Stay tuned with a hybrid of live sessions!

 

We launched the Forum Library to present you the inspiring ideas from the world-leading design icons in our previous forum sessions. In the upcoming Design China Beijing design forum, over 30 design icons, global industry leaders, visionaries, and innovators will investigate the transformative power of design and its role in and response to building a sustainable future for a post-pandemic world. 

 

watch previous sessions

Featured Forum Sessions

THOMAS HEATHERWICK: DESIGN OF EMOTION

THOMAS HEATHERWICK: DESIGN OF EMOTION

RICHARD HUTTEN: NO SIGN OF DESIGN

RICHARD HUTTEN: NO SIGN OF DESIGN

MICHAEL PAWLYN: SUSTAINABILITY IS NO LONGER ENOUGH

MICHAEL PAWLYN: SUSTAINABILITY IS NO LONGER ENOUGH

Pivotal Themes

Design China Beijing 2021: Nature, Nurture and Sustainable Beauty

Design China Beijing 2021: Nature, Nurture and Sustainable Beauty

Nature is the nurturer, the source of nourishment, the giver of life. ‘Nature is not just “nice to have”,’ says Mike Barrett of WWF. ‘It is our life support system.’ Global wildlife populations have declined 68% since 1970; more than half the CO2 emissions in human history have happened since 1990. Very bad things are happening very fast. We are hurtling headlong into a catastrophe for all living beings. This isn’t just climate change; this is we humans, destroying our own home.

But we know this. We don’t want to be told it over and over again. We need messages of hope. How do we nurture nature, turn degeneration into regeneration?

At Design Shanghai 21 we celebrated design practice and practitioners committed to these principles. It’s more than using forms, structures and materials inspired by nature; we design with nature’s self-regenerating structures and materials, creating a system where resource is not just sustained, but actively replenished.

For Design China Beijing we turn our attention to the changes in thinking and attitudes we need, not just to make the world a better place, but to rescue it – to make sure it, and we, survive and thrive. Attitudes towards beauty are at the heart of this change. Advanced technologies and ancient craft traditions must feed each other to sit in harmony with nature and generate a true creative process, eliminating waste and making, not using, energy. Materials, processes, urbanism, community and communality; the relationship between digital technologies and natural resources; beautiful environments that are not only truly sustainable, but genuinely restorative. The best minds in global and Chinese design are grappling with how we handle these issues right now, and Design China Beijing is where their voices are heard and their experiences absorbed.

It’s design’s responsibility to lead the way. ‘Design is a willing accomplice in the implementation of lifestyles that we are taking for granted’ says Vienna Museum of Applied Arts curator Thomas Geisler. But that must change. ‘The climate crisis and the pandemic teach us to change our habits, to listen to our intuition and to gain empathy in order to resonate with the environment.’

We must make restorative, regenerative design not only natural but beautiful. We must design a new aesthetic, transform our thinking and our clients’ desires, to show them what is possible – outcomes they have never dreamed of.

We are part of nature, a self-regulating, self-healing, natural system. To design within that system is to create true beauty, in operation as well as aesthetics. Regenerative design is regenerating design itself.

Aidan Walker, Forum Programme Director,
Design Shanghai, Design China Beijing, Design Shenzhen

Design Shanghai 2021: Regenerative design comes to China – and the world

Design Shanghai 2021: Regenerative design comes to China – and the world

The world needs regenerative design and the radical re-assessment of values it demands. Sustainable design is no longer enough. Regenerative design goes beyond conventional sustainable design. Sustainability is about reducing harmful negatives; regenerative design is a positive approach that restores ecosystems, builds resilient communities, generates more clean energy than we use, and makes buildings and products that instead of using less carbon, actually positively take carbon out of the atmosphere. 

Chinese traditions, both in ancient beliefs about the unity of humanity and nature, and the building crafts for wooden construction which are undergoing a modern resurgence, have already laid the foundations for the new attitudes inherent in regenerative design. 

We come to ‘redesigning design’. Having worked for a generation to respond to the sustainability imperative, designers are now grappling with a whole new mode of thought; regenerative design demands ‘systems thinking’, the new version of ‘design thinking’. It sees us humans as part of the natural system, and we design as part of nature, to create resilient and equitable systems that integrate the needs of society with the integrity of nature. We don’t do things to nature, taking from it; we design with it, giving back what we take and balancing the system. 

In 2021 the three editions of the Forum for the Design Shanghai family – in Shanghai in June, Beijing in September and Shenzhen in December – will explore different aspects of this huge cultural shift. The Design Shanghai Forum is proud to represent thought leadership – and present thought leaders – from both Chinese and global design. You cannot afford to miss it.

Aidan Walker, Forum Programme Director, Design Shanghai / Design China Beijing / Design Shenzhen

Testimonials

Sebastian Herkner

Sebastian Herkner

Designer, Studio Sebastian Herkner

 

I am very happy to be part of the first edition of Design China Beijing. I think it is a very good idea to show design on a fair, but also to have opportunity for me talk about design.
Johannes Torpe

Johannes Torpe

Founder of Johannes Torpe Studios

 

I think this edition of Design China Beijing is very surprising and beautiful, because many things come together in a right way. What I like most is the blend between traditional Chinese furniture and ideas and western style.
Kinney Chan

Kinney Chan

Founder of Kinney Chan & Associates

 

I like the Design Shanghai moment in the year, because every year is more and more alive, more and more energetic. A lot of young designers from China are working in Different fields, so I’m very curious and I’d like to see what’s happening in the design world in China now.

Speaker Highlights

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