Finland & China Strike A Bond With Radical Design Week 2012

Inaugural Event Runs From October 26-November 4

Radical Design Week brings together innovators from both countries

Finland and China come together starting this Friday with the launch of Radical Design Week 2012 (RDW2012), a ten-day exposition of Finnish future-oriented design and innovation in Shanghai. Primarily supported by the Chinese Ministry of Education and Culture, RDW2012 is part of two major 2012 design events, Shanghai-D Week 2012 and World Design Capital Helsinki 2012, as well as the EU-China Year of Intercultural Dialogue.

Conceived in the wake of Helsinki’s selection as the 2012 World Design Capital, RDW 2012 leverages Shanghai’s enthusiastic response to the Finland Pavilion at the World Expo 2010 and stimulates further Sino-Finnish design collaborations. Throughout the week, RDW2012 will showcase inspiring collaborations between Finnish and Chinese designers through a series of over 40 events, thought-provoking workshops, discussions, seminars, tailored events and creatively curated exhibitions. These events bring together some of the most creative minds in design, architecture, business, culture, education and research to rethink the possibilities for design and to create exciting new opportunities.

Although in its inaugural year, RDW2012 highlights the intriguing, yet understated, relationship China and Finland have been building in recent years. For instance, popular Finnish textile & clothing design house Marimekko made its first official foray into the Greater China market, launching its inaugural retail location in Hong Kong back in May. According to a company release, the company has its eyes on a new China expansion effort, with sights set on a Shanghai location “as soon as suitable premises are found” and an additional 13 mainland China stores by the end of 2016. Likewise, the Chinese architect Fang Hai, who has spent the last 16 years living and working in Helsinki, has in the process become a bridge between architects in his homeland and adopted country.

As RDW2012 writes, the goal of the first installment “is to rethink design through the prism of Finnish design; in Finland, the goal is to rethink China…To grow, Finnish businesses need China’s markets. To innovate, China businesses need fresh input from proven innovators such as Finland. Finland and China: New paradigms, new thinking.”

Ten days of RDW 2012 are themed as follows:
1. Design Embedded in Life (26 October)
2. Design Colours Life (27 October)
3. Finland – Designed for You! (28 October)
4. Lifting Power of Design (29 October)
5. Heavy Metal Design – Welcome to Finnish Design Thinking (30 October)
6. Learning Superpower – NEXT Design (31 October)
7. Designing the Future (1 November)
8. Clean Green Design (2 November)
9. Why Not Together (3 November)
10. Tastes and Sounds of Life (4 November)

For more information, check out the Radical Design website at www.radicaldesignweek.com.

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Art & Design, Market Analysis, Policy