Beijing Design Week 2014 to showcase contemporary Chinese design

Dezeen promotion: Beijing Design Week is returning to the Chinese capital this month to present design, art and creativity from across the country.

Now in its fourth edition, the annual event will see a series of exhibitions, lectures and design markets take place around the city from 26 September to 3 October.

Micro-Hutong, by Zhang Ke of standardarchitecture: 2013 Beijing Design Week – top image: The Trapped Tower by BaO Architects will host talks, workshops and demonstrations, as part of Dashilar Pilots 2014
Micro-Hutong, by Zhang Ke of standardarchitecture: 2013 Beijing Design Week – top image: The Trapped Tower by BaO Architects

Led by creative director and curator Beatrice Leanza, this year's Beijing Design Week will focus on its local design community, while aiming to celebrate design in the cultural, economic and social contexts of contemporary China.

A key part of the schedule is the Design Hop exhibition, which will be set in multiple locations including the creative quarters of 751 D Park and Caochangdi Art Village, as well as the historic Dashilar hutong district.

The China Design Challenge accepts entries from categories including furniture and product design.
The China Design Challenge accepts entries from categories including furniture and product design

Dashilar provides a backdrop for architectural installations including The Trapped Tower by BaO Architects, which will host talks, workshops and demonstrations, as part of Dashilar Pilots programme.

Festival visitors will also be able to see several interactive experiences at Caochangdi Art Village, while events in 751 D Park will revolve around projects that look at the transformation of habitation and the contemporary home.

Crystal Rules by ArandaLasch, showing at All Gallery in 751 D Park during Beijing Design Week 2014
Crystal Rules by ArandaLasch, showing at All Gallery in 751 D Park during Beijing Design Week 2014

A film festival has been added to the Beijing Design Week roster for the first time, and will see five days of screenings take place at Taikooli Sanlitun South's Orange Space within a special architectural installation created by Beijing-based Chiasmus Architects.

Another new feature in this year's programme is The China Design Challenge. Earlier this year, up-and-coming designers were invited to enter a new product contest organised in partnership with Kikkerland Ltd, and the final winners will be announced during Beijing Design Week.

The Dashilar district will host two exhibitions about urban planning and architecture in Barcelona, with one of them focussing on Santa Caterina, by Enric Miralles - Benedetta Tagliabue (EMBT)
The Dashilar district will host two exhibitions about urban planning and architecture in Barcelona, with one of them focussing on Santa Caterina, by Enric Miralles - Benedetta Tagliabue (EMBT)

During the design week, Smart City will be held at the China Millennium Monument from 26 September to 3 October, and will consist of a symposium, an exhibition series and other events based on a them of Urban Future, Smart Design.

Map showing locations of the Plug-in-Stations across Dashilar
Map showing locations of the Plug-in-Stations across Dashilar

Local designers from Sans PracticeA-4Studios and Convey Society have designed a series of temporary interactive structures called Plug-In Stations, which will pop-up in Dashilar, Caochangdi and Sanlitun's Taokooli South.

An exhibition about Barcelona Re.Set by Enric Miralles Foundation will also take place in Dashilar district
An exhibition about Barcelona Re.Set by Enric Miralles Foundation will also take place in Dashilar district

A guest city from outside of China is chosen every year to present a selection of arts and culture from their region. Barcelona has been selected for 2014 and will host a series of exhibitions, conferences and other activities throughout the week at iconic venue 3,000-square-metre venue, 79 Tank.

For more information, visit the Beijing Design Week website.

Here is more information from the event organiser:


Beijing Design Week (BJDW) is a governmental supported initiative that, since 2011, has rapidly established itself as a leading international platform dedicated to design in China. It offers an expansive overview of its transforming landscape, while serving as a catalyst, laboratory and incubator for innovative perspectives generating from industry to academia that inspire and shape contemporary design discourse and practice.

Under the creative direction of Beijing-based curator Beatrice Leanza, BJDW 2014 represents a platform that reveals the lively discussion behind the local creative scene. While maintaining its international character, BJDW 2014 puts a stronger focus on its local context becoming a backstage of ongoing creation and discussion. In this sense the launch of this year's brand new projects among which the Plug-In Stations, a film festival program and Design More, a market of designers' brands, respond to the local ecosystem and to the need of giving voice to local creative realities and the process of dealing with local issues and challenges.

Cookware by Dragonfly Design Centre, who will curate the At Ease space at 751 D-Park
Cookware by Dragonfly Design Centre, who will curate the At Ease space at 751 D-Park

Smart City 

The 2014 Beijing Design Week Smart City will be held at the China Millennium Monument from 26 September to 3 October. The event is themed around "Urban Future, Smart Design" and cored with city element will be exhibited to the visitors. It includes five sections: the Launch of Smart City Innovation Centre, the Smart City Symposium, the Smart City Publication, the Smart City Planning and Design Exhibition Series and the Smart City Event, which bring together resources and form a service platform for future Smart City Expo

Plug-In Stations A new addition to the BJDW 2014 edition, Plug-In Stations is a special design project meant to streamline and support participation throughout the Design Hop series of events and exhibitions. Plug-In Stations are special modular units that respond to specific program functions and themes related to BJDW’s Design HOP areas. The stations are to be found in-and-outdoors, across Dashilar's alleys and hidden courtyards, around Caochangdi's red brick compound and Sanlitun's Taokooli South.

Film Festival program

One of the additions to this year's event is a brand new film festival hosted in Taikooli Sanlitun South's Orange Space. Within a special architectural installation designed by Chiasmus Architects (Beijing), BJDW Films is a 5-day series of screenings, debates and workshops with local and international films. The festival will be organized in cooperation with the acclaimed Architecture Film Festival Rotterdam, Milano Design Film Festival, Tsinghua University and Beijing Film Academy.

An entry into the China Design Challenge 2014
An entry to the China Design Challenge 2014

Design Hop

Design Hop is one of the most dynamic sections of Beijing Design Week. It activates key areas of China's capital with a variety of projects and events, including exhibitions, installations, pop-ups, workshops, seminars, and lectures, and through these creates a meaningful dialogue with the contextual characteristics of its urban eclecticism and local communities.

In 2014 Taikoo Li Sanlitun joins Design HOP as a new core area of BJDW. Design HOP is: DSL Alley (Dashilar), 751 Intl Design Festival (751 D.Park), CCD – The Community (Caochangdi Art Village), Sanlitun Crossing (Taikoo Li Sanlitun), CMM (China Millennium Monument), and a variety of spots around Beijing.

Design More

A market of designers' brands, respond to the local ecosystem and to the need of giving voice to local creative realities and the process of dealing with local issues and challenges.

751 Design Library in 715 D Park will have 500 professional design books in stock for visitors to read or buy
751 Design Library in 715 D Park will have 500 professional design books in stock for visitors to read or buy

China Design Challenge

Another new section this year is the which seeks to encourage a global market for Chinese design, while promoting values of innovation and R & D investment. This is achieved by launching design challenges open to emerging talents across China, in collaboration with established worldwide brands (with the strategic cooperation of leading online site sina.com). The results of the first China Design Challenge, developed with Kikkerland, will be shown during BJDW and winning products are to hit the global market by May 2015. A second challenge is already underway with major Chinese furniture manufacturer Huari.

Guest City program: Barcelona Guest City 

The initiative is for there to be a conversation between two cities, to foster urban growth through long-term cooperation between municipalities in cultural, commercial and academic sectors.

Beijing Design Week 2014 will be held in Beijing from September 26 to October 3rd.

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