Setting a Precedent: Design Shanghai
Design Shanghai is one of the world’s most prominent international design events, setting the standard for China’s rapidly expanding creative sector. Over 70,000 people attended the eighth edition, which provided a platform for renowned companies, galleries, and new creatives to showcase the latest innovations in architecture, goods, and interior design.
This year’s forum, in addition to the exhibit, challenged virtual and in-person attendees to “redesign design.” Leading experts offer ideas and initiatives that reflect a new way of thinking — navigating the urgent need to restore ecosystems, create sustainable energy, and actively remove carbon from the atmosphere – in a series of presentations and seminars.
Emotional Design by Thomas Heatherwick
Thomas Heatherwick (1970), a multidisciplinary practitioner, is known for innovative buildings such as the award-winning Shanghai Expo 2010 pavilion Seed Cathedral. The structure is coated with 60,000 projecting silver strands, evoking the work of Kew Gardens, the world’s first significant botanical institution. Heatherwick explains how human responses influence creativity in this dialogue, stating, If we had filled our 100m by 20m space at the Expo, we would have ended up with a letterbox proportion. The pavilion would fit in a picture and appear larger if it was made smaller. People are drawn to TV shows because of the images they see.
The Architecture of Possibility, by Michael Pawlyn
Since 1987, when sustainability arguably became popular, more than half of humanity’s greenhouse gas emissions have happened. Almost everything we do is contributing to a degenerative cycle. Regenerative design is the topic of Design Shanghai’s 2021 lecture series, and Michael Pawlyn’s (b. 1967) practice exemplifies it. The biomimetic architect challenges standard building thinking by co-founding the ‘Architects Declare’ movement in the United Kingdom. The project emphasizes the importance of both the climate and biodiversity crises, placing biology at the forefront of innovation.
Time and Color: Jiani Zeng and Honghao Deng
Jiani Zeng (b. 1994) and Honghao Deng (b. 1994), both MIT and Harvard University grads, are experimenting with AIoT, soft robotics, and 3D lenticular designs. Illusory Material, a joint effort, explores the frontiers of materiality, color, pattern, and refraction. The ground-breaking philosophy reconfigures established concepts, resulting in new digital materialities. Zeng talks on the subject’s endless potential, saying: With the advancement of multi-material 3D printing, we can build materials from scratch, exhibiting many characteristics in one single print, [unlike most conventional 3D printers on the market .
Tonkin Liu: the Architecture of poetry
Mike Tonkin and Anna Lio, the founding partners of Tonkin Liu, are a renowned London architecture company. Through restorative design, sculptures such as Singing Ringing Tree, Forest of Light, and Rain Bow Gate rely on the value of language, narrative, and the environment. We didn’t deliberately say: ‘We’re going to frame nature, construct symbols of nature, and learn from nature, Tonkin says. We only realized what we’d done after taking a step back. In this conversation, the two discuss how their upbringings and exposure to various environments have influenced their approach.
Designs for a Post-Covid World by Kelly Hoppen
People all across the world have been compelled to spend more time indoors as a result of the epidemic, prompting a rethinking of the purpose of interior design. Kelly Hoppen, a multi-award winning designer, has been at the vanguard of modern design for 43 years and has established herself as one of the most sought-after practitioners of her time.
The increased significance of cleanliness, practicality, and zoning
She sits down with us to discuss the increased significance of cleanliness, practicality, and zoning, adding, “For a long time, a lot of our clients in Asia have been wondering, “How are we going to keep this clean?” Until I went through this, I never truly understood what they meant. It wasn’t so much about the physical cleaning as it was about the sanitation.