From fakes’ manufacturing to design renaissance, but also a comment on the importance of the upcoming Milan Design Week. ArchiPanic met Design Shanghai creative directors Ross Urwin and Darrel Best who shared their cliches-free perspective on the evolution on Chinese design.

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ArchiPanic: Do you see an end -or at least a shrinking- of the industry of Chinese manufacturing of fake design products? Why?

Ross Urwin and Darrel Best: Today’s consumers in China can identify and appreciate design quality. Design in China is going through an incredible renaissance and we are witnessing a development of culturally specific aesthetic as well as more universal design sensitivity.

design Shanghai

Will you visit the upcoming Milan Design Week? What do you expect from there?

Ross Urwin and Darrel Best: We’ve been visiting Milan for the past 20 years, but this year is the first time we will be missing it due to commitments in Bhutan. We believe Milan to be one of the most inspiring events of the year and we are so pleased that many of the wonderful designers and brands who were at Design Shanghai 2015 will be showing in Milan including Fritz Hansen, Frank Chou, Hay, Kvadrat, Lee Broom, Magis, Marcel Wanders, Vitra and many more.


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How Design Shanghai relates with other international fairs in other design capitals?

Ross Urwin and Darrel Best: Design Shanghai brings all kinds of communities together to celebrate their differences, parallels and commonality. Many international shows do the same, however Design Shanghai goes beyond this and creates a convergence of eastern and western philosophy which allows these different communities to engage with one another on ideas and experiences all the while developing meaningful relationships. At the same time we celebrate and support local Chinese talent showcasing regional designers on an international platform. This also encourages the appreciation for China’s design heritage and future.

Design Shanghai 2015 opening day

Courtesy of Design Shanghai 2015.

How is design evolving in China?

Ross Urwin and Darrel Best: Design has been integral to the Chinese collective conscious for millennia. As with all cultures there have been periods of rapid, unprecedented advancement. The Chinese design community and the nation are experiencing the beginning of a new golden era of art, design and creative expression. It’s an exciting time to witness and experience the passion,vision and innovation as the population embraces international design and explores its own originality. Design Shanghai is a fundamental platform for both exposure of new concepts and the appreciation of excellent design.


Courtesy of Design Shanghai 2015.

Courtesy of Design Shanghai 2015.

From the 26th to the 30th of march, Design Shanghai 2015 welcomed over 40,000 visitors. The fair featured an mix of never-seen-before designs from over 300 participating brands and galleries as well as engaging installations and a varied programme of events. This year’s event celebrated design on a global and local scale providing a platform for over 30 Chinese designers and brands, both emerging and established, to exhibit alongside well-established global names. 


Discover more on Design Shanghai 2015 and check our report on the fair!

Design Shanghai 2015 opening day

Courtesy of Design Shanghai 2015.