2011 Sep 25 Your Guide to Beijing Design Week
Milan Design Week just celebrated its 50th anniversary this past April. Last week, London entered its ninth year of hosting Design Festivals. And now, for the first time in history, Beijing is joining in with a version of its own.
For those who have not been keeping track, Beijing Design Week (Sep 26-Oct 3) can seem a little overwhelming. There are simply so many options – over 2,000 works of design from over 30 countries, in fact – that it can be tricky to determine which exhibitions are worth seeing.
We spoke with executive director Yanling Duan to get some personal recommendations (see our exclusive interview with her here), plus we have added a few of our own. For the full line-up, download a schedule at their website.
Sep 23-Oct 3 Switch On: Ditan Park More than 30 interactive lighting installations abound, many of them interactive. Hint: Go at night. RMB 2. 6am-9pm. Ditan Park (6421 4657)
Sep 25-Oct 3 DutchDFA: Smart Cities, Healthy Cities The focus is on how design can sustainably improve the quality of daily life in cities. Don't miss the short documentaries on Dutch architects and fashion designers like Rem Koolhaas and Droog. (See their more detailed event listing here.) Free. 751 D-Park (no tel; Dashanzi)
Sep 25-Oct 3 Dong Liang Studio Pop-up shop-cum-gallery featuring the works of some of China’s leading fashion talents, including Fan Ran and Guan Zhe. Free. Noon-8pm. 8 Dawailangying Hutong (no tel; Dashilar/Dazhanlan Xijie)
Sep 25-Oct 3 Topman & Topshop Fashion Exhibition 798 boutique FEI Space brings Topshop and Topman to China for the first time. Head over before the good stuff is all gone. Free. Noon-8pm. 8 Dawailangying Hutong (no tel; Dashilar)
Sep 25-Oct 9 Wuhao at the Teahouse “Beijing’s best-kept secret” brings its same artistic vision to BJDW, this time collaborating with Tranquil Tuesdays to give its pop-up space a cozy café feel. Each room represents one of the five elements – see if you can guess which is which. Keep a special lookout for exciting new cross-branding experiments and Li Naihan's foldable furniture. Free. 2-8pm. Zhujia Hutong (no tel; Dashilar)
Sep 25-Oct 9 Triple-Major Popular concept store transports its exclusive hard-to-find labels to a new hutong setting. Make your way to the rooftop terrace to scope out an impressive view of the city. Free. Time TBD. Yanjia Hutong (no tel; Dashilar)
Sep 25-Oct 9 NOTCH Art Fair BJDW lines up this year with a centuries-old tradition in which Northern European and Chinese designers and artists have gathered in the Dashilar area to exchange ideas. This time they’ve teamed up to create works made from recycled materials. Free. Electric Relay Factory (no tel). 8 Dawailangying Hutong (Dashilar)
Sep 26-Oct 3 Crystal CG: Beijing Story Curated by Yanling Duan herself, this 3D exhibition features Beijing in the past, present and future sense. Visitors are invited to experience the vivid streetlife of Beijing in the early 20th century virtually, then step into a contemporary living room and have a cup of tea while peeking into the future: Beijing’s second ring road in 2049, according to architect Li Hu’s vision. Price and time TBD. China Shijitan Contemporary Art Center (5980 2222)
Sep 26-Oct 3 Off Canvas Converse works with Beijing Design Week to stage a series of public art exhibits throughout the city. Check out Niels Meulman’s UCCA talk on Sep 29, then be sure to check out his and other graffiti artists’ works. Click here for a map of all the installation venues, including descriptions of the participating artists. Free. See map for venues.
Sep 26-Oct 4 Manuscript: A Generous Gift From London A 50-ton public art installation designed by Paul Cocksedge that resembles a huge Chinese scroll. It will be unveiled at the opening ceremony as guest city London’s “gift” to BJDW. Free. China Millennium Monument (8251 0470)
Sep 28 Design Talk: Contemporary Chinese Architecture From the Outside In Join Designboom editor-in-chief Birgit Lohmann and Beijing architect Ma Yansong as they discuss the role China’s architecture will play in the global rise of new concepts of building. Free. 4-5.30pm. UCCA (8459 9269)
Sep 29 Design Talk: Calligraffiti Niels “Shoe” Meulman pairs typography with “public art” (aka graffiti), and has bummed around with New York artists Haze, Quik and Keith Haring, as well as Bando and Mode2 in Paris and London, respectively. Here, he discusses his work and the exhibits showing around town. Free. 4-5.30pm. UCCA (8459 9269)
Sep 30 Design Talk: Tom Dixon: Design and How Not To Do It The man famous for his industrial designs and salvaged furniture deals with what’s behind all the crap that tries to pass for “design” in this hype-ridden age. Free. 4-5.30pm. UCCA (8459 9269)