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Visitors to this year’s Design Shanghai 2019 show were exposed to glorious sunshine alongside many famous pioneers from the Design Industry. Names such as Aldo Cibic (co-founder of Memphis Design), Daan Roosegaarde, Timothy Oulton Studio with the “space capsule” device were all on hand at the exhibition site. The PDD Asia team were extremely passionate about new trends and were also enthralled with the breakthrough innovation. Please read on to discover some of the exciting things that the PDD team discovered at the show.

Material Revolution in the design pool

Whilst wandering around the 1000-metre-square hall dedicated to materials, a fabulous talk devoted to New Materials was taking place, presenting sustainable projects gathered together. It demonstrated how designer’s and students place value on raw materials or waste from industry and successfully turn them into recyclable materials with a variety of applications. As the speaker pointed out, the textile revolution is the result of our thinking:

Image Credit: Dezeen

Willow Project

Iceland students experimented to discover great uses for willow branches turning them into a range of materials. Sheets of Wood from forests are bonded to a piece of fabric and then through the microlaser etched, the materials are given impressive pliability.

Image credit: PDD

‘Ignorance is Bliss’ by Agne Kucerenkaite

This is an ongoing project about rethinking the value of metal waste from industries such as water treatment plants and soil remediation into new valuable products and methods. The collection consists of elegant porcelain tableware, woven textiles, and ceramic interior wall tiles.

Image credit: Agne Kucerenkaite

Plastic Stone Tiles by Enis Akiev

Post-consumer plastic waste is formed into a new type of rock stone. Surprisingly, the more contaminated the raw material is, the more of a vibrant the design the objects have.

Image credit: Enis Akiev

Bananatex by QWSTION

Designed by Swiss studio QWSTION, The world’s first technical fabric made from banana fibres in the Philippines. Qwstion is passionate about transforming unassuming natural materials into 100% biodegradable bags and enhancing the handcraft market. On their website, you can see more details on how this is achieved through viewing their inspirational video.

Video credit: QWSTION

3D Printed Terrazzo Flooring by Aectual

Aectual print patterns with a bio-based plastic based on linseed oil. It’s a wide customized selection of recycled natural stone, marble, granite, glass and recycled plastic infills. The use of bio-materials and waste material makes the floor highly sustainable. There is no waste in the entire production of the printed mats.

Image credit: Aectual

Improving lives with bold design and health care

FRANKE Smart Deco Collection

It was inspiring to see FRANKE use light colours in the design of their range of cooker hoods. Helping to bring emotional comfort to cooking and also brighten any kitchen space. Replacing iron or stainless steel colour and texture, this gentle curved smart collection will most definitely be popular in smaller kitchen spaces in the future.

Image Credit: PDD

Home-use air purifier system

SWISS IQ Air highlighted wall mounted clean zone and Atem, vertical air purifier, offering hospital-grade clean air at home. This space-saving Atem, absorbing polluted air like PM2.5 into a 360-degree inlet and generating clean air. A better interactive experience is created by the ability to simply pat the side of the Atem to switch it on easily.


Image Credit: IQAir

Interaction innovation connects human and environment

SMOG FREE TOWER by Studio Roosegaarde is widely known in China due to its remarkable campaign on reducing air pollution and providing an inspirational experience of a clean future.  Daan Roosegaarde, the founder of Studio presented a series of thrilling projects about human and environment to seek the opportunity of creating an interactive experience in the spaces “in between” art, craft, design and digital technology. WATERLICHT and GLOWING NATURE are very incredible examples I particularly hope to see in Asia:

Image Credit: Studio Roosegaarde

WATERLICHT- it’s a combination of LEDs and lenses which create an ever-changing layer of light, influenced by wind and rain. As a virtual flood, it shows how high the water could reach and raises awareness about rising water levels. Dann mystically said that this amazing campaign would launch at an international city in Asia afterwards Rotterdam. Will Shanghai be the lucky city? I look forward to it.

GLOWING NATURE – shows the beauty of nature through a unique encounter between man, biology and technology. It provides a flowing experience with live bioluminescent algae as new building blocks for our future of food, fuel and light. Following an intensive period of research and design Studio Roosegaarde created the perfect conditions for visitors to experience the magic of nature in the darkness and its potential for a better future.

Design Shanghai is Asia’s leading international design event bringing together established international brands alongside up-and-coming designers from China and around the world. This year we saw an interesting change to the exhibition space in the form of an additional area outside of the main building, providing more room for brands to exhibit their products. In collaboration with artists, an installation was displayed upon a giant pool in the middle of the exhibition centre, capturing the spirit of design.

In contrast to last year’s show that was a collection of ‘flashy, funny & dramatic’ furniture, home ware and tableware; this year felt a lot more ‘gentle, modern & young’. Many products expressed this aesthetic through mellow shapes and subtle colours, with some interesting influences from the world of fashion.

Here’s a roundup of some things that caught our eye at the show this year…

Wooden Textiles & Wooden Cabinet by Elisa Strozyk

New tactile experience from traditional materials…

These intriguing ‘Wooden Textiles’ by designer Elisa Strozyk are a material somewhere between hard and soft, rigid and malleable, familiar through tactility yet strange in form;  creating a new tactile experience. The wood is deconstructed into different shapes and sizes and mounted onto a textile backing; depending on the geometry and the size of the tiles each design behaves differently in terms of movement and flexibility. Applications are more akin to textiles rather than what you would expect for wood and include drapes for beds & sofas, table runners, rugs, curtains, wall hangings and lamps; each giving a unique pattern through colour and movement.

The Rug Company – Festival by Paul Smith, Chiaroscuro by Alexander McQueen

From fashion to floor, capsule collection… 

To celebrate its 20th anniversary, The Rug Company has created a capsule collection of handmade rugs by leading designers, including fashion designers Paul Smith, Alexander McQueen and Vivienne Westwood. The distinct styles, characteristics and colour palettes of each designer have been skilfully translated into these rugs, all of which are handcrafted in Nepal using traditional time-honoured techniques; allowing people to express their fashion tastes though their home as well as through their clothes.

‘La Collection’ bathroom by Jacob Delafon and and Alexis Mabille

Interdisciplinary blends capturing the spirit of the bath…

‘La Collection’ is a bathroom furniture and accessories collection encapsulating the ‘spirit of the bath’ and born out of collaboration between French bath specialist Jacob Delafon, Parisian Couturier designer Alexis Mabille and master craftsmen. Designed to create an atmosphere of old washrooms from the 1930s, the combination of soft pink walls, beautifully veined marble and brass gilded with gold creates a sophisticated and feminine aesthetic. The bathtub, basin, shower tray and stool were crafted by a stonemason from the same marble block and hand sanded to a matte finish. While the shower cage with round showerhead, faucets and towel rails were crafted from brass and gilded with a fine gold by a master locksmith.

If you would like to find out more about what the team saw at Design Shanghai contact Daisy on: