China restarts (and goes big)

China is ready to welcome visitors and brands with a rich program of event: Design Shanghai, from 3rd to 6th June, followed by Design China Beijing in September and the first edition of Design Shenzhen in December. Zhuo Tan, Design Shanghai's Show Director, tells us the previews

Zhuo Tan, show director of Design Shanghai
Zhuo Tan, show director of Design Shanghai

China is ready to welcome visitors and brands with Design Shanghai, Asia’s largest international design event, at its 8th year, from 3rd to 6th June 2021 returning to the Shanghai World Expo Exhibition and Convention Center: “China went back to “New Normal” last year, and till now, various social activities are proceeding normally”, says Zhuo Tan, Design Shanghai’s Show Director. “People’s lives and work have returned to normal, and China’s exhibition industry has recovered strongly since last year. However, at the same time, everyone is carefully protecting themselves. People wear masks unconsciously, and the Green Health Code is requested to enter public places such as offices, restaurants, bars”.

Design Shanghai 2021 sets to be the biggest and best edition since 2014: “We are expecting over 70,000 visitors during the 4-day-event . The show welcomes over 400 brands across 8 design sections. To provide a safe environment for exhibiting and visiting, we have been strictly following the government’s rule. Visitors need to register their contact details before they come to the show, show their green code, wear a mask, and the venue will be regularly cleaned for Covid-19 safety”.

Carl Hansen & Son
Carl Hansen & Son

So many important international names not to be missed, as Thomas Heatherwick: “International designers and brands such as Carl Hansen & Søn, Verpan, &tradition, Yabu Pushelberg, Roche Bobois, Ligne Roset, Ton, Lalique and Hay are flocking to Design Shanghai this June to showcase their work after a long absence of events elsewhere in the world. The show will also welcome a range of international and local exhibitors making their Design Shanghai debut, including Maison Dada, Cappellini, Occhio, LG, Lauren, Boking and U+. In the Collectible Design Hall, the first ever Memphis Group exhibition space in China, Ya Space will feature classic works from the Memphis Group alongside the latest Meta Memphis collection, a collaboration with Italian artists, blurring the boundaries between art and design. As one of the best attended and comprehensive seminar programmes in Asia, global industry leaders, visionaries, and innovators will grapple with the concept of Regenerative Design at the annual Kohler Exquisite x Design Shanghai Forum. Keynote speakers will include Thomas Heatherwick, Sebastian Wrong, Aldo Cibic, Yinka Ilori, Neville Mars, Diego Fuertes, Richard Hutten and Michael Pawlyn.

Maison Dada
Maison Dada

The fair will also hosts several installations: “Industrial designer and Loewe Foundation expert judge, Chen Min has curated Neooold, a collection of 12 pioneering designers, craftsmen and artists pairing traditional artisanal craft techniques with contemporary design. Kinney Chan’s installation identifies just how cooking is all about colour and fragrance and different taste experiences, so is design. The installation Taste of Design seeks to explore this phenomenon, exploring the taste of design that we have never experienced through food. The Seesaw Roundtable located in the Contemporary Design hall, is a metaphor of harmony and balance. Created by Isabelle Peng Zhao, Isabelle aims to explore the relationship between humans, objects and society through her installation. Chinese architecture studio Oria will present Touch, an installation that will reflect on society’s misplaced relationship between reality and the ideal. The perspective ladder encourages conversation about ourselves and real life”.

Stellar Works
Stellar Works

The products will be showed across the halls Contemporary, Classic & Luxury, Collectibles, Kitchen & Bathroom, Workplace, New Materials & Applications, Objects & Accessories, and Talents: “Because we move towards a post-Covid era, in response to increasing demand for higher-quality developments and a focus on quality of life and the environment we live in, this year, Design Shanghai will focus on regenerative design and the role designers and design innovation play in realising new solutions that improve our living environment. Since its inception, Design Shanghai has been dedicated to identifying and nurturing emerging Chinese designers and providing them with a broad platform to showcase their work. The second edition of Talents will be focused on discovering and nurturing China’s new design talent as well as showcasing the diverse design languages of China’s new generation of designers.

Venini
Venini

Design Shanghai is the first show to take place this year from the Design Shanghai portfolio, followed by Design China Beijing (24-27 September) and launching for the first time this December, Design Shenzhen (9-12 December): “Design China Beijing will focus on the theme of sustainability, the sustainability of design, the past and future of craftsmanship, and diversified symbiosis. It becomes the best platform for global designers and manufacturers to communicate and explore how design could be innovative and green. Design Shenzhen has already received great attention and support from the design industry even before its launch. Featuring everything you’ve come to expect from the creators of Design Shanghai, Design Shenzhen will be a razor-sharp bespoke event – contemporary, modern and driven by design – distilled into a concentrated combination of architecture, design and style. Design Shenzhen will showcase carefully selected brands that are tailored to local architects, interior designers, property developers and the design-savvy public to experience the very latest furniture, lighting, surface materials, soft furnishings and conceptual installations. Design Shenzhen will provide the opportunity to do business face to face, for which there is no substitute”.