Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts(GAFA), the only one of its kind in South China, is the predecessor of Central South College of Fine Arts, a merger of South China Institute of Art and Literature in Guangzhou, Central South Institute of Art and Literature in Wuhan, and the Guangxi Institute of Art. The merger, which was initiated in 1953, moved to Guangzhou in 1958 and was renamed as Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts. The School of Innovation and Design (SID), which was founded in September, 2010, contains nine academic emphases: Industrial Design, Product Design, Fashion Design,  Textile Fashion Design, Interaction Design, Service Design, etc.,

Industrial Design Department, which was formerly the Ceramics & Decoration Class of Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts, was established in 1980. It is one of the earliest departments that offered this specialty in the country. Textile & Fashion Design Section, which originated from the Ornamental Design Group of Industrial Design Section of Central South College of Fine Arts, was established in 1958. Fashion & Design Section was set up in 1986. Fashion Design and Engineering Section was founded in 2004. Design & Art Section features the integration of clients, culture, management, service, regional knowledge, ideas of sustainable development, and design of products. Furniture & Design Section, which was established in 2004, specializes in training graduates skilled in designing original furniture and home products.

The School of Innovation and Design, which has successfully restructured its specialties and built a few new ones, has 12 studios featuring the integration of teaching, academic research, and practice: Living Design Studio, Industrial Design Engineering Studio, Furniture & Design Studio, Transport Design Studio, Interaction Design Studio, Public Product Design Studio, Integrated Product Design Studio, Fashion Art Design Studio, Fashion & Engineering Studio, Textile Design Studio, Fabric Design Studio, and Fiber Design Studio.

The School of Innovation and Design, has more than 80 staff members, including many Exports, guest Professors, professional Designers, and part-time Teachers.

The School of Innovation and Design, provides education to four-year undergraduate students, three-year postgraduate students (MA), three-year students of professional degree (MFA), and two-year in-service students of professional degree (MFA). By the autumn of 2011, there were more than 1200 undergraduate students and more than 60 postgraduates in total.

The School attaches great importance to graduation fieldwork. In the Pearl River Delta Regions including Shenzhen, Zhuhai, Dongguang, Foshan, Zhongshan,and Shunde, the school has entered into long-standing, extensive cooperation with the local governments and enterprises. Teaching groups of Industrial Design, Fashion Design, Textile Design, and Furniture Design featuring the integration of the School, enterprise and research institute resulted, and so trained an abundance of creative students for the economic development of Guangdong.

The school has been encouraging students to participate in the high-level competitions at home and abroad and they have won quite a few honors such as gold medals, silver medals, and copper medals at Braun International Industrial Design Competition, Red Dot Design Award, Hundred Flowers Award for Chinese Arts and Crafts, Industrial Design Competition of Guagndong Governor Cup, Dressing Codes Competition by Domus Academy, China Textile Design Competition,  China Furniture Fair & Design Competition, and the like.

The school attaches great importance to international exchange and cooperation. In recent years, we have invited Kai Hartramp, Gabrielle Marks, David Grossman, Aurel Aebi and other internationally famed Designers from Germany, New Zealand, Israel, South Korea, Taiwan, Switzerland, Britain, France, Holland, and Italy to work as guest Professors. At the invitation of the school, they gave lectures, provided open workshops for undergraduates and postgraduates, attended   academic activities, or conducted joint academic research, all of which have greatly enhanced the prestige of the school in the education of International Design and created a wonderful atmosphere for academic exchange.