After an extended break, Design China is back! We are starting 2014 off with a lovely curatorial initiative by PINWU called Handmade in Hangzhou. Its core philosophy is rong, or “melting and fusion”, which is used by thirteen designers to deconstruct the traditional bamboo crafts of Hangzhou and apply them to contemporary design. Over the next five years, the group also plan to explore silk, porcelain, copper, and paper.
He Jianping is an award-winning graphic designer, professor and publisher. He studied graphic design at China Academy of Art (1991-1994) and Meisterschule of Fine Arts, Berlin University of Arts (1997-2001), before achieving a PhD in cultural history at Frei University, Berlin in 2011. He has taught at Berlin University of the Arts, Hong Kong Polytechnic University and China Academy of Art in Hangzhou, in addition to acting as a PhD supervisor for the latter. In 2002, He Jianping established his own design studio and publishing house called hesign, which is based in Berlin and Hangzhou. Design China recently spoke with the designer to discuss his journey to date.
Lea Lyu from Hangzhou has devised gendered forms of seating inspired by traditional Chinese chairs. Accompanied by a tea table, the For Couple set exemplifies subtlety “in terms of design evolution, which is directly fed from the method of construction”. Via EightSix.
Shanghai Gears Up For Fashion’s Night Out
"It was created in 2009 by a legion of fashion glitterati to boost the industry during the recession in New York. Now, the late-night cocktails and shopping extravaganza that is Fashion’s Night Out (FNO) has made a proper home in over 20 cities and, unsurprisingly, has come to include Shanghai, Beijing, and Hong Kong in its roster.
Next week, the event is returning to the three cities - on 5 September 2013 in Hong Kong, 6 September 2013 in Shanghai, and 7 September 2013 in Beijing. Hangzhou will also be taking part in the spending frenzy, a sign of the rising role and attention second-tier cities are gaining in China”. Continue reading.
Chen Zhengda was born in Jiangsu Province, China. He graduated from China Academy of Art and became an instructor there before founding his own studio in 2002. Chen Zhengda is one of the founders and curator of China International Poster Biennial which, since 2003, has been held 4 times “with great success, and has acted as a crucial bridge between Chinese graphic design and the world”. In 2007, he founded Hanzhou-based Superdesign Consultant and then established Shi Fang Culture Communication in Düsseldorf in 2010.
Chen Zhengda has received many prestigious design awards, and has exhibited worldwide including at China Design Now (V&A London), Taiwan X-CARE International Design Exhibition, Beijing Olympics National Art & Design Exhibition, and POST_: Contemporary International Poster Retrospective (Icograda World Design Congress Beijing).
"Hundreds of women’s fashion businesses, born in the mid-1990s in Hangzhou, China, based their success on mediocre, embellished copies of global best sellers, cheap commercial distribution, and high margins. But in today’s highly competitive China market, where brand matters more than ever, Hangzhou labels face a serious identity crisis". Continue reading.
Wa Shan Guesthouse
"Last year the architectural world was given a jolt when for the first time in its 34-year history the distinguished Pritzker Prize was awarded to somebody from Mainland China. Wang Shu was relatively unknown in architectural circles, let alone beyond its narrow orbit. The intervening 12 months have been an expedited education not only for those who knew little or nothing about this elusive professional, but also for Wang Shu who is unaccustomed to the limelight and uncomfortable in its glare. After a year of almost constant travelling and official obligations, Wang Shu has returned to the east coast city of Hangzhou, home to the China Academy of Art where he is Dean of the School of Architecture, to oversee the final stages of the construction of the new guesthouse and reception center at the Academy’s Xiangshan Campus…his first building to be completed since the Pritzker award". Continue reading.
Mei Li Zhou Church
Mei Li Zhou Church, completed by Tokyo-based Tsushima Design Studio, is located in Hangzhou, China. Sitting in a wooded area, “not only was the user experience and functionality [of the building] of great importance…but also working with environmentally low impact materials and minimising damage to the natural surroundings”. The studio are currently working on other commercial and urban redevelopment projects in China, including Changsha Marketing Center and local riverside. Via Contemporist.
Kengo Kuma Designs New Museum at China Academy of Art in Xiangshan
"To further the promotion of art education, the China Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing and China Academy of Art in Xiangshan have announced plans to construct a new university within the hilly suburbs of Hangzhou by the spring of 2014. Designed by Kengo Kuma & Associates, the museum…will harmonise with the lush topography and resist modifying any existing slopes to accommodate the 4,936 square meter facility”. Continue reading.