city. Additionally, it serves as a reflection of the intricate ideas and remarkable creativity of the designers.

What is the idea behind the design of the Medal for the 19th Asian Games Hangzhou 2022? Where does the design inspiration come from?

The "Shan Shui" Medal was crafted and spearheaded by Associate Professor Zhang Junjie, a student at the Zhejiang University Entrepreneurship MBA Program 2021 and Director of the Industrial Design and Research Institute at China Academy of Art. The dedicated team of designers, including Jiang Yuqin and others, collaborated on the project, investing nearly two years in meticulous iterations and comprehensive demonstrations.

Unique Integration of Square and Round © Asian Games Hangzhou 2022

What’s the difference of the Medal from the previous ones?

The medal for the 19th Asian Games Hangzhou 2022 draws inspiration from the Jade Cong of Liangzhu Culture, serving as a symbolic representation of China’s 5,000-year civilization. A remarkable aspect of the design is the integration of the square Jade Cong with the round shape of the medal, which is a first for Asian Games medal designs. This combination conveys the values of diversity, integrity, and inclusiveness. The design image of the medal incorporates elements from three UNESCO World Heritage sites in Hangzhou: the West Lake, the Grand Canal, and the Archaeological Ruins of Liangzhu City. By positioning the logo on an open scroll instead of the center of the medal, the design breaks away from the conventional format of previous Asian Games medals. This approach reflects the Oriental aesthetic principle of openness and inclusiveness.

Compared to the medals for the previous Asian Games,
the most distinct characteristic of the Medal "Shan Shui"
is the "square and round" integrated shape.

© Asian Games Hangzhou 2022

What are the distinguishing characteristics of the Medal?

The medal for the 19th Asian Games Hangzhou 2022 incorporates several noteworthy details. Firstly, it features elements representing the three UNESCO World Heritage sites: the West Lake, the Grand Canal, and the Archaeological Ruins of Liangzhu City. The bridge buckle, composed of frosted metal and mirror metal, consists of two parts, one representing a bridge and the other its inverted image.

Furthermore, the surface of the medal boasts 19 pairs of subtle rolling curves, signifying the commemorative significance of the 19th Asian Games. On the front side, protruding lines outline a picturesque representation of Hangzhou, with misty hills encompassing three sides and the city depicted on the remaining side. Additionally, the emblem of the Games, "Tides Surging," is prominently displayed. The silhouette of the Broken Bridge and the Three Pools Mirroring the Moon symbolizes the renowned West Lake, while the 19 sets of dynamic curves represent the surging shape of waves, representing the 19th Asian Games. The rippling lake and undulating mountains pay tribute to the city’s stunning landscapes.

On the back side, the medal takes the shape of a square seal, with the Olympic Council of Asia’s Sun Icon placed in the center. The logo of the 19th Asian Games Hangzhou 2022 is engraved in both Chinese and English, positioned above and below the medal. This symbolizes the athletes’ ability to leave a lasting mark on the Hangzhou Asian Games.

Release of the Medal for the 19th © Asian Games Hangzhou 2022

The medal ribbon for the 19th Asian Games Hangzhou 2022 harmoniously incorporates the main color theme of the event, which is a vibrant rainbow purple. The ribbon is adorned with the inscription "HANGZHOU 2022." To ensure a high-quality finish, the ribbon is hand-stitched on both sides using brocade jacquard technology and environmentally friendly printing techniques. The linking method utilizes the raw ear structure of the spring buckle shaft to securely fasten the ribbon within the medal, ensuring its stability and durability.

Release of the Medal for the 19th © Asian Games Hangzhou 2022

The unique Gongchen Bridge-shaped buckle on the ribbon adds to its distinctive appeal. The buckle is divided into upper and lower halves, with one half resembling a bridge and the other half depicting its shadow. This design serves a dual purpose. Not only does it enhance the athletes’ appearance by adding a touch of elegance, but it also symbolizes the Grand Canal, which is recognized as the third World Heritage site. This thoughtful inclusion further emphasizes the cultural significance and rich heritage associated with the 19th Asian Games Hangzhou 2022.

Unchanged Original Intention of the Design Team after Over 20 Rounds of Revisions in Two Years

The ribbon of the medal features a unique and eye-catching Gongchen Bridge-shaped buckle. This buckle is creatively designed, with its upper half representing a bridge and its lower half depicting the shadow of the bridge. This design serves a dual purpose. Firstly, it enhances the athletes’ appearance, adding a touch of elegance and sophistication to their attire. Secondly, it symbolizes the Grand Canal, which holds the esteemed status of being the third World Heritage site. This thoughtful inclusion not only adds to the visual appeal of the medal ribbon but also highlights the profound cultural significance and rich heritage associated with the 19th Asian Games Hangzhou 2022.

Following a rigorous process of design competitions, evaluations, and thorough revisions, the proposal presented by Zhang Junjie’s team emerged as the standout choice among numerous other submissions. In a significant milestone, the Medal sample for the Hangzhou Asian Games was officially sealed at the end of March this year, signifying the final confirmation of the design outcome. This marked the culmination of extensive efforts and the ultimate recognition of the team’s exceptional design achievement.

Release of the Medal for the 19th © Asian Games Hangzhou 2022

How long has the Medal design process been, and how many revisions have been made? Are there any interesting anecdotes or stories from this period?

As a crucial visual representation of the Hangzhou Asian Games, the Medal serves as a significant medium for showcasing the cultural characteristics of the host country and host city, as well as the underlying concept of hosting the Games. The comprehensive design process spanned approximately two years and underwent more than twenty rounds of revisions. Throughout this period, we received strong support from the Organizing Committee and leaders at various levels of the province and city, conducting multiple rounds of review and quality control.

The initial spark of inspiration came from "Water Painting," a masterpiece by Ma Yuan, a renowned painter from Hangzhou during the Song Dynasty. The historical imprints of the 5,000-year-old Liangzhu Culture, the 2,500-year-old Grand Canal, and the 2,000-year-old West Lake resonated deeply with us. Exploring the waters of Zhejiang Province, including the Qiantang River, Fuchun River, and Xin’an River, we discovered that the Jiangnan style, epitomized by water, perfectly reflects the humanistic temperament of Hangzhou.

To seek further inspiration, I visited various museums dedicated to Liangzhu Culture and West Lake Culture. During my time at Liangzhu, I meticulously examined cultural relics such as Jade Cong and Jade Bi. The round inside and square outside structure of the Jade Cong, symbolizing heaven and earth, became the core image I was searching for due to its unique representativeness.

This immersive exploration and study of art, culture, and history provided the foundations for the creative process and enriched the symbolic significance embedded within the design of the Hangzhou Asian Games Medal.

During countless revisions and constant optimizations over the past two years, the original intention of the design team has never changed | © Asian Games Hangzhou 2022

Environment-friendly Production Process of "Shan Shui"


"Lucid Waters and Lush Mountains are Invaluable Assets." From the design to the birth of the Hangzhou Asian Games Medal, the name "Shan Shui" embodies a poetic and picturesque essence. Furthermore, the production process adheres to environmentally friendly practices, making it a "green" endeavor.

The Medal will undergo a series of manufacturing steps, including embossing, milling, trimming, and polishing. Additionally, it will receive gold and silver-plating effect treatment, as well as protection treatment, ensuring its quality and longevity.

Silk fabric with integral die-casting processing is adopted in the ribbon, and there is no unnecessary cutting in the process of production, being more aesthetic and environmentally friendly. Supported by the manufacturer’s newly developed GBART digital green printing and dyeing core technology, there is nearly zero carbon and zero sewage discharge in the whole process, fully demonstrating the "green" concept of hosting this Hangzhou Asian Games.

- We are proud of the exceptional medal design by our MBA student and staff, firmly believing that it will serve as an outstanding prize for the 19th Asian Games and its participants.

- You can read the original article in Chinese  here