The fastest growing Chinese city with the country’s highest per capita income: Shenzhen is an unstoppable driver of growth, which in the new expansion plans dictated by the CCCDR (the party’s Central Committee for Comprehensive Reforms) aims to become China’s leading international showcase of innovation, creativity and business by 2035.
After technology, the growth leap focuses directly on design and interiors, in a city that is also very lively in terms of architecture and culture. The first edition of Design Shenzhen, held from 1 to 4 December 2022, is a spin-off of Design Shanghai, one of the largest and most influential fairs in Asia.
This is confirmed by Zhuo Tan, Managing Director of Clarion Events Shanghai Limited: “Design Shenzhen will join Design Shanghai and Design China Beijing to create the largest Asian network of annual design shows. The combined events will create a continuing and complete project platform, promoting vigorous growth of the Chinese design industry.”
Design Shenzhen is a platform that concentrates on innovation and the future, seen from the perspective of design. It will present products, installations, function areas and a program of talks, inside a forum sponsored by PPG and Duravit, which invites over 40 architects, designers and experts to share their insights, guided by the theme of “Regenerative Design – Design for Wellbeing: Humanity, Sustainability, Technology.”
Let’s look at the key initiatives of the show. With Good Design Select, the industrial designer Xiaoxi Shi, in collaboration with G-MARK Japan Good Design Award, exhibits a selection of creative talents chosen for advanced projects for the benefit of the industry and the society.
Audi, the well-known auto brand, will focus on sustainability mobility of the future through new possibilities of digital interaction and human-machine interfaces, including the Audi Virtual Cockpit Plus, a multimedia system that personalizes navigation tools.
One debut at Design Shenzhen 2022 will be that of Sony Design, whose offerings now extend beyond simple products, calling into play a wide range of design activities focusing on the user experience, communication, entertainment and more, setting new standards of fusion between creativity and technology.
WAD, a design platform, organizes the special exhibition ‘Back to the Oasis’: curated by Gaetano Scintilla, it speaks of a ‘post-tech’ dimension and urges the return of a spiritual dimension, reminding human beings of their own inner perceptions and stimulating interactions with the natural environment. This involves the use of plants from arid zones and climbing vines, together with materials like gravel, wool, clay and linen.
The event WellConnect, coordinated by David Hugh and the Guoke Longhui Foundation, combines furniture design, biomedical engineering and neurosciences to suggest how to contribute to future health and wellbeing. The participating brands include the tech firm Dose and the lighting brand Ostuni, to demonstrate how technology and design can influence the body, the mind and work, exploring better solutions of coexistence between people, the environment and technology.
The portfolio also includes: Future Home, examining the domestic spaces of the years to come; Neooold, where starting with the topic of tea the industrial designer Min Chen explores how objects themselves can influence different cultures; and the Rural Futures Award, a prize on the theme of sustainable rural construction.