Over 300 brands and galleries recently debuted their designs at China’s leading international design event
Design Shanghai 2015 wrapped up recently, welcoming over 40,000 visitors over four days. Sponsored by Jaguar Land Rover, never-seen-before designs from over 300 participating brands and galleries were showcased at China's leading international design event. This year's edition celebrated design on a global and local scale – over 30 Chinese designers and brands, both emerging and established, exhibited alongside well-established global names such as Vitra, Foscarini, Driade, Seletti, Fritz Hansen and Moroso.
Among the numerous eye-catching designs were Italian brand Magis's new Cyborg Lord and Cyborg Lady Chairs, part of the Cyborg Collection by Marcel Wanders, and Hossein Rezvani's three new contemporary carpet designs, which were made in Iran. Also spotted at Design Shanghai was Britain's' leading furniture makers Silverlining’s latest cutting-edge creation, the Infinity Table. Meanwhile, Danish brand Georg Jensen debuted Henning Koppel's wall clocks, oak bonbonnière and steel candle holders.
A range of Chinese designers also showcased new designs. Frank Chou Design Studio debuted a new collection, including The Kuan Chair, Ring Lamp, Nov Sofa and Ping Screen. The collection is a subtle yet elegant collection combining western and oriental cultures. Zai Ye Design, a cutting edge working platform for independent designers, launched a new collection of 3D printed resin vases.
Other highlights included Swarovski's presentation of a new version of 'Prologue', showcased in mainland China for the first time, which became the perfect spot for visitors to take selfies during the event's four-day run. Designed by London-based Fredrikson Stallard, 'Prologue' is a monumental circular sculpture measuring 4m in diameter and holding over 8,000 blue-shade Swarovski crystal droplets within a galvanised steel frame.
Another highlight was the Asian debut of Jean Prouvé's newly restored 6X9 Demountable House. Set in the courtyard of the intricate Shanghai Exhibition Centre, the house could be viewed from all angles and allowed visitors to experience its beautiful transformation from day to night. Chinese artist Wang Yuyang presented a site-specific intervention titled 'Equip'. Selected by internationally renowned contemporary art curator Jérôme Sans, Wang's sculpture reflected the aesthetics and philosophy of Jean Prouvé's House and its relevance in China’s contemporary society. The sculpture was created by using a 3D process that transformed the linear dimensions of the house through binary code, which then created a 3D rendering. Craftsmen translated the renderings into a handmade sculptural form using various materials specified by Wang such as copper, wood, steel and plastic.
AD China Design Forum
The world's leading designers, architects, curators and inventors also gathered over the four days to discuss their experiences and influences during an international series of talks and debates. The AD China Design Forum, curated by Aidan Walker, focused on ‘Transition and Transformation’. The programme was designed to explore the specific transitional and transformational activity in a maturing Chinese design industry, touching on topics such as the politics of design, craft, materiality, urbanism, technology and art. The speakers at the forum included Marcel Wanders, Lee Broom, Arik Levy, Alan Chan, and Sebastian Herkner.
Design Shanghai & AD China Emerging Chinese Designers Platform
The 2015 edition of Design Shanghai also marked the launch of the Design Shanghai & AD China Emerging Chinese Designers Platform, where ten designers were selected to present to a panel of judges and display their work at the event. An awards ceremony took place on the first day of Design Shanghai, where judges including Xu Wang, editor-in-chief of AD China, and designer Jaime Hayon presented the winning award to Chen Furong.
Chen submitted a range of designs including Hexa, a modular organisational accessory for the home and office, made from a bendable concrete material he has been developing over the years. The other nine emerging designers who participated in the platform were Gong Lingna, Huang Jiewen, Li Gongbiao, Ruan Hao, Wu Haoyu, Yu Haotian, Zhang Chao, Zhang Yuqian and Zhao Nan.