Q&A: Design Shanghai Show Director, Zhuo Tan

With Design Shanghai, Asia’s leading international design event just a few days away we sat down with the shows director to find out how this years show will be breaking new ground…

Design Shanghai Director, Zhuo TanDesign Shanghai is held at the Shanghai Exhibition Centre. What makes this location special and why does it work for this event?

The Shanghai Exhibition Centre is located in the center of Shanghai which is the prime space. It is very convenient for visitors to travel to being so central and the building itself is beautifully designed which in turn encompasses what Design Shanghai is all about. It is a perfect location for a high end design show.

Is there a theme for this year’s show, can you tell us a little about it?

The theme for this year is: Design Visionaries, Design Visions and Design futures.Design Shanghai_Contemporary_WWTorres Design-minDesign Shanghai Forum 2018: the pre-eminent platform for the world’s design visionaries to share their insights and inspire the creation of a better world. Visionaries of design are defined as those who are leading the way in the creative imagination, ideation and innovation crucial to the solution of the world’s most urgent issues and we wanted to ensure there was a platform for these people

Putting a focus on investigating and challenging the underlying fundamentals of design, not just as contemporaries of the industry and society- but as visionaries. In the setting of Shanghai, modern Chinese design is a cultural odyssey that has taken a path independent of other civilizations, but now it is demonstrating its historical, current and future relevance as a respected entity in global design.

To discuss the Future of Design is to discuss the future of civilization itself. Sustainability, urbanization, pollution, transport, materials, technology, communications, manufacturing, education – even clean food and water; all demand their own urgent responses which will be addressed through the Design Shanghai platform.

In the search for authenticity and a new image for design, we ask: How essential is it to maintain a distinct cultural identity when the world is now a global marketplace? What is the new ‘national’ identity and how will designers communicate this? – and much, much more.Design Shanghai_Contemporary_EY-PRODUCTS-minWhat are you most looking forward to at this year’s show?

There are so much contents going on this year. It is our biggest celebration of design to celebrate our 5th anniversary and I am very excited about the show. Everything is a must see but a couple of highlights for you include:

  • More than 1000 new products launching at the show this year from a range of different brands
  • We have over 40 top designers speaking at the forum to share insight and inspiration.
  • This year we will release three big design trends including WGSN global design trends, Workplace design trends by On office magazine and Naked Hub and China design trends presented by Yang DESIGN.
  • We also have more than 15 installations spread out across the show which will be show stopping.

Design Shanghai_Contemporary_AIMMP-minHow do you think Design Shanghai compares to other International trade shows for the design market?

With five years hard work, we established Design Shanghai as the best and biggest design trade event in Asia. Design Shanghai is a platform for western brands to communicate to the Asian market and Chinese brands to communicate to the world. Our position in the global design market is very unique.

If you could sum up ‘good design’ in one word, what would it be and why?

My one word is CHANGE. I think good design could change our life, change the way we think and look at the world in a different way. It seems like such a simple phrase but what it stands for is bigger than all of us and when applied to the design industry which is vast, it applies to each individual.Design Shanghai_Contemporary (1)-minDesign Shanghai is running from 14th-17th March 2018 – Find out more at www.designshanghai.com


About Alys Bryan

Alys is a knowledgeable design editor who is focused on instigating conversations, both online and in-person, with industry experts which challenge, educate and advance the commercial interior sector. Her training and 15 years of professional experience as a furniture designer for the commercial sector makes her uniquely placed to lead Design Insider as Editor
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