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The Art Design and Media School was set up in 1984 with the discipline of industrial design, which was one of the earliest programs of higher education in Shanghai.
In 1991, the Industrial Design Department of ECUST held the“91 Multinational Industrial Design Forum”,one of the first international industrial design conferences in China , which had a profound social influence.
School of Culture and Arts was founded In May, 2001, fundamentally based on the Industrial Design Department, and integrated with Art Design Department, Cultural Quality Education Center, etc.
In 2005, with the liberal Arts Reform of the University, the Cultural Quality Education Center was transformed into the Institute of Art and Science, and the school was renamed as The Art Design and Media School.
In February, 2008, the dean of the School of Art Design and Media ，Professor Cheng Jianxin, and Vice President of Chiba University (Japan) Mr. Miyazaki who is also the visiting professor, were selected in the 100 significant Designers or Organizations contribute to Shanghai Design Development., which is the only foreign winner in selection.
The new leadership was elected on the first plenary session of the Fourth Council of the China Industrial Design Association in December 2009. Professor Cheng Jianxin of SADM was elected vice president, which greatly enhanced the Institute's social influence.
In April 2010, Media Department was founded with Advertisement. And the proposal of Shanghai EXPO as “Dance free, City barrier-free” was granted the prized of outstanding design, at the same time, East China University of Science and Technology was the only one to win the best organization which is the only one getting the honor.
In 2011, the application of first rate discipline of master degree program "design learning" and second rate discipline of doctoral program "the industrial design" got pass. This upgrading expressed the identification and achievement of postgraduates education. SADM founded the Institute of Design promote the economic development of small and medium-sized cities and accelerated tremendously the research. The research create a new model of a design services for local industrial restructuring and development, which get the full recognition and support of the relevant government departments and social. The newspaper of the "Liberation Daily" which is commonly read in china reported the research on headlines on October 24, 2011.
In 2012, approved by the Ministry of Education, Landscape Science was added as a new program and started in 2012 autumn. SADM participated in the application for the construction of the 2011 Collaborative Innovation Plan of Shanghai Creative Industry Cooperative Innovation Center and led the construction of the industrial design center (one of the four sub-centers).
In 2013, approved by the Ministry of Education, Landscape Planning and Design was added as a new graduate program. It marks a new growth point of the postgraduate education in the school.
In 2015, School of Art design and Media was officially joined the CULUMUS (International Association of Universities and colleges of Art, Design and Media). In 2015, approved by the Ministry of Education, Digital Media Arts was added as a new program and started in 2015 autumn.
In January 2017, School of Art design and Media entered into the Shanghai Institute of Design Class IV peak construction platform as a collaborative college. Professor Cheng Jianxin was appointed as chief scientist in product and brand innovation design direction.