The inaugural edition of Suzhou Design Week met with wide support. More than 500,000 people stepped through the doors of the Gusu District Peachblossom Village from 23 to 27 November; an impressive number if you consider that the dates of the trade show partially overlapped with those of the Salone del Mobile.Milano Shanghai (22-24 November).
The Guest City of the first edition of Suzhou Design week was Venice, with the “X-Port Venice’ project, overseen by Michele Bruello, sealing the twin-city relationship that was established in 1980.
Promoted by the Municipal Government of Suzhou with the support of the Suzhou National Historical & Cultural City Protection Zone, the institutional endorsement of the Chinese government, and the special contribution of Vittorio Sun Qun and Xie Dan, the theme of Suzhou Design Week was ‘Grand Design, New Economy’.
40 designers from 5 countries (Italy, Korea, Holland, France, Japan, and the United Kingdom) participated in the exhibition, which featured more than 100 exhibits, artistic installations, and other attractions. Among the pieces on display, ‘Rabbit’ by Stefano Giovannini stood out in particular at the ‘Design More Pop-up Store’.
“The first edition of Suzhou Design Week was an additional step towards strengthening the collaboration and dialogue (not only at the institutional level, but also in terms of the growing interaction between business, training, and territory) between Suzhou and Venice, between Italy and the People’s Republic of China,” affirmed Mr. Yang Zhiping, Vice Mayor of the Suzhou Municipal Government who, together with Massimiliano De Martin, Urban Councillaor for the city of Venice, signed the ‘Regional Cooperation Agreement’, an important agreement that officialises and strengthens the cooperative relationship between the cities of Suzhou and Venice.
The two cities will work hard in the field of sustainable urban development, with the strenuous task of safeguarding their respective historic centres, increasingly involved in the exponential growth of tourism and all of the challenges that come with it.
Mr. Yang Zhiping spoke about the connection between design and the two cities that were the focus of the exhibition: “Urban design is important for the quality and growth of every community. Suzhou and Venice are connected by a long-standing friendship. It is for this reason that we at Suzhou Design Week wanted to restate our desire to continue communicating and cooperating with each other in the fields of urban development and the protection of cultural heritage”.