Design Shanghai 2016, Shanghai Exhibition Centre

Design Shanghai returns for its fourth iteration from 9-12 March. Taking place at the Shanghai Exhibition Centre, this year’s fair promises to feature work from over 300 product and design brands, alongside a series of specially curated installations by artists from all over the world. We take a look at the highlights for 2016, ahead of the fair’s grand opening next month.

Following its presentation at the V&A in 2015, a bespoke version of London-based Norwegian designer Kim Thomé’s Zotem is to be created for the fair’s Features section. Comprising over 600 enlarged Swarovski crystals in a matte black frame, Zotem uses light and a vividly coloured moving canvas to create ephemeral, almost digital refractions. As befits the name, the zoetrope-esque structure of the canvas mechanism draws the eye upwards, much like a traditional totem pole. Remaining with the themes of glass, light and movement, Petra Krausova for Lasvit’s kinetic installation, Supernova, will also be on show. As a multitude of glass panes move, focused light is refracted to create shifting, room-filling light patterns.

Elsewhere, in the Classic Design Hall, multiple award-winning Chinese designer Jamy Yang will return to the show with New Craftsmanship by YANG HOUSE. The installation aims to show how traditional handicrafts and Chinese traditions can be combined with modern design and lifestyle. Ideas of East and West pervade the Classic Design Hall, which focuses on bringing Eastern traditions and craftsmanship to Western culture, and vice versa.

Meanwhile, the Contemporary Design Hall assembles the very best contemporary design houses internationally. Belgian design brand BuzziSpace will launch its sustainable and acoustically-driven design collections for the first time in Asia, and Armourcoat returns with its world-renowned polished plaster and high performance surface finishes. Additional design brands in attendance include Cassina, Vitra, Magis, Moroso, ibride, Seletti, HAY, Driade, Alessi, Artisan, and Maxmarko.

Following China’s re-emergence on the global design scene, internationalism is more important than ever to ensure development for practitioners across the globe. Design Shanghai aims to navigate the new relationships springing up between the design traditions of both hemispheres in their Forum programme. This year’s theme of The Language of Design will be discussed by a series of speakers ranging from Patricia Urquiola, Art Director of Cassina to Singer/songwriter and co-founder of Kanjian Creations Dadawa.

Finally, the Collectables Design Hall showcases the highest level of design and artistry with a range of one-off pieces, including works from Gallery All, Tai Ping Carpets and Chaircreative. Perhaps most striking is a newly designed Chronopage from John C Taylor OBE, featuring a Chinese dragon astride the familiar golden wheels of the famous timepiece.

Design Shanghai, 9-12 March, Shanghai Exhibition Centre, No. 1000 Yan’an Mid Road, Jing’an District, Shanghai 200040.

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1. Supernova by Petra Krausova for Lasvit.