The first edition of the Suzhou Design Week from 23-27 November 2018 is focused on the theme ‘Grand Design, New Economy’, with Venice as Guest City

Suzhou is one of the most important economic centers in China and is hosting, from 23 to 27 November 2018, its first Design Week at the Gusu District Peachblossom Village. Design has become a driving force for the metropolis and the surrounding Jiangsu province.

The city is part of the so-called ‘Yangtze River Delta Economy’ (along with Nanjing, Hangzhou, Ningbo and Xuzhou), an extended financial area of Mainland China, dominated by Shanghai. In this economic and geographic context, Suzhou represents a solid manufacturing center, looking at a new concept of creativity. We can say that the millennia-old Chinese artisanal tradition is establishing a relationship with new design trends.

The Guest City of the first edition of Suzhou Design Week is Venice with the project ‘X-Port Venice’, curated by Michele Brunello. It will also provide the occasion to highlight the bilateral relations between Italy and the People’s Republic of China dating back to 1970 and the twinning between Venice and Suzhou, established in 1980. Another Italian element is “Rabbit” the art installation by Stefano Giovannini‘ at the Design More Pop-up Store. Institutions and companies from Venice and Triveneto will develop joint projects for sustainable urban planning and development and to foster commercial exchanges between Italy and China.

X Port Venice

The new brand of exhibitions will host more than 40 designers from Italy, Korea, the Netherlands, France, Japan and the United Kingdom. The big names of the Chinese design industry will be there: from Zeng Hui (art advisor of Suzhou Design Week) to Wang Yudong, Jiang Youbo, Wu Wenyi, curators of special exhibitions during the event.

Six chapters of a floating Life

The main theme of the new design week is ‘Grand Design, New Economy’ with a calendar including over 100 exhibitions and installations, paying particular attention to ‘green design’ since it is vital for the whole planet that China focuses on environmental protection. Ecology of the Industry will be discussed, focusing on new economic, technological and social strategies of the creative industry; while the Activation of intangible cultural heritage aims to create new artisanal design models that should not disperse the wealth of the historic manufacturing tradition of Suzhou, as exemplified by the “Six chapters of a floating Life” exhibition, curated by Zeng Hui. Among the scheduled events, the Global Design Summit stands out, organized in cooperation with UNESCO-ICCSD, World Design Weeks and other leading organizations in sustainable development and cultural heritage. [LB]