Design China Beijing is an international event concerned with the sharing of knowledge, practices and new products of the design industry. In the wake of four successful editions, the exhibition’s director, Tan Zhuo, has announced a radical change in the way Design China is organised and held, including a name change. Rather than an international exhibition for the design industry, focusing particularly on the far east, it is now a global summit on sustainability applied to the broad category of everything that can be described as design.
The Sustainable Design China Summit, as the event is now called, will see the participation of speakers including “more than 70 design-related leaders, sustainability innovators and industry pioneers such as policy makers, urban planners, theories researchers, and those active in the fields of urban planning, architecture, environmental protection, fashion and consumer goods,” according to the note for the press issued by the communications office. The organisers say the summit will offer a way of presenting new data on the global problem of sustainability and exploring solutions and initiatives in the area with the specific aim of staying hopeful about the future. The event, coming up at the end of September at the China World Summit Wing Hotel in Beijing, is expected to be attended by more than 1000 people from the world of design: a choice that focuses on the quality of the participants rather than the quantity of people present.
This may be the key difference between an exhibition and a summit, as Tan Zhuo notes in a statement about the change: “This year, we are back with a brand-new look, offering a more professional and global stage for design-related professionals to discuss the long-term sustainability of the industry in relation to policy, culture, technology, ecology and business. We sincerely look forward to the professional audience coming to Beijing for the offline 'Summit' from September 26-28 to explore the present and future of sustainable design”.
The three-day event will focus on six key themes, divided into six discussion groups, ranging from the generic “Designing a Sustainable World” to more specific topics such as “Circular Design Thinking”, about reducing waste, “Climate Changes Everything”, focusing on global strategies for combatting global warming, “On the Path to Net Zero”, about the state of the art in emissions, “Nature by Design” and, lastly, “Building Sustainability & Green Design”, focusing on sustainability communication strategies. In the three months leading up to the summit there will be three preparatory events featuring online meetings and lectures.
In the end, the idea of transforming an exhibition into a summit is an important one, guiding participants away from passive observation and towards change, as the earth’s ecosystem requires true responsibility on the part of all sectors, including design. After all, any way of increasing awareness of these issues, anything that complies with the principles of sustainability, represents a minor victory. So says Orianna Fielding, Sustainability Advisor for the September summit: “The Sustainable Design China Summit focuses on the environmental challenges we face by showcasing a range of cutting-edge innovative solutions to address the negative impacts of climate change and prevent ecosystem collapse”.
Time: September 26 - September 28, 2022
Location: China World Summit Wing Hotel, Beijing, China
Images courtesy of Sustainable Design China Summit
Images 4-11 relates to China Design Summit 2021