First Shenzhen Design Week Concluded with Huge Success


Successfully wrapped on 28 April, the impressive results of this 8-day Shenzhen Design Week not only marked the beginning of Shenzhen to take a proactive lead in the global design field with enhanced influence, it also signified a milestone for the2020 Implementation Measures for Shenzhen’s Cultural and Innovative Development. Held last week with a record high of 100,000 visitors, over 200 world-class international designers gathered in Shenzhen showcasing more than 2,000 creative artworks. Speaking of event partcipants, Shekou i-Factory alone had scored the highest daily traffic of 7,000 people. A spectrum of  activities, including exhibitions, forums and talks had been organized during for visitors,  spanning across graphic, product, fashion, architecture and interior design for a creative enlightenment.

Attending guests like David Grossman, president of the International Council of Design and Luisa Bocchietto, president-elect of the World Design Organization spoke highly of this  first Shenzhen Design Week. Expected to see continuous improvement, they see this Shenzhen Design Week as instrumental in promoting and facilitating the development of local design and industry, also as an important platform for international collaboration and cultural exchange, attacting  more foreign designers and institutions to settle in Shenzhen. 


David Grossman, president of the International Council of Design


Luisa Bocchietto, president-elect of the World Design Organization



Sponsored by the Shenzhen Municipal Government and organized by the Shenzhen Association for International Culture Exchanges and Shenzhen City of Design Promotion Office, the theme of this first Shenzhen Design Week was “Design for Future”. Five major aspects -  innovation, life, vision, communication and experience -  rendered an exhaustive interpretation of the  international, professional, high quality and versatile embodiment of the event. Shenzhen Design Week aimed to make good use of Shenzhen’s competitive edges  in design field and motivate local design talents in Shenzhen to be global with their vision. Shenzhen Design Week served as an integrated and interdisciplinary platform to showcase results, compete for awards, enhance communication and collaboration among designers; promoted brands, education and training, and eventually strengthened the international influence of Shenzhen design  in design industry. Following the China (Shenzhen) International Cultural Industries Fair and Shenzhen Reading Month, the Municipal Government strived to modify Shenzhen Design Week into another cultural brand for the city.


Five Major Aspects



“Design.Innovation” aimed at providing space for imagination and rendering feasibility and versatility for future city life. The exhibition shared the inspirations and experience of leading creative studios and top creators locally and internationally, facilitating an exchange of ideas on the latest design trend.


With “Living, Education, Communications and Mobility” as the four big pillars, the thematic exhibition depicted wild assumptions  of future life . Under the two main themes of  "Designing the future" and "Designing for future", outstanding products and case studies are featured, highlighting the relationship between designers, cities and public.



Thematic Exhibition


At this thematic exhibition,  audience enjoyed a brand new exhibition experience and and engagement. Once entered the venue, every visitor was be given a digital bracelet, recording his or her  trail. The trails were then  computed, turning each trail into unique  art work. 


A  “Design.Future” forum was also held to complement the exhibition. Speakers included Taku Hibino, Chie Executive Officer of HIBINOSEKKEI,Inc; Lin Zong-Yan from Aesthetic Cell; Liu Dai-Zong from World Resources Institute; Barbara Alink & Nick Hung from Alinker; and Zhou Yu Ru & Lin Zi Fang from AGUA Design. While all speakers delivered inspiring speeches,  Taku Hibino, nicknamed as  “the kindergarten designer who understands Kids most”, stated in his speech  that design for future should focus on society, addressing the needs of each individual, particularly the kids. He hoped that design could bring joyful experiences to kids.


The global application for “Shenzhen Global Design Award” had also been announced. As a debut launch, this award would limit entries to industrial and product portfolio. Offering a total of  nearly US$1 million for prizes, the award aimed at promoting   communication and collaboration among global designers; fostering creative design concepts and theirindustrial development  In addition, the award hoped to present itself as the “Oscar” of the deign industry, attracting international designers to further their  design career in Shenzhen.


The “Global Crowdsourcing Conference” had invited a lot of well-known industrial designers, including Tobia Repossi, Cultural Consultant of Europe Design School; Tristram Keech, Guest Professor of Coventry University and Thomas Keen,  British cross-over artist; and Samuel Wilkinson, D & AD Black Pencil Award winner.  While the audience witnessed fruitful exchanges between the speakers and  representatives from the finance and corporate sectors, , Thomas Keen, who was also one of theHuawei P6 design team leaders, said commercial interests should not be the key driver behind the product development of a good design,  ; instead, a  good design consulting firm  should assume the responsibility of improving people’s life. In his opinion, as compared to traditional designers, mindset of  contemporary designers had been transformed from “making products cheaper/more luxurious; easier to use or larger/smaller/simpler/more complicated/more invisible/ more visible”, into taking consumers’ purchase and experience into consideration more. 



Global Crowdsourcing Conference



There were several highlights for this Shenzhen Design Week – with the “2017 Shekou International Creative Forum” being one of them. Themed at  "Design Reconstructs the Relationship between Human and Life", the forum invited more than 20 world-class designers to deliver keynote speeches and participate in discussions on how design managed to bring changes s on cities, people and life brought. While heavy-weight speakers like Mr. Jean Audouze, Honorary President of the French National Commission of UNESCO and Research Director at CNRS (French National Center for Scientific Research); Mr. Denis Laming, French Futurist architect and Chevalier of the French Fifth Republic, delivered inspirational  speeches on such topics,  visionaries like Fung Zhi-Feng and Ouyang Ying-qi, shared their opinions on creativity, innovation, gourmet, art, new lifestyle and life aesthetics. 



2017 Shekou International Creative Forum


Mind Park 2017 was all about “The Possibilities of Creativity”. 6 top creators from Shanghai, Tokyo, San Francisco, Paris and Renens were invited to share their inspirations  and experience with audience., Artworks of more than 10 speakers were introduced in the interactive exhibition, ranging from graphic, image, product to installation.


Mind Park 2017




“Design.Life” consisted of a series of forums and art exhibitions, in which designers with different background interacted and discussed on how the Chinese design industry could be more creative, developed, upgraded and internationalized.


At “Future Design Innovation Forum” held on 21 April,  Feng Guo-Chuan, designer of Zhubo Design Limited; Chen De-Jian, founder of Kinney Chan and Associates; Wang Hei-Long, founder of HeiLong Design; and Wang Yong-Qiang, director of Shenzhen General Institute of Architectural Design and Research Co., Ltd. (SADI) and Shenzhen General Institute of Architectural Decoration Design, dedicated much of their time debating the “About Future of Design” topic  with participating designers from different fields. 



Future Design Innovation Forum



'10 Designers, 10 Seats' Art Exhibition invited designers from different categories, such as furniture, architecture, interior  and graphic designer, to render their interpretation on chair design, offering insights on  function, ergonomics, material, craftsmanship and the seat  and exploring  the relationship between chair, product and space, the possibility of function transfer and also the adaptability to modern living environment. Designers of '10 Designers, 10 Seats' were Zhang Zhi-Zong, Yan Yan-ming, Qin Yue-Ming, Zhang Jian-Heng, Wang Hei-Long, Chen Hou-Fu, Yu Qiang, Kong Wu, Feng Zhi-Feng and Liu Xiao Du. They challenged audience to contemplate the various possibilities in life, in the form of a chair .



'10 Designers, 10 Seats' Art Exhibition




Events under this  “Design.Visual Shenzhen” showcased  the development of visual design in Shenzhen,  the first city in China and the sixth in  the world of being honoured with the title “City of Design”.  “A Decade of Chinese Illustrations in Shenzhen” accounted the development of  illustration art in China,  Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan inclusive  in the last decade. Illustrations have indeed come a long way In China and works could now be spotted at metro stations; on poster designs and internet;  in business as well as public context.  Complimented as the “Blue Chips” of design industry. Illustrations have entered a golden age. Turning into the hub of illustrationists.  the exhibition displayed  Shenzhen’s dedication in nurturing local design force, bringing in master exhibitions and exporting local illustrations.



A Decade of Chinese Illustrations in Shenzhen


“Character Design in China” aimed at tightening the  association between visual art, message transmission and character design in Chinese community, via discussion on t character design development in China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau. Three famous designers, Cai Shi-Wei, Ying Yong-Hui and Zhang Mi-Di, were appointed as curators of the exhibition “Typography in Chinese Modernism”. Several valuable exhibits were displayed, including approximately  500 publications printed between the end of Qing Dynasty and the establishment of new China government, around 150 books about calligraphy and design drafts in 1930s to 1990s, and nearly 200 types of paper art from1960s to1980s.


 Character Design in China



“Design.Communication” focused  on organizing thematic exhibitions to form a platform for “Cities of Design” to present  their works  and talents. One of the exhibitions was “China Good Design”, showcasing for  the winning works of Red Dot German 2015-16 under the same award. Another exhibition worth noting was the global “City of Design” Exhibition.



"City of Design"


China Good Design



Apart from providing a platform for academic exchange among local and foreign designers, a Design Experience Center was set up during the Design Week. Design brands created fine experience for audience,  bringing them an upclose and all-rounded designexperience. To engage as many visitors as possible, “Design Tours” had beendesigned.   In addition to Design Week main venue walk-around,  there were also out-of-venue industry park and design studio visits and walks. Through such in-venue and outreaching events, the organizer hoped to bridge the distance Design Week and general public, taking a proactive role in promoting design. `



Design Experience Center

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