Event Watch: Beijing Design Week 2012

Second Annual Event Highlights Design “Created In China”

Beijing Design Week will run from September 28-October 6

Running from September 28 through October 6, the second annual Beijing Design Week looks to be bigger and better than last year, with enough discussions, forums and open studio projects to please even the most design-obsessed. Jointly organized by 751D·PARK and Beijing Design Week, this year’s installation is more focused on interactivity and openness, with five architectural spaces to be opened to the public.

As creative director Aric Chen recently said of Beijing Design Week:

If there’s one thing I think we learned from the success of last year’s Beijing Design Week, it’s that Beijing has no shortage of talented and energetic people who are ready to make this city a true center of design and creativity. What they need, however, is a better environment in which they can thrive.

For ten days last year, we tried to create that environment. China has amazed the world with its ability to build roads and bridges, and factories and supply chains—the hardware and infrastructure that have fueled the spectacular rise of our manufacturing economy. But as we set our sights on design and innovation, we need to shift focus: from hardware and infrastructure to software and people, from quantity to quality, from appearances to substance, from simply constructing shiny new buildings to caring more about what happens inside them.

We also need to give greater respect to content, and better reward the people who create it. We need to always remember that it’s only by first nurturing a healthy and deeply-felt design culture that we can successfully commercialize it. We must also develop a better mechanism that allows the shared goals of policy and individual initiative to work in unison, and with integrity. These are the values we have tried to promote through Beijing Design Week.

This year, we have proposed the theme Craft Thinking. By Craft Thinking, we don’t only mean to celebrate heritage, preservation and process, though that’s certainly part of it. More broadly, Craft Thinking is about developing a constant awareness of what we’re doing and how we’re doing it, whatever it may be—whether it’s cooking a meal, creating a product, or even building a city. Craft Thinking requires doing things authentically and responsibly, and it applies to everyone, at all levels of society. That includes all of us at Beijing Design Week. We hope we have succeeded.

Beijing Design Week 2012

In addition to highlighting the work of selected Chinese and international designers, this year’s design week will include a series of exhibitions, among them:
GeoCity Smart City
UNMADE IN CHINA Architecture Design Forum: Photos and models of deconstructed works that explore the creative process
“Crystal Design”: Looking at architecture in public areas
Andrew Martin design exhibition
Blickfang holographic concert
– Vibram Extraordinary Design
751 Design Night: Pecha Kucha Forum, 3D Show, After Party
Lego design competition
“Dutch Design on the Move in China”

Also crossing paths with Beijing Design Week this year will be Beijing Fashion Design Week 2012, organized by the Beijing Clothing and Textile Trade Association. Showcasing the work of young and emerging designers, the event — running from September 27 through October 7 — is aimed at promoting the development of the country’s fashion industry from “Made in China” to “Designed in China.” With that in mind, Fashion Design Week includes a range of exhibitions, fashion shows, and plenty of forums featuring artists, designers, cultural commentators, and domestic fashion media.

For more information about Beijing Design Week 2012, check out the official website here.


Art & Design, Market Analysis