Beijing Design Week 2016 both scrutinizes and investigates technological innovations

Photo courtesy of ECAL/Younès Klouche

BEIJING – Urban dwellers and design lovers are streaming into the Chinese capital for the annual Beijing Design week. Until 7 October 2016, the city’s most iconic hubs, districts and commercial venues are open to all professional members and admirers of the design world. A vast array of inspiring and perplexing feature installations, design exhibitions and pop-ups are waiting to be explored.

The jampacked programme is split into two halves. The first investigates the five pillars of technology: AI robotics, algorithms , biogenetics, VR/AR/MR and metascience. The second part uses selected art and in-depth research to present a reflective analysis of ethics and morality. The exhibition designers scrutinize technology by tackling such issues as data privacy, data religion, mind uploading, cyborgs and engineered genetic inequality. Ultimately the week is both an opportunity to unite art, design and science in an intellectual conversation and to generate new knowledge to share with society.

Studio Roosegaarde’s multi award-winning Smog Free project will be the centre of attention at M Measures panel discussions. The Dutch designer’s Smog Free Tower and Smog Free Jewellery collection, which offer unique takes on a clean future, will be discussed. The 7-m-high tower is the largest air purifier in the world, creating a bubble of clean oxygen for visitors to 751 D-Park in Beijing. Roosegaarde’s inspiration for the project originated from analysing Chinese culture and noticing that children were forced to stay cooped up inside due to the severity of the smog.

Also on display is the work of Casper Notenboom, who similarly drew insights from analysing the Chinese population. The designer’s latest collection, Increase/decrease, is inspired by the travelling habits of locals – particularly the way in which they carry their belongings. With functionality fundamental to the design brief, the end result is a selection of bags that can adapt in volume to fit their contents. Notenboom designed the collection with the modern-day traveller in mind: someone who needs ultimate flexibility.

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