This Friday, Shenzhen's second-ever Design Week kicks off with a wide array of exhibitions, forums and guest designers from around the world. Topics cover everything from urban planning to folk art to social media to interactive tech to fashion, just to name a few.
The week of events and exhibitions will be held in two main venues – the Sea World Culture and Arts Center plus the Museum of Contemporary Art and Planning Exhibition (MOCAPE) – neither of which was open at the time of last year's inaugural event.
In a nod to the city's continuing cultural growth, Design Week 2018 is themed around 'the possibilities of design.' It also doubles as a 10th anniversary celebration of Shenzhen joining UNESCO's Creative Cities Network.
Ready to see if this official 'City of Design' lives up to its name? Check out the week's main highlights below.
This year's main exhibition (April 20-30) tells '15 stories' about how design can address conflict, business, societal issues and even the constraints of our own minds. After seeing theory applied in fields from health to agriculture to technology, stop by the 'sense lab' for some hands-on action, plus a 'Possibilities of Design' forum (April 21, 2-7pm) with guest speakers from around the world. All will take place at MOCAPE.
The three-day MINDPARK conference, which requires advance registration, also brings together creatives, designers and other noted professionals to discuss urbanization and what a city of the future might look like.
This year, multiple events specifically honor international designers both in the PRD and abroad.
Among them, From Micro to Macro (April 20-30) showcases the works of a new generation of Italians working in South China. Their designs will be organized into the four overlapping categories of 'unexpected, responsive, mindful, interaction.'
Another Italy-centric event, NABA Day (April 28), pays homage to Milan's Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti by featuring projects and presentations by acclaimed instructors as well as students. That includes videos about design work both charitable and commercial as well as workshops on how to make kites (12-12.15pm) and fly them, along with clothing and other objects (1.30-5pm).
Both will take place in the Sea World Arts and Culture Center.
Other exhibitions and events stick closer to home.
The Greater Bay area exhibition (April 20-30), for instance, claims to include the region's 100 'most representative designers,' showcasing everything from graphic to industrial work. A related forum bringing together designers from China, Japan and the US will be held from 2-7pm.
Another talk, 40 Years' Chinese Design (April 22, 10.30am-12pm), brings together designers from Beijing, Shanghai, Wuhan and Shenzhen to discuss about progress made over China's recent, rapid development, while the AGI China Academic Forum (April 20, 2.15-5pm), with accompanying exhibition, is centered around the state of Chinese graphic design.
All will be held at MOCAPE.
Last year, Shenzhen Design Week gave away USD1 million in prize money. This year, it's doubled the amount, and received 1,014 entries from 12 different countries and territories. This Friday the winners of all that cash will be revealed, then displayed at MOCAPE through April 30.
Other award-winning work will be discussed on the CBD's Wongtee Plaza top floor on April 21 – the iF Designer Salon will see representatives from Germany's prestigious iF awards meet with design professionals on the subject of the 2018 contest, where Shenzhen outperformed all other Chinese cities.
For a complete list of individual events, visit the official site.