We were back in Beijing for the 2nd annual Beijing Design Week festivities. It was exciting to engage in the conversations surrounding the future of design and craft in a country with over 5000 years of craft history and a reputation of being the manufacturing capital for the world.
The Dashilar hutong opened to the design community once again with the Campana Brothers designing an outdoor pavilion, the Brachina, inspired by a native Brazilian cashew tree. Design exhibition pop-ups were sprinkled throughout this historic residential area intermingling local flavor with global design practices. We especially liked BCXSY's site-specific public bench created as a response to spending two weeks in the hutong.
The 751D Design district provided a stunning industrial backdrop for some larger exhibitions including the Dutch Pavilion and Space Magazine's architectural prototypes. The UCCA retrospective of Yung Ho Chang's FCJZ practice, Material-Ism, was a highlight of this year's events in the 751D Design District.
Although this year's events did not include the Triennial at the National Museum, the addition of the Caochangdi Arts District and a more diverse showing from the larger design community generated much excitement for this year's events. Organized by BAO Atelier's Naihan Li and Beatrice Leanza, the bulk of the exhibitions took place in the red-bricked galleries designed by Ai Weiwei.
Traditional materials and craft practices were merged with contemporary design aesthetics, most popularly in displays of porcelain objects, reinterpretations of everyday Chinese objects and archetypes. The work itself looked towards a future where Designed in China becomes more ubiquitous than Made in China.
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See more coverage
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» Mian Wu, "Start from a Ring" at WUHAO
» ILIVETOMORROW's Radical Materiality
» MICROmacro's CON-TRADITION at Caochangdi
» Henny van Nistelrooy's Craft & Industry
» Paper Instinct, Zines and Indie Press at The Factory, Dashilar
» Nike Flyknit Collection, Feather Pavilion—Architectural Installation Inspired by Sport