Domus

Writing contribution-November 2011

Design as spectacle -Beijing international design triennial

Under the guiding theme of “Designed in China, Made in the World”, Beijing Design Week opening ceremonies were surreal mega-events to impress a global audience…

From September 28th through October 3, 2011, Beijing held its inaugural Design Week and International Design Triennial arose from a desire to bring an international design audience to China. The Ministries of Culture and Education and Tsinghua University presented the programming for the parallel events as a progression away from low-cost mass manufacture and toward a culture of innovation, creativity and value-added products. The week’s main events were hosted across three primary venues: the National Museum of China, showcasing international works of design; the Millennium Monument for emergent design trends; and the Shijitan Contemporary Art Center, where Alessi presented the commissioned designs from eight Chinese architects for objects designed around the theme of the ‘(Un)forbidden City’.

I was invited to Beijing to participate in one of several exhibitions coinciding with the Triennial, What If… at the National Museum of China, curated by Anthony Dunne and Fiona Raby. As an actor and spectator of this extravaganza, I attended opening events—which outnumbered the design shows and events themselves.

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