Global design cities conference opens in Shanghai

Huang Yixuan
The World Design Cities Conference 2023, hosted by the Shanghai government, has garnered significant support from UNESCO n and the National Committee of China for UNESCO
Huang Yixuan

The World Design Cities Conference (WDCC) opened in Shanghai on Tuesday, as the city solidifies its reputation as a "City of Design" and pursues a path of high-quality development.

With over 1,000 speakers hailing from 43 cities across 29 countries, the design event promises to offer a diverse range of perspectives and experiences. Participants will explore a wide array of topics spanning 10 design categories, including industrial, construction, service, fashion, as well as design education and the influence of female designers.

Shot by Dong Jun. Edited by Dong Jun. Subtitles by Huang Yixuan.

The WDCC 2023, hosted by the Shanghai government, has garnered significant support from UNESCO (the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) and the National Committee of China for UNESCO.

The event, held under the theme "Design Beyond Creativity" this year, aims to build a global platform for design cooperation and exchange, demonstrating the city's commitment to integrating design into every aspect of city and daily life.

Vice Education Minister Weng Tiehui delivered a speech at the opening ceremony, highlighting the importance of deep cooperation between universities, industries, and research institutions.

She emphasized the need to seize the historic opportunities presented by the new round of technological revolution and industrial transformation. "We need to adhere to the new development philosophy, gather talent, drive development through innovation, and lead the future through collaboration," she said.

Xu Xiaolan, vice-minister of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, stressed the importance of promoting the optimization and upgrading of industrial structure. She underlined the need to give equal attention and importance to the integrated development of advanced manufacturing and modern service industries.

Xu said that modern service industries such as industrial design are beneficial for enhancing the innovation capacity, brand influence, and competitive advantage of the manufacturing industry, which played a significant role in promoting the development of new types of industrialization.

"The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology will vigorously develop modern productive service industries such as industrial design, and actively promote the development of service-oriented manufacturing. Efforts will be made to stimulate the vitality and dynamism of various market entities, deepen international exchange and cooperation, and empower production and enhance people's lives through industrial design," Xu pledged.

Global design cities conference opens in Shanghai
Dong Jun / SHINE

During the opening ceremony, several creative design industries and platform projects were launched, showcasing the city's dedication to design-led high-quality development. The ceremony also featured the announcement of the second edition of the Frontier Design Prize, which recognizes individuals who have made pioneering contributions to the field of design on a global scale.

The WDCC 2023 will run until October 2 at the Huangpu Riverside. Throughout the conference, nearly 100 events will take place, including three key summit forums, which will bring together industry professionals, designers, and visionaries to explore the latest trends and innovations in design.

Parallel activities will also be held in London and Milan, in coordination with the London Design Festival and Milan Fashion Week, aiming to strengthen international cooperation and showcase the vibrant design ecosystem of Shanghai.

With a comprehensive upgrade from the previous edition, the main exhibition of the WDCC 2023 comprises industry pavilions, fashion pavilions, urban exhibition areas, and design carnivals. Over 300 leading international and domestic companies have been selected to showcase their latest interpretations of design-driven industrial innovation and their contributions to urban development.

Design has become a crucial link in the value-added chain of industries, empowering innovation and shaping the fundamental elements of urban brand image. Ernesto Ramírez, assistant director-general for culture of UNESCO sent a video message praising Shanghai's efforts: "Since its designation as a UNESCO Creative City of Design in 2010, Shanghai has shown great dedication to promoting cooperation and exchange in the field of design, as illustrated by the 'Shanghai Design 100+' award", he said.

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