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Design Shanghai Press Release



Design Shanghai Features and Design Forum 2024: The New Universal Language of Design

Design Shanghai Features and Design Forum 2024: The New Universal Language of Design

Design Shanghai, Asia’s most influential design show, announces its inaugural Features program and Design Forum talks. Entering its eleventh year, Design Shanghai will expect to welcome over 100,000 visitors over four days. Returning to the Shanghai World Expo Exhibition and Convention Centre 19th-22nd June 2024, the show continues to witness the rapid development of Chinese design. Growing year on year, Design Shanghai has become one of the biggest design shows in the world and the highly anticipated event will once again attract leading international and Chinese manufacturers, design-led brands, global industry leaders, architects, collectors, interior designers and design enthusiasts.

“After a decade of growth and refinement, Design Shanghai has established itself as Asia's premier design event. Each year, thousands of companies engage in business here, and our diverse forums and workshops turn Design Shanghai into a dynamic hub of design conversations. It’s a place where countless designers come to learn and be inspired. We envision Design Shanghai as an endless source of inspiration, where the latest design ideas and trends across various fields are showcased.” Zhuo Tan, Event Director, Design Shanghai



Design Shanghai’s Kohler x Design Shanghai Design Forum programme has carved a reputation as the leading global platform for design thought leadership. Over the last 11 years, visitors have attended presentations from world-renowned designers. This year's Design Shanghai Forum theme is The New Universal Language of Design and features distinguished and authoritative figures from the global design community. The theme explores the notion that there is no more important design job than to design for our future, with the need for designers to collaborate at every level hence the need to create a globally comprehensive language : the universal language of design.

International design icons participating and speaking at this years forum include : Thomas Heatherwick, Founder and Design Director, Heatherwick Studio; Luke Pearson, Co Founder and Director, Pearson Lloyd; Maggie Men, Trend Director, WGSN; Annie Sloan, Renowned Author, Artist and Designer; Paul Cocksedge, Co-Founder of Paul Cocksedge Studio; Aldo Bakker, Founder, Aldo Bakker Studio; Bangsheng Yang, Founder and Design Principal of YANG & Associates Group; Chris Lefteri, Founder, Chris Lefteri Design; Ed Ng, Co Founder & Principal at AB Concept; Masataka Hosoo, President and CEO, Hosoo Co., Ltd.; Masayuki Kurokawa; Nada Debs, Founder and Creative Director, Studio Nada Debs; Paul Priestman, Chairman and Creative Director, PULI innovation; Zhaoqing Song, Founder and Chief Architect, Lacime Architects.



Thomas Heatherwick (Top Left); Aldo Bakker (Top Right); Luke Pearson (Bottom Left), Paul Cocksedge (Bottom Right)


Running in tandem with the Design Forum, there will be four inspiring workshops led by a host of acclaimed designers, starting with the Workplace Conference; Presentation Zone; Innovation Workshop; and finally, the Colour, Material and Finishes (CMF) Conference. A highlight for the show this year, the CMF Conference will be exploring how circularity can be woven into traditional CMF designs, with enlightening talks from global CMF industry specialists, renowned figures in the fields of architecture, product and interior design, as well as discussions from emerging designers. 



Thomas Heathewick’s Humanise stand rendering


One of the UK’s most prolific designers, Thomas Heatherwick,  founder and design director of Heatherwick Studio, known for numerous projects in the city, including the award winning 2010 EXPO British Pavilion, 1000 Trees as well as the recently opened West Bund Orbit, will launch his book Humanise: A Maker's Guide to Building Our World at Design Shanghai on the 19th June. Thomas will also join a panel with fellow designers and architects as well as sign books at the 'Humanise Stand'. The panel discussion will focus on the issues raised in Thomas' book with Mo Zheng of Antistatics Architecture, Albert Chan Kain Bon, Director of Planning and Development, Group Chief Sustainability Officer of SHUI ON LAND and Dr Xing Ruan, Dean and Guangqi Chair Professor of Architecture at School of Design, Shanghai Jiao Tong University. Moderated by Design Shanghai Programme Director Aidan Walker. The panel will take place 20th June 15:45 - 16:30.

“We are thrilled that Thomas has chosen Design Shanghai to launch his new book. This decision highlights the important role Design Shanghai has played over the past decade in promoting international design exchanges between China and the West. We are immensely proud that Design Shanghai has become a leading platform for designers from around the world to connect and share their ideas.” Zhuo Tan, Event Director, Design Shanghai

Design Shanghai’s Features strives to partner with leading design and creative studios, luxury fashion brands and influential media titles to create unique and thought provoking experiences. Expect trend forecasts, one-off installations, stand-out projects and collaborations, that will encourage people to engage and question their understanding of design and the possibilities within this field.



Design Shanghai’s Features programme partners with leading design and creative studios, brands and emerging talent to create unique exhibitions and experiences. One off thought provoking and captivating installations, projects and collaborations will encourage guests to engage with design through a range of different mediums. This years features are as follows: 


TALENTS, curated by Frank Chou, Hall 1

TALENTS aims to consistently foster the creative force of young designers. The theme of TALENTS 2024 will be "The Quest For The Question." Driven by creativity, designers are challenged to set their sights on discovering and solving problems. However, they also need to recognize whether the identified problems have practical value: can solving these problems lead to actual improvements and innovations? Is the investment of manpower and resources reasonable and feasible? These are questions that designers must carefully consider. In the pursuit of creativity, it is essential for them to maintain a rational perspective and decision-making ability.



TALENTS: PATCH (Top Left),Yuya Zhou (Top Right),  Yume Gai Studio (Bottom Left), Objets Mito (Bottom Right)


neooold, curated by Min Chen , Hall 3

neooold curated by designer Min Chen , features "Art·Extension" as the theme for 2024, which marks the fifth edition of the feature. The significance of extending craftsmanship has consistently been one of neooold's dedicated development directions. The exhibition design, presented by the architectural firm line+ under the direction of architect Meng Fanhao, extracts the cultural symbol of the bracket arch, a traditional architectural element, to construct a precise and melodious space. During the exhibition, works by over 20 brands, artists and craftsmen from both domestic and international realms will be displayed, including Aldo Bakker, Masataka Hosoo, Has Tan and Min Chen will be showcased. Encompassing ceramics, metalworking, weaving, lacquer, and other traditional crafts, these devoted works converge the origins of modern art with the deep roots of traditional craftsmanship. The exhibition is not only a showcase of artistic endeavours but also a collection of legendary stories surrounding the inheritance and development of traditional crafts.



neooold: Lands End Pot (Left), Intertwined Stool, GUJI (Right)


Gorgeous Jewellery 1.0 

GORGEOUS JEWELLERY 1.0, curated by Prof. SUN Jie, co-organized by the Fashion and Design Innovation Center (FINE Center) of Tongji University, China Industrial Design Institute (CIDI), and JCC International Contemporary Jewellery Art Centre, is a feast of contemporary jewellery. This exhibition seeks to create a unique international platform for pioneering young artists and designers to display their creativity and imagination within Asia. It is expected to feature more than 80 young designers (including a selection from more than 90 colleges around the world) and hundreds of design masterpieces, which will be formally presented to the public at Design Shanghai 2024.



Gorgeous Jewellery 1.0, curated by Professor Sun Jie, Hall 3


"Rong·Casting" Exhibition, curated by Lei Zhang, Hall 4

The Rong Design Library is dedicated to deconstructing traditional crafts into materials and techniques, actively exploring the future of tradition. "Casting" is the research topic of the ninth edition of the Rong Design Exhibition, following themes of bamboo, silk, clay, copper, paper, mortise and tenon joints, colouring, and weaving. "铸造" is translated to "casting," which refers to a moulding process where softened material is injected into a mould, allowing it to solidify and take shape, the solidified result is called "casting." The "Rong·Casting" exhibition will invite 46 designers and artists from different fields to create, facilitating a profound collision between casting craftsmanship and contemporary design.


In The Texture of Crafts

Craft+ presents an exploration of China's rich cultural heritage and traditional craftsmanship through on-site research and collaborative projects. In "Craft+Residence," they highlight diverse textile techniques of ethnic minorities. "Craft+Design" focuses on revitalising traditional crafts through design collaborations. "Craft+Activity" fosters community engagement, such as the "Dong Fabric 100" project, inviting designers to innovate with Dong fabric. Through interactive experiences, Craft+ invites audiences to rediscover the beauty and value of traditional crafts at Design Shanghai.



In the Texture of Crafts, curated by Craft+, Hall 3


Beyond Craft Japan, Hall 3

Bridging the gap between Japan and China, Design Shanghai unveils “Beyond Craft Japan” for the first time, inviting visitors to explore Japanese beauty through materials and craftsmanship. Showcasing a unique blend of Japanese aesthetics, the pavilion offers an opportunity to experience the depth and creativity of Japanese design, whilst also uncovering new possibilities for cultural exchange between Japan and China. 



Beyond Craft Japan, Sekisai


Notes to Editors

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