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Design Shanghai trade fair returns with biggest ever show

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Colosseum installation by Mario Tsai at Design Shanghai

Dezeen promotion: after two postponements earlier this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, the 2020 edition of Design Shanghai takes place this week, presenting over 400 brands in a new, larger venue.

Like many design fairs around the world, Design Shanghai had to postpone its planned March event due to the impact of coronavirus, initially pushing the show back to May before rescheduling it to November.

With the virus now largely under control in China, Design Shanghai’s seventh edition is able to go ahead at the third attempt and, despite the setbacks earlier in the year, is set to be its biggest yet.

Ugan furniture will be exhibited at Design Shanghai
Above: Chinese furniture brand Ugan will be presenting at Design Shanghai. Top: Lighting brand Leedarson will also be exhibiting

From 26 to 29 November, Design Shanghai 2020 takes place at the Shanghai World Expo Exhibition and Convention Center, a new venue for the show that is 40 per cent larger than its previous edition.

“Although we have experienced unprecedented circumstantial challenges and postponement, we are now fully prepared and ready to go,” said Design Shanghai director Zhuo Tan.

“We have received support from many brands and designers both in China and abroad, which is a testament to the industry’s confidence in the Chinese market. This year’s show is larger than ever, and we believe that Design Shanghai will be the most high-profile design event in China and Asia this year.”

Colosseum installation by Mario Tsai at Design Shanghai
Mario Tsai will create a lighting installation called Colosseum

Like previous editions, the show will present a wide selection of Chinese designers and brands alongside a host of international exhibitors, as well as installations, exhibitions and a talks programme.

The entrance to the venue will feature a bespoke light installation by Hangzhou-based designer Mario Tsai, who is making his Design Shanghai debut.

Called Colosseum, the installation features a series of tubular lamps that evoke the pillars of the Colosseum In Rome.

Wenlot furniture will be exhibited at Design Shanghai
Chinese furniture brand Wenlot will showcase its latest products

Tsai will also exhibit a new collection of his studio’s furniture and lighting, which have all been designed with sustainability in mind.

Other Chinese design studios and brands to be featured include Banlan, Wenlot, Kun Design, Femo Design, Nanchow, Frank Chou, Ugan Concept, Leedarson, Wuu, Mumo, EY-Products, Sozen, Suyab, Lightspace, UFUO and Above Studio, which received the Emerging Chinese Designer award at last year’s show.

New for this year’s event is the Talents section, curated by Chinese designer Frank Chou, which aims to spotlight the next generation of Chinese design talent.

Zanotta furniture will be exhibited at Design Shanghai
Zanotta is one of the international brands taking part

International brands exhibiting at Design Shanghai 2020 include Fredericia, AYTM, Zanotta, Marmo, Ligne Roset, Andreu World and Gufram.

Brands such as Nude, Revol, Robert Welch and Iittala will present pieces at the Objects and Accessories section, which is another new section for Design Shanghai 2020.

House of Wang furniture at Design Shanghai 2020
Lifestyle boutique House of Wang will showcase work by international designers

House of Wang, a lifestyle boutique that recently opened in Beijing, will also showcase a selection of works by international designers and brands including Sé Collection, Nada Debs, Bethan Gray and Lee Broom.

Broom will present a light installation called Kaleidoscopia II, which features some of the British designer’s most iconic lighting products wrapped in reflective surfaces within a dark space.

Other installations by international designers include OCTAGON by Tom Dixon and The Silk Road Hotel by French interior designer Baptiste Bohu, which will celebrate the coming together of Asian and European cultures.

Car brand Audi, which is the headline partner of the show, will also present an installation called Window into the Future at the fair entrance, which will explore the brand and present its Audi Q4 e-tron concept electric vehicle.

Kaleidoscopia installation by Lee Broom at Design Shanghai
Lee Broom will present a light installation called Kaleidoscopia II

The Design Shanghai Forum also returns for another year, presenting talks and panel discussions from over 50 speakers over four days under the theme Design Completes the Circle.

Keynote speakers include Philippe Starck, Barber Osgerby, Chi Wing Lo, Jamy Yang, Huang Xiaojing, Kelly Hoppen, Emily Johnson, Lee Broom, Tom Dixon and Nada Debs.

Silk Road Hotel installation by Baptiste Bohu at Design Shanghai
The Silk Road Hotel by Baptiste Bohu will celebrate the coming together of Asian and European cultures

Design Shanghai is one of a host of events that have been able to go ahead in China at the end of this year, as coronavirus restrictions in the country are lifted. In September, sister event Design China Beijing went ahead on schedule, with record numbers of attendees.

For visitors who are still unable to attend the event due to international travel restrictions, Design Shanghai is, for the first time, live streaming video and photos daily from the show floor, which are available to view at designshanghai.com.

Dezeen is a media partner for Design Shanghai 2020.

Design Shanghai 2020 runs from 26 to 29 November at the Shanghai World Expo Exhibition and Convention Center. See Dezeen Events Guide for an up-to-date list of architecture and design events taking place around the world.

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