Here’s the lowdown on what to expect at Design Shanghai 2019, which lands at the Shanghai Exhibition Centre from 6 to 9 March.
February 28th, 2019
Five halls and over 400 brands will be present at Design Shanghai 2019 (the fair’s sixth edition), which will expand its footprint by 20 per cent from the 2018 fair. Familiar established European brands will be present (among them &tradition, TON, Brokis, Swarovski, Knoll, Caesarstone, Roche Bobois, Sancal, FLOS, Knoll, SieMatic and Stellar Works) alongside Chinese brands and emerging Chinese design talent. Fresh this year will be a new matchmaking system and the ‘New Materials and Applications’ hall.
In total, over 50 Chinese designers and brands will present their work at the fair across furniture, lighting, accessories and new material innovations. Alongside established brands such as 8 Hour, Banlan, Black Drama, EndlessForm, Grado, HC28, Lost & Found and Urbancraft, will be a contingent of emerging designers who are forging new paths with experimental designs and unexpected materials – for example, BUZAO, DEFRONT, Kun Design, ShengYin & KaiYi, Sozen, WUU and ziinlife.
The ‘New Materials and Applications’ hall will showcase advancements in materials and surfaces from Chinese and international brands. Among the highlights, Shanghai-based design studio and fabricator Neuni will host workshops. Lewu Design (Hangzhou) will showcase a foam-like material that can be applied to existing furniture to give it a new lease on life. Bentu Design (Shenzhen/Beijing) will highlight the amount of waste produced by the ceramics industry by repurposing this into their furniture products. And Dutch textile and product designer Simone Post will exhibit ‘aesthetic upcycling’ with products such as her Vlisco Recycled Carpet.
The work of some of China’s most promising young designers will also be given plenty of exposure at Design Shanghai 2019. Critical to that exposure, AD China will present the AD Emerging designers Award on the opening day of the show. This year’s emerging designer finalists are ABOVE Studio, Chen Shangyi, Dejawu Studio, Foam Studio, Hi Thanks Bye, Hoii Design, Huang Jing, Mutopia, Re:Studio and THE SHAW Studio. Past winners have included Furong Chen of WUU, Sheng Yin of Benwu Studio, and Qingtong Qian of Minimaist.
The show’s ‘Features’ program will see the installation of 15 large-scale works across the show – ranging from experimental Shanghai-based designer Zhang Zhoujie’s interactive digital Manifesto Cabinet (which reflects the feelings of its audience), to a moon-landing-inspired capsule titled Apollo by Timothy Oulton Studio, to Zaha Hadid’s studio’s Skyrunner collaboration with Royal Thai and Kohler, to brand installations by the likes of Cole & Sons, JAN KATH carpets and lighting design house Serip.
Aside from plenty to see, there’ll be plenty to hear. The Design Shanghai Forum in association with Kohler will focus on the theme of the relationship between craft and technology. Curated by programme director Aidan Walker, this year’s Forum welcomes over 40 local and international speakers including founding member of the Memphis movement Aldo Cibic; leading European designers Jaime Hayon, Paola Navone and Konstantin Grcic; and Chinese designer Zhang Zhoujie, Frank Chou and Jamy Yang.
Once again, Design Shanghai will extend its reach beyond the exhibition centre with the satellite Xintiandi Design Festival. This year’s theme is ‘Back to the Social Origin: Building Connections in the Real World’. It will explore the relationship between social interaction and design from the most basic human needs through to the use of information and data in our increasingly globalised community. Four curators – Hou Zhengguang, Sun Xinxi, Du Xinyue and Simone Chen – will interpret the theme with bespoke installations and talks during the festival.
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