Design Shanghai Set to Celebrate Homegrown Talent
Shanghai’s reputation as a burgeoning hub for art and design is far from waning, if the heightened presence of local industry events is any indication.
Since its 2014 debut, Design Shanghai has come into its own as an event to watch for within the Asian region. The annual trade show makes its anticipated return to the Shanghai Exhibition Center this March 9-12, channeling the gumption and glamour of its namesake metropolis. A major draw for industry players, including Asia’s top architects, interior designers and property developers, the upcoming four-day event is expected to surpass the runaway success of the 2015 edition, a high-profile affair which welcomed an astounding 42,000 visitors.
For show director Mike Dynan, more is more: “Design Shanghai is consolidating its reputation as the leading design event in Asia, a fact confirmed by the increased number and profile of participants, from exhibitors to partners, supporters and speakers.”
Design Shanghai 2016 is set to pull out all the stops with an impressive roster that counts Cassina, Vitra, Moroso and Bang & Olufsen among the event’s big-name exhibitors. According to organisers, DIY entrepreneurism and recent developments in Chinese design are topics that will take center stage this year.
Themed as “Language of Design”, the design forum portion of the event invites local and international speakers to engage in a dialogue about provenance, local craft traditions and their impact on design audiences and consumers. “Buyers like the stories behind the products, they have a real yearning to be educated on the history behind design,” says Dynan. “[Many Chinese designers] are using modern skills combined with ancient Chinese craftsmen’s techniques.” He cites exhibitors Frank Chou, a Beijing-based practitioner, and award-winning designer Furong Chen as exemplars of this approach.
Along with an array of installations comprising an eloquent nod to traditional handicrafts by Chinese designer Jamy Yang titled “Yang House Craftsmanship”, and a bespoke version of “Zotem”, a dynamic work conceived by London-based Norwegian designer Kim Thomé for Swarovski, additional event highlights include the launch of the IDEAT Future Awards and three halls dedicated to contemporary, classic and collectible design. “Our goal is to offer our visitors the opportunity to enjoy design in all its manifestations,” maintain creative directors Ross Urwin and Darrell Best.