Ahead of this month’s Design Shanghai, the second ever edition of the international design fair, creative director Ross Urwin explains why furniture and product design are well on the way of becoming China’s new obsession and what that means for international brands.
Design Shanghai was set up last year by Media 10 – the events organisers behind London’s 100% Design trade fair.
Urwin joined as creative director just three months before the inaugural edition in February 2014, which turned into a huge success and enjoyed 48,000 visitors over four days. Previously to that he was with Hong Kong luxury department store Lane Crawford.
The fair opens March 27 and will showcase a range of emerging and established Chinese designers such as Xingdong Cheng and international brands including Vitra, Moroso, Seletti and Hay.
One major obstacle the organisers faced last year was the steretypical fear of international exhibitors being copied when showing in China, but Urwin states rightly that if they have a catalogue online, anyone could copy them if they wanted to.
Luckily last year’s fair was a huge success, setting the bar high for this year’s event which is said to double in size and drawing in even bigger international design names and audience.
With a player like China now taking part in the international design game, it seems like it’s just become a lot more interesting.