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Amsterdam is the honoured Guest City for Beijing Design Week 2013

By Katie Dominy / 26-09-2013

Visitors to this week’s Beijing Design Week, running September 26 to October 3, 2013, will be treated to a whole host of Dutch related exhibitions, talks and workshops under an umbrella title 'Design Goes Dutch’.

A key element of the programme is a sneak preview of the Marcel Wanders exhibition entitled Pinned Up, due to open in February 2014 at Amsterdam’s recently remodelled Stedelijk Museum. Located in the city’s Capital Museum, the pieces include work from 1995 up to today. Alongside Wanders, the exhibition also celebrates the work of Benthem Crouwel Architects, who were responsible for the Stedelijk’s new building extension. 

Wanders says: “Amsterdam is such a wonderful, creative city, and I am thrilled to represent my hometown as Guest City at this year's Beijing Design Week. The theme 'Design Goes Dutch' addresses the increasing demand in China for innovative and sustainable solutions to the challenges of a globalized world. The city has created a diverse program which will serve as a platform for the exchange of ideas between Dutch and Chinese designers and businesses, and the development of shared strategies for a sustainable urban future.”

Look out also for Peking Express at the Beijing Temple of Confucius & Imperial College Museum, where Alexander van Slobbe has been guiding fashion students from China Central Academy of Fine Art (CAFA) and Beijing Institute of Fashion Technology (BIFT) to produce work under the theme ‘Red Dress, Red Carpet, China Red’ – so don't expect any wishy-washy pastels here.

Starting Something is a collaborative project between alumni from Sandberg Institute of Amsterdam, Dutch designers and students of CAFA. Overseen by Sandberg Institute Director Jurgen Bey and curated by Studio Maarten Kolk and Guus Kusters. At this point, we can only give you the brief: “Thirty suitcases filled with visions on the modern urban landscape, new use of material and the power of people will be brought from Amsterdam to Beijing. The content of the suitcases will be displayed on desks and will be the starting point for a series of lectures, workshops, master classes, talks and informal meetings between students of CAFA and Designers from the Netherlands.”

Henny van Nistelrooy has lived in Beijing for a year now and at this year’s BJDW presents YIFU, a new furniture collection designed for Chinese company ACF for the domestic market. On display at C-Space in Caochangdi Village, YIFU is inspired by traditional Chinese Hanfu clothing, with its rectangular forms and distinctive folded profiles. The sofas and chairs are upholstered in high-quality textiles from Scottish mill Bute Fabrics. 

Machtelt Schelling, founder and curator of the contemporary jewellery and ceramics Ubi Gallery in Beijing, is presenting an exhibition called ‘Floating’, featuring seven designers whose works are based around the theme of water and sea life: Agnes Fries, Attai Chen, Liang Li, Sun Jie, Qu Wanni, Yang Ziyi, and Yin Xiangkun. With the city of Amsterdam built around canals and waterways, it seemed an ideal theme. 

At BJDW, China Museum of Digital Arts is launching a six-month design research project Made by US, a collaboration between the museum and Dutch The New Institute and The Mobile City, involving Chinese and Dutch creative in the spheres of e-culture, design, architecture and planning. Revolving around the theme of redeveloping post-industrial heritage, Dutch creatives out in Beijing include game studio Monobanda and new media artist Sander Veenhof. This weekend sees a workshop to develop new media interventions for Beijing’s old Capital Steel Factory led by experts Sander Veenhof, Mark van der Net and Niki Smit.

If you are in the Dashilar area, don’t miss the installations set up by SALON/BJ. Created by Gijs Stork and Manon Schaap in 2010, SALON/BJ aims to works between design, fashion, art and culture. Finally, in the city’s Summer Palace, don’t miss the Dutch symbolic 26-metre-high yellow rubber duck; a version of the one designed by Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman. It seems that the duck needed some extra work to make it up to scratch after its stay in Hong Kong in May –  an eight-hour operation on its beak.

1 – logo BJDW

2 –Marcel Wanders Pinned Up exhibition image, Stedelijk Museum

3 and 4 – YIFU, Henny van Nistelrooy for ACF

5 and 6 –Ubi Gallery

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