The Design School of Yunnan Arts University, known as the Department of Arts and Crafts in the past was founded in 1984 with a major of arts and crafts. Established in 1986, the Department of Arts and Crafts was later renamed the Department of Art Design, and officially became the Design School in 2002. It has a team of 76 school and staff members, of which 63 are full-time teachers, 8 professors, and 19 associate professors. 18 of the above-mentioned professors are academic tutors to students in the Master's degree programs. At the school, there are two experts who are entitled to special allowances of the government, three famous provincial teachers, one "Yunling Outstanding Teacher" and one distinguished teacher at the provincial level.
The Design School is centered on undergraduate education, and also offers the master's degree program and MFA program. There are 10 undergraduate majors: environmental design, visual communication design, product design, fashion and clothing design, animation, design, architecture, digital media arts, public art, as well as arts and crafts. The environmental design major features two programs of interior design and landscape design. And the product design major has a program of national art and design. With regard to the master's degree program, there are three majors that are design art study, art design and industrial design engineering. The school has enrolled 2,076 students of which 1,957 are undergraduates and 119 are graduates.
The school consists of nine departments: Environmental Design, Visual Communication Design, Product Design, Animation, Design, Architecture, Digital Media Arts, Practical Teaching (laboratory management) Center and Basic Education. There are three research institutions: the Creative Practice Promotion Department, the Higher Art (Art and Design) Education Institute, and the Digital Art Institute. It also has three famous teacher studios: Professor Chen Jinsong Studio, Professor He Yongkun Studio, and Professor Sen Wen Studio. The school has been recognized as the "Educational Base of Yunnan Province for Intangible Cultural Heritage", the "Design and Development Center of Unique Tourism Products of Yunnan", and a pilot university for the Training Program for Successors of Chinese Intangible Cultural Heritage". In 2016 the school was approved to build itself into a "Provincial United Training Base of Professional Degree".
In recent years, the Design School, in close partnership with the Foreign Affairs Office has held a series of creative art design events and international conferences themed "Beautiful Yunnan" and "Creative Kunming". These events and conferences have made highly recognized achievement in promoting Yunnan .