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Design Shanghai: FREE IMAGINATION

钟彤悦 Anna Zhong 2018-07-16 17:27

In 2018, 400 brands, galleries and designers from 30 different countries and regions turned out at the Shanghai Exhibition Center, covering an exhibition area of 25,000 square metres that revealed over 1,000 cut- ting-edge products.

During the four-day display, Design Shanghai 2018 organized 50 seminars and talks, four design trend forecasts and 20 bespoke installations, not to mention exclusive networking events discussing both global and local design trends.

For Design Festival Shanghai@Xintiandi, an event in cooperation with the city’s exclusive downtown urban hub, Design Shanghai 2018 set a theme of ‘Social Times’, which is set to showcase interactive devices of designers from all over the world. The organizers have also created a Design Shanghai bus tour to coincide with the event.

The Urban Bloom@Anfu Road event sees a first time cooperation with URBAN MATTERS by MINI. Here Design Shanghai aimed to create a new idea of ‘Design Shanghai in the city’, and a special experience that fuses design with culture.

VANTAGE magazine talked with three renowned interior designers to share with you their fascinating ethos.


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Kelly Elaine Hoppen MBE


Born in 1959, Kelly Elaine Hoppen, MBE, is a well- known interior designer and no stranger to praise. Through her calm, simplistic, elegant and creative designs, Hoppen has achieved acclaim in the UK and throughout the world.


VANTAGE: You set up your own interior design company at the age of 16, how would you describe your experience as an entrepreneur since then?
KELLY: Starting a business at 16 and a half was something I believe I was always destined to do. I’m really lucky to remain passionate about design after all these years, and to have something that inspires me daily. When I started, life was very different and I think the opportunities and demand out there now for entrepreneurs is fantastic! I think in general the experience has gone very well... 41 years later I’m still passionate, and conquering design in all ways. No stopping me!


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VANTAGE: Comments say that your design style is calm, simplistic, elegant and creative, how do you incorporate these key words into your design?
KELLY: Both calm and elegance come from simplicity, which in turn allows creativity to breed calm. It is so easy, but today people show off with design by doing too much, which makes everything complicated.


VANTAGE: Your designs have Western and Eastern cultural motifs, with both classic and modern features. How do you balance such contrasting elements?
KELLY: I have always layered my textures, and believe mixing the old with the new is what creates timeless luxury. Very often, the design ideas that you don’t think will work are the most creative and successful.

Both the West and the East played a vital role in my career, and the two cultures had never been paired before, so it was certainly something different. Both inspired me equally, so why wouldn’t I learn to use them simultaneously in my designs?


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Yang Mingjie


Yang Mingjie is the founder of YANG DESIGN and YANG HOUSE, one of Forbes China's

30 Most In uentialDesigners, and guest professor at Tongji University and Nanjing University. Combining logical German thinking with Chinese aesthet- ics, Yang Mingjie has cooperated with numerous global brands as a strategic partner.


VANTAGE: People often use superlatives when describing your career as an inte- rior designer. How does that make you feel?

YANG: On the one hand, it’s a compliment for my work, but on the other it puts me under a lot of pressure. This pushes me to think care- fully about how to make my next work better and better. However, it’s vital that the quality of my work speaks louder than my personal titles.


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VANTAGE: What do you think about the development of industrial design in China over the years?
YANG: Recently, people have paid more at- tention to design in China, but it’s not enough. Modern Chinese industrial design had been stagnant, its development incomplete. We need evolutions in new technology and ideas from the West, which will allow us to integrate both Eastern and Western elements.



VANTAGE: Why do you think there’s a gap between the level of Chinese and global design?
YANG: Referring to contemporary design, those that have big impact in the world are 
all from the West. Apple is a typical example. China still lacks representative in the eld of design. I believe that industrial design and culture rely upon each other, and China isn’t strong enough in either department at the moment.


VANTAGE: How do you strike a balance between pragmatic and precise German ways of thinking with Chinese abstract style?

YANG: Designers should have a global mind- set through which to observe. For example,
in Tokyo you can see top-notch design ideas. What we designers need is more contact with the world. For example, one can go to Germa- ny to learn rationality, and then combine it with Chinese cultural sensibility.


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D.B. Kim


D.B. Kim is an accomplished design leader who has spearheaded high profile projects of all budgetranges, in uencedhospitality and product design, and developed global hospitality brands that intersect with a variety of sectors.


VANTAGE: As a Hospitality Design Director, Gensler, how do you balance and coordinate the design styles of different brands?
KIM: I focus on design concepts that are tailored to the perfor- mance and aesthetic needs of each project in order to make them distinctive and unique. I tend to draw on the local history, culture, and nature in order to create a project that ts within the context. My inspirations are varied, and my ideas and solutions come from a diverse tapestry of local contem- porary lifestyles.


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VANTAGE: Most of the hotel brands that you and your team designed are star-rated. How do you define ‘luxury’ nowadays? And how do you try to balance it with nature, ecology, comfort and practical functions of a hotel?

KIM: Your instincts are accurate that I concentrate on comfort as seen on different levels of abstraction, whether in material selection, choice of art, or operational facilities. At the core of my designs, I express the idea of luxury by creating custom, personalized guest experiences.


VANTAGE: Intelligent and smart technology is used more and more in architecture and interior design, especially in hotels. How does that infiuence your work?
KIM: Technology plays a large part in contemporary lifestyles; it helps make our journeys more ef cient. I seek to create exible design solutions, and technology definitely impacts the final result, giving me a wider choice of tools and approaches, especially when it is informed by our concern for sustainability.


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