Design Forum: Values of Design

Exhibition Introduction

Exhibition Introduction


Hosted by Shenzhen Design Week & Global Design Award Organizing Committee, organized by China Merchants Shekou Holdings | Sea World Culture and Arts Center, and presented by Design Society, the Design Forum of 2020 Shenzhen Design Week takes Values of Design as its theme. A series of five symposiums will focus on five topics: Designing Social Distancing, Designing Museums for the Future, Designing Cities, Seeking the Invisible and The Observer of the Commodity Chain. Taking place on every Saturday of August 2020, it will be joined by 28 leading figures from the global design scene. It is also a key program of Go online! Design Society (Go!DS). It aims to explore the impact and potentiality of design towards our society, urban development, culture, technology and manufacture.(Enter Design Forum)



When the world is stepping into the new reality of post-coronavirus, what can design do to help us address challenges regarding our environment and ecology, our politics and values, and the various conflicts among different social communities? Through this forum, Design Society hopes to call for active recognition of the role and potential of design as well as wider creative practices.





Design has been gradually broadening its boundaries in recent years, breaking the limitation of physical products, into a mode of thinking and language, in which design takes the impact of society into account. For instance, in the process of rapid urbanization, there are increasing challenges for public wellbeing. Urban planning nowadays needs to consider new configurations of citizenship and neighborhood relationships.

Moderated by Ole Bouman, founding director of Design Society, this inaugural panel is joined by Joseph Grima, the creative director of the Design Academy in Eindhoven and Chief Curator of Design at Triennale di Milano; Richard van der Laken, the energetic engine behind both What Design Can Do and De Designpolitie; Liu Xiaodu, the principal architect and co-founder of URBANUS, the director of the Pingshan Art Museum; Alice Rawsthorn, the New York Times columnist and author of Design as an Attitude; and Deyan Sudjic, the director emeritus of the Design Museum in London and former editor of Domus magazine in Milan.

The panel will focus on how design has shown and proved its ever-expanding application to the general public -- it is not only a commercial product but also a powerful tool to deal with crisis, solve problems and depict the future. Under the current pandemic, designers begin to re-examine the values of design, for example, the design for social distancing and for emergency have become new design focuses.Click to See the First Forum


In 2018, Shenzhen published a plan for the "Ten Cultural Facilities of the New Era”, with an aim to allocate and create more spaces for culture and public education and to contribute to Shenzhen’s cultural mission. It is timely to discuss how to design and to programme museums.

Moderated by Zhao Rong, the deputy director of Design Society, Yuko Hasegawa, the artistic director of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo; Kazuyo Sejima, Pritzker Architecture Prize winner and co-founder of SANAA; Sjarel Ex, Director of Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen; Wenchian Shi, Partner in MVRDV; Claire Mckeown, Project Director for the V&A's East Bank; David Allin, an Associate Principal at Diller Scofidio + Renfro; Ole Bouman, the founding director of Design Society; and Tatsutomo Hasegawa, the Deputy Director of Maki and Associates will share their perspectives on the opportunities and challenges of designing and operating museums, and their visions about the role of museums and their architectures.


Shenzhen transformed itself from a manufacturing city into a creative city by cultivating the medium of design, as well as the actual work of a variety of design practices. In this city design is integrated within its history and development, representing the concepts, values and aesthetics of its urban lifestyle.

As a part of the opening events for the 2020 Shenzhen Design Week, this forum will focus on how design activates urban development and how it brings opportunities to the city with a future-oriented approach. Dr. Han Wangxi, Director of Shenzhen Innovation & Creative Design Development Office; Jorn Konijn, head of program of the Dutch Design Week; Deniz Ova, Director of Istanbul Design Biennial at Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İKSV); Sir John Sorrell, and Marisa Yiu, the Co-founder and Executive Director of the DESIGN TRUST initiative will share their visions on the topic.


Driven by the power of science and technology, contemporary artists who work at the intersection between science and art, transform the invisible natural phenomena such as the geomagnetism, time and eye movements, into a tangible and sensible presentation. Their practice spawned the new inspirations and perceptions that can help us better understand the time and space that we are in.

Moderated by Gu Ling, the head of communications of Design Society, this forum invites artists Nelo Akamatsu and Akinori Goto; Mariano Sardón, professor and chair of the Electronic Art Degree at the Universidad Nacional de Tres de Febrero to demonstrate their unique practices. They all take a philosophical vision and human empathy as the starting points of design, applying professional skills and material innovation, utilizing the co-creation of humanities and technology, and drawing a pioneering spirit for the future of design.


The value of design is not only about creating a beautiful appearance for the product, but also about optimizing the use of materials, processing methods and functions. For designers, the values of design reflected in rethinking existing manufacturing methods, improving the process and the production, and making the supply chain transparent.

Moderated by Siyun Tang, curator at Design Society, Brendan Cormier, a Senior Design Curator at the Victoria and Albert Museum; Deng Qiyun, founder of Engraft and product designer; Formafantasma, an Italian-designers duo; Hao Zhenhan, artist; Studio Swine, architect and artist duo; Thomas Thwaites, a designer and author of The Toaster Projectand GoatMan to will share their critical reflections on the design industry. The speakers are skilled at using the integrated thinking of design to consider the whole life cycle of design. They establish connections between everyday life and the making, the styling and the materials to develop a more sustainable design practice.















China Merchants Shekou Industrial Zone Holdings Co., Ltd (CMSK, stock code:001979), a flagship subsidiary under the China Merchants Group, a leading state-owned enterprise under the direct supervision of the central government, is dedicated to comprehensive urban development. It is also the Group’s asset integration platform for real estate and important business collaboration in China. Committed to be “the better life carrier”, CMSK develops comprehensive solutions for urban development and industrial upgrading and also provides diversified products and services covering full life cycle. 


Design Society is an innovative cultural platform founded by China Merchants Shekou (CMSK), with the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) as its founding partner. It has already built an extensive network of partners, contributors and supporters from China and around the world, across academia, business, governmental affairs and education, as well as through collaborations with major museums, residential programmes and archival institutions. With the advice of industry experts, the growth of this network demonstrates the overlapping creative practices - closely bound to society and industry – vital to the sustainability of Design Society. An extensive membership programme offers exclusive industry opportunities and career acceleration activities, elevating Design Society as a leading resource on both a local and international scale.

Design Society has curated Minding the Digital, Craft: The Reset, Y Comic X? and Values of Design: China in the Making. Our learning platform Design Society EDU takes Design with the Society as its mission, encourage audiences to make, create and connect with design.

Media Information

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