Design in Shanghai

Date: 13 September 2010

Shanghai at Night

The Cumulus Shanghai Conference in September 2010 brought designers and designer educators to one of the world most dynamic cities. Hosted by Tongji University, its major themes were Sustainability & Social Innovation; Local Wisdom & Globalization; Socio-economics & Design; and Old & Young.

ImaginationLancaster was represented by Professor Stuart Walker. At the opening sustainability workshop he gave a talk entitled "Experiments in [Social] Sustainability" to a large and enthusiastic audience. Under the conference theme of Local Wisdom & Globalization, he presented a paper entitled "Design, Environment and Spiritual Values".

His also visited the Design School at Wuxi University, an hour west of Shanghai, where he met with staff and students and viewed their award winning designs - all displayed in a beautiful and extensive design gallery. He gave an illustrated talk to postgraduate students and staff about his latest practice-based research.

Back in Shanghai, the new urban renewal commercial area of Tianzi fang demonstrates the quality and variety of design in today's China. Stunning fashion designs integrated the traditional with the contemporary and combined technical experimentation with the highest quality workmanship. In Europe, some leading design thinkers are promoting design as facilitation and co-design. By contrast, in Shanghai, the commercial heart of China's economic success, the emphasis is on design as a creative discipline that defines high quality functional goods for people. It is a focus that is proving highly successful - the designs in Tianzi fang were second to none, and Wuxi University's Design School this year won eight international Red Dot design awards.


Further information

Associated departments and research centres: ImaginationLancaster, Lancaster Institute for the Contemporary Arts