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Beijing Design Week pays 'homage to life'

By Cheng Yuezhu | China Daily | Updated: 2018-09-20 07:57

The 2018 Beijing Design Week gets underway on Saturday, with its opening ceremony set to take place at the China Millennium Monument.

Hosted by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism and the Beijing municipal government, and organized by Beijing Gehua Cultural Development Group in conjunction with the Beijing Industrial Design Center, the design week will run through Oct 7.

Themed "homage to life," this year's event pays special attention to the role of design in meeting the requirements of contemporary people for a better life.

According to Dong Dianyi, executive deputy director of the organizing committee, there are three key areas of focus: The construction of Beijing as a national cultural hub and the removal of non-capital functions, the construction of the city's sub-centers and the integrated development of traditional cultural inheritance and modern design.

This year, the thematic exhibition, 40 Years-Design in China after 1978, will be presented at the China Millennium Monument throughout the design week, looking back at the 40 years of design development since China's reform and opening-up.

Copenhagen, the guest city of this year's Beijing Design Week, will bring a series of events that will run from Sept 26 to Oct 5, on the theme of "living is giving," including exhibitions and forums introducing Danish lifestyle, culture, values and sustainable development programs.

According to Dong, Beijing will take the opportunity of the design week to further expand cooperation with Denmark and carry out a Sino-Danish renovation project in Qinglong Hutong. The project aims to utilize advanced urban design concepts and sustainable environmental protection technologies from Denmark to reform and rejuvenate the antiquated areas of Beijing.

One of the highlights of this year's design week is the Beijing Design Expo from Friday to Tuesday. Themed "design beyond," the expo will center on aspects of people's daily lives and explore how to utilize design to satisfy daily needs and improve living conditions.

"Beijing Design Week is known to be held in the city across 40 venues. However, it is difficult for travelers to visit in a day or two," says Wang Yudong, deputy general manager of Gehua group. "With the design expo, we will concentrate the major projects for display at the National Agriculture Exhibition Center."

The expo consists of six major exhibitions, ranging from traditional Chinese crafts and intellectual property to home furnishings, fashion and interactive technology.

Expanding over the Mid-Autumn Festival public holiday, Beijing design expo is intended to be family-friendly, Wang adds.

"With catering service and rest areas provided in all the exhibition halls, families can enjoy a whole day at the expo."

A new component of this year's design week is intangible cultural heritage re-design, intending to promote the creative development of traditional crafts, extract the traditional Chinese aesthetics through design and integrate the intangible cultural heritage into our modern lifestyle.

"We often view intangible cultural heritage as something from the past when, in fact, much of it was the innovation of its time. Intangible cultural heritage is the collective display of the most advanced technology, materials and lifestyles of ancient times. That's why we want to use the power of design to instill new life into heritage," says Li Danyang, general manager of Gehua group.

Featuring a design exhibition focusing on the revitalization of traditional crafts, this part of the design week will showcase the latest achievements of craft culture, as well as a series of panels between inheritors of the intangible cultural heritage and modern designers.

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