East meets West at Design Shanghai 2015

Updated 29th June 2015
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design shanghai dragon chronophage
East meets West at Design Shanghai 2015
Written by Jake Wallis Simons, CNN
From March 27 a cavernous, Russian-built exhibition center in Shanghai is brought to life.
A circular sculpture, measuring 13 feet in diameter and encrusted with more than 8,000 silver-blue crystal droplets, will be mounted in pride of place.
And that is just the tip of the iceberg.
Design Shanghai, a four-day event which has quickly established itself as one of China's leading international design exhibitions, is welcoming about 300 exhibitors and 60,000 visitors.
Among the big international names featured on the program are Bally, Moroso, Vitra, Magis, Richard Brendon and David Gill, all of whom have set up exuberant displays.

Highlights from around the world

John C Taylor's Dragon Chronophage clock, with its vast, gold-plated face, is an eye-catching presence, as well as Paul Kelley's acrylic, brass and steel furniture.
Scottish designer-makers Method Studio are showcasing a bespoke set of three trunks that were lovingly handcrafted over 600 hours from a single oak tree from the Scottish Highlands.
But the disc-shaped sculpture, named Prologue, is expected to draw the most attention, as it has never before been shown on mainland China.
It is the brainchild of Swarovski and the London-based designers Fredrikson Stallard, and was produced to mark the 15th anniversary of the Swarovski Waterschool, a water park in Austria intended to raise awareness of the preciousness of water.
The sculpture's shape is said to represent a "cycle of infinite potential". And the notion of "infinite potential" is at the heart of the Design Shanghai project.

Supporting Chinese creators

According to Ross Urwin, Creative Director of Design Shanghai, its founding concept is to allow international designers to be shown side-by-side with established and emerging Chinese talent.
"China's design aesthetic is evolving at such an accelerated rate and one of the key motivations is the desire for the expression of individuality," he says.
"Within the lifestyle and design sector, this is being achieved by combining contemporary, mid-century and classic furniture with limited edition pieces to create an eclectic, personalized interior environment."
A range of Chinese designers are exhibiting at Design Shanghai.
"China's design aesthetic is evolving at such an accelerated rate and one of the key motivations is the desire for the expression of individuality.
Ross Urwin, Design Shanghai
Blue Shanghai White is showing its unique blend of traditional Chinese ceramics, furniture and accessories.
Other Chinese designers include MRT Design, X+Q, Spherebol, Grado, and Conti.
There are a host of collaborations, too, such as Design MVW, a joint project by the Chinese designer Ming Xu and the French architect Virginie Moriette; Ming Xu was trained Europe, but now practices in Shanghai.
There is also an exhibit by the Beijing-based Frank Chou Design Studio.
Although it was established as recently as 2012, it has already made its mark, bringing together a team of designers from across the globe to create a new "contemporary fusion market" to "enhance dialogue between East and West".
"Design Shanghai aims to explore how eastern and western design philosophies can work together synergistically," says Urwin.
"We are proud to be involved in the creation of a platform to exhibit both established and emerging Chinese and international brands.
"The event promises to have something to suit every taste."
Design Shanghai 2015 in on from March 27 - 30, 2015.