World Design Cities Conference 2022 to be held in Shanghai

MACC | 09 15, 2022


At the Shanghai Municipal Government press conference held on September 6, Zhang Wei, Member of the Standing Committee of CPC Shanghai Municipal Committee and Vice Mayor of Shanghai introduced the World Design Cities Conference (WDCC) 2022. Wu Jincheng, Director of the Shanghai Municipal Commission of Economy Information Technology, Ruan Li, Deputy Director of the Shanghai Municipal Commission of Economy Information Technology, Lou Yongqi, Vice President of Tongji University, and Wang Nai, Deputy Head of Huangpu District, jointly attended the conference and answered questions from the media. Municipal government spokesperson Yin Xin presided over the press conference. The transcript of the press conference is as follows↓


What are the highlights of the 2022 WDCC?


The main release of the press conference is available at ↓



Vision in Perspective: The Highlights of the 2022 WDCC→


—— Q&A ——


Take full advantage of Shanghai's industrial factors agglomeration and open application scenarios to fully integrate design into the city's industrial development, spatial environment, public services, people's lives, and city branding



Phoenix TV: Shanghai has proposed to build a world-class “Design City” by 2030. What are your main considerations and what areas, in particular, do you need to work on? How will this conference contribute to the development of Shanghai as a design city?



Zhang Wei: As a key link in the industrial chain with a high value-added effect, design is a booster for high-quality economic and social development and an important reflection of the core competitiveness of major cities in the world. Since Shanghai joined the UCCN in 2010, the creative and design industries have been flourishing. In the new development stage, to practice the important concept of "People's City" and comprehensively promote the design-enabled high-quality economic and social development, we have formulated and released the "Opinions on Building a World-Class "Design City" in Shanghai", with the following goals: by 2025, the city will be a "Design City" with prosperous design industry, excellent brands, active practitioners and friendly working environment; by 2030, the city will further enhance its international competitiveness and reputation, and be fully established as a world-class "Design City". We will give full play to the advantages of Shanghai's industrial factors agglomeration, open application scenarios, and extensive international cooperation, and fully integrate design into the city's industrial development, spatial environment, public services, people's lives, and city branding in five dimensions.


First, we will adhere to the innovative development of the industry driven by design. This is mainly reflected in strengthening the application of scientific and technological achievements, information technology, and green design, empowering the three leading industries, promoting the overall improvement of the design capacity of the six key industries, and improving the level of creative design in advertising, exhibition, consulting and other industries.


Second, we will use design to create a vibrant urban space. We will give full play to Shanghai's architectural design advantages, and encourage and support independent original design; urban landmarks in the downtown area and five new areas, and the iconic architectures along Huangpu River, Suzhou River, and other areas will be well-designed to serve as beautiful and practical "urban furniture".


Third, we will optimize urban public services by design. We will make full use of the tools and methods of service design to further enhance the capacity of public services such as government, transportation, elderly care, healthcare, and infrastructure.


Fourth, we will use design to bring a better life for the people. Through fashion design to enhance the supply of quality products and services, we will improve the originality of cultural and entertainment content and design standards, renew national classic brands, create industry-leading brands, and lead trendy, green, healthy, intelligent, and personalized consumption.


Fifth, we will use design to create the city brands of Shanghai. We will continue to explore and promote the outstanding achievements of "Shanghai Design 100+", build Shanghai into a better "Design City", and facilitate the building of the "Four Brands" (“Shanghai Services”, “Shanghai Manufacturing”, “Shanghai Shopping” and “Shanghai Culture”) of Shanghai, and better manifest the spirit and character of the city.


This is the first time for us to hold the WDCC, we will focus on keeping the conference as a platform for openness, integration, and sharing, and further, enhance people’s recognition of design.


The conference has contributed to the development of the UCCN Creative "Design City" in three ways:


Firstly, the conference gathers talented people. Relying on the UCCN, it promotes the sharing of designs from the rest of the world in Shanghai and facilitates Shanghai’s designs to go global, and attracts global design talents.


Secondly, the conference promotes the prosperity of the industry. By holding this event, we will increase the supply of high-end designs, create a highland for the debut of excellent designs at home and abroad and a cradle for "design +" new industry and new mode, and build a design city with international influence.


Thirdly, the conference promotes production. Through the event, we will strengthen the deep integration of design and advanced manufacturing, empower the development of Shanghai's "3+6" new industrial system, and promote the signing of key international cooperation projects such as Jiangnan Smart International Design Port.


Overall, we expect that through this conference, we will further showcase Shanghai's ideas and expand its influence in the global "Creative Cities Network", while better promoting the innovative development of Shanghai's creative and design industries.


Insist on the building of a global "Design City" to ensure the parallel development of design and urban development, and promote the flourishing of creative and design industries



China News Service: Since Shanghai joined the UCCN in 2010, what has happened to the UCCN Creative Design City? What has been achieved?


Wu Jincheng: In recent years, Shanghai has insisted on building a global “Design City” to ensure the parallel development of design and urban development, and promote the flourishing of creative and design industries. A large number of outstanding design enterprises and designers have settled down here, and the average annual growth rate of the industry value added exceeded 10%. Shanghai's growing international and domestic influence has also laid a solid foundation for accelerating the construction of a world-class design city. The achievements are mainly reflected in the following aspects.


First, the capacity of key industries has been continuously enhanced. Focusing on the industry, architecture, fashion, service, digital economy, and other fields, we have promoted the cultivation of design-led demonstration enterprises and facilitated product iteration and brand building. 90 municipal design-led demonstration enterprises have been cultivated, and a number of outstanding enterprise representatives such as Shanghai United Imaging Healthcare, M&G, and Runmi Technology have emerged. Altogether, we have identified 124 municipal design innovation centers, of which 13 were rated as national industrial design centers. The total output of the creative and design industry reached 1.6 trillion yuan in 2021.


Second, the development of design space carriers has been reinforced. Relying on the advantages of leading enterprises, key universities, platform institutions, and other resources, Shanghai has built a number of design space carriers with different characteristics, such as Huangpu Jiangnan Smart International Design Port, Jing'an Changping Road Creative Design Cluster, the design clusters of universities such as the Tongji Architecture and Creative Design, Donghua Fashion Design, Jiaotong University Digital Design, and the ECUST Industrial Design, etc. In addition, a total of 149 municipal-level cultural and creative parks (including 25 demonstration parks), 16 demonstration buildings, and 28 demonstration spaces have been identified, and the spatial layout of "Shanghai Design" has been optimized with better branding.


Third, the working environment for design innovation has been optimized. In January this year, the Municipal Commission of Economy and Information Technology and nine other departments jointly issued the "Opinions on Building a World-Class "Design City" in Shanghai" to further optimize policy guidance and gather resources from all sides. We have also held Shanghai Design Week and Shanghai Design 100+, and the influence and popularity of these events at home and abroad have been continuously enhanced. In Shanghai, a large number of excellent design achievements have emerged one after another, the city's working environment for the design industry has become better, and the design innovation cycle with deep links to global innovation networks, active markets, cross-disciplinary integration, and extensive cooperation has taken initial shape. These three areas all reflect some of the very good results we have achieved as a design city.



Telling China's story by design to better integrate into global narrative networks



Morning News: The theme of the WDCC is "Vision in Perspective", could you please elaborate on it? What are the highlights of the first WDCC? Will the public be able to participate in the event?



Ruan Li: I think we can understand the theme in this way: with the development of economy and society, design has shown the development trend of cross-border integration, the boundaries of various types of design are continuously expanding, and cross-border cooperation has constantly collided with new sparks of inspiration, building a bridge between technological innovation and industrial innovation. At the same time, design is continuously integrated into all aspects of industrial development, urban construction, social services, and people's lives, promoting the harmonious coexistence of people, society, and nature. Besides, design is a good medium of communication between different countries, nationalities, and cultures, and represents people’s common desire for beautiful things, we will make full use of design to tell the Chinese story and better integrate into the global narrative network.


We understand that everyone is particularly interested in the highlights of the conference. The conference pays special attention to public participation and experience. We have adopted a combination of online live streaming and offline exhibition. For the online part, we have created a meta-universe synchronized venue to live stream the whole event so that the public has a greater sense of participation; for the offline part, we have set the main exhibition in the China Ship Pavilion in Puxi World Expo Park to show the five-dimensional structure of Shanghai’s development as a world-class design city, and in the square outside the pavilion, we have displayed other landscape installations, and have designed some instagrammable spots.


In the debut of new design products, this year's "Shanghai Design 100+" has prepared 2022 design prizes for the public, among which the prize for the most discerning award is the latest pure electric smart SUV. At the same time, we organized three fashion shows, namely "The Symbiosis of the Virtual and the Real", "Costume in the East" at Donghua University, and "Oriental Aesthetics" at Shanghai Haute Couture Week, which will be held simultaneously in the offline and online meta-universe venues.


We will also hold a city-wide design carnival, where each district, cultural and creative park, and industry association will launch selected special design-based activities to create a city-wide design vibe. In addition, we will also carry out cross-disciplinary cooperation with international fashion brands. 12 Shanghai beauty brands will participate in the Milan Fashion Week 2022, carry out cooperation with Italian top fashion brands, and jointly interpret Shanghai beauty industry in Milan - the fashion city; Pechoin, Huili, and Shanghai Watches, etc. will be shown and promoted to the world at UNESCO headquarters together with outstanding designers from Shanghai.


We welcome the general public to make reservations for visits in batches and times through the official WeChat mini program of the conference (search for World Design Cities Conference or WDCC); for each forum, we will reserve some seats open for the general public, and we hope that you could actively join us as a witness and a promoter of this event. The main conference and relevant activities will strictly enforce all epidemic prevention requirements, and we also kindly ask for your compliance and cooperation.


Design education is integrated into the basic education of primary and secondary schools to further enrich the design education environment in Shanghai



Shanghai TV: As one of the organizers of this conference, what has Tongji University done? As a top school in the field of design, what are your suggestions on how to cultivate design talents in Shanghai?



Lou Yongqi: Tongji University mainly provides academic support for the conference, and is responsible for the integration of international academic resources and coordination of creative design for the conference.


First, we curated the "theme exhibitions" of the conference. We have worked with renowned curators such as Prof. Chen Bokang and Prof. Ole Bouman to set up the thematic exhibition area to present Shanghai's forward-looking thinking on design to the world, aiming to achieve leadership in design concepts and academics and reflecting a global perspective. The thematic exhibition area will start from the perspective of "the relationship between man and man, man and nature", showcasing the thinking and actions on the six global design themes of "food, health, trust, environment, technology, and prosperity", and interpreting the theme of the conference - “Vision in Perspective", and enhance the global influence of the conference.


Second, we have set up a "100-member think tank". We have invited important domestic and international design thinkers, practitioners, and communicators to provide intellectual resources for the construction of Shanghai as the UCCN Creative "Design City", and the list of the first think tank will be released at the conference. In the afternoon of September 15, the "International Design 100" Summit Forum will be held to discuss how design can better serve the city, empower the industry and provide insight into the future.


Third, we supported the selection of the winners of the "Frontier Design Innovation Award". We invited experts from RISD, Parsons, MIT, RCA, and other top design schools in China, such as Tsinghua, Donghua, and Shanghai University, to form an expert committee to evaluate the three major awards: "Design Contribution Award, Design Innovation Award, and Future Innovation Award", focusing on Shanghai's perception of the future of design. In addition, Tongji University was involved in the design of the visual identity system for the conference, the overall site planning, and the planning of several academic forums and exhibitions.


For the second question, there is no doubt that a world-class "Design City" must have world-class design education. This is about the supply of first-class design talents, and it is the right thing to do for Shanghai to strengthen the construction of urban soft power. As early as 2016, Shanghai adopted the IV category discipline program to lay out the first-class discipline construction and city-wide synergy of design disciplines. The design disciplines of Tongji, Donghua, Shanghai University, and Jiaotong University have shown rapid development trends, and the fastest-growing ones have entered the world's top design school list.


At the same time, Shanghai is also forward-looking in the construction of the "Shanghai Youth Design and Creativity Institute", which has realized the forward integration of design education into the basic education of primary and secondary schools; many unique projects on vocational education, lifelong education, industry-academia-research and innovation, and entrepreneurship design education have further enriched the development of design education in Shanghai, and these initiatives will have a broad and far-reaching impact on enhancing the supply of design talents in Shanghai and strengthening the construction of a world-class design city.



To optimize and improve the working environment of design innovation and comprehensively integrate design concepts into services, and create the "Shanghai Design City Construction Demonstration Zone"



East Day: As the main venue of the conference, what kind of support is Huangpu District providing for the conference? What new initiatives will be taken to build the future design city and promote the development of related industries?



Wang Nai: Huangpu District is the host of the first WDCC, and has a good foundation for the construction of "Design City", with a relatively sound environment for the design industry. A number of high-quality industrial park carriers such as "Jiangnan Smart International Design Port" and a number of well-known enterprises around industrial design, architectural design, fashion and creativity, digital culture, and creativity have emerged. Here is home to not only design training institutions such as Istituto Marangoni, but also industry leaders such as RR Donnelley, East China Construction Group, LFX Jewelry, and Sony.


As the host place, Huangpu District attaches great importance to the service guarantee work of the conference, and we will carry out work around safety, health and epidemic prevention, venue service, and environmental management.


First, we will implement security for the operation of the venue. Specifically, we will strengthen on-site security, security in the surrounding areas, traffic, and on-site order maintenance, and cooperate with the organizers to strengthen production safety and fire safety supervision.


Second, we will work with all parties to strengthen epidemic prevention and control, coordinate with relevant agencies to provide medical treatment and health supervision during the conference and be prepared for emergency response.


Third, we will optimize and improve the venue services, and install additional temporary power generation, security, and network facilities to ensure the smooth operation of the facilities.


Fourth, we will strengthen on-site environmental management and landscape management, including environment cleaning, prevention and disinfection, environmental protection, and waste classification and disposal.


For the next step, Huangpu District will carry out the following work in building a "Design City" and promoting the development of related industries.


First, we will improve the industrial regional layout. Combined with urban renewal and regional transformation in Huangpu District, we will continue to enrich the characteristic carriers and promote the quality improvement of the carriers and make efforts to brand the carriers.


Second, we will accelerate the transformation of design empowerment. Relying on the advantages of Huangpu District such as the agglomeration of development factors and resources, and its rich scenarios, we will accelerate the deep integration of creative design and product development, industrial manufacturing, brand innovation, exhibition, service trade, etc., and play the empowering role of design in the industrial chain.


Third, we will guarantee the cultivation of professional talents. By strengthening the linkage between industry and education, we will continue to cultivate backbone forces such as industry leaders and corporate design leaders, actively introduce young designers to expand the talent pool, and strive to build a creative talent cluster.


Fourth, we will strengthen policy support. We will increase support for the design industry and strengthen the protection of intellectual property rights by making good use of special policies such as policies on service industry development, high-quality industrial development, cultural and creative industry development, and enterprise technology centers.


Huangpu District will optimize and improve the working environment of design innovation and integrate design concepts and services into industrial development, spatial environment, public services, and people's lives, and strive to build the "Shanghai Design City Construction Demonstration Zone".



Focus on creating a sound environment conducive to the exchange, prosperity, and development of global talents


XINHUANET: To build a world-class design city, what initiatives will Shanghai take to lead global design talents?



Wu Jincheng: Talent is the key element of Shanghai's design innovation system. We will make efforts to create a sound environment conducive to the exchange, prosperity, and development of global talents, build a talent echelon led by the "Design 100 Think Tank", academicians and masters, with industry leaders and corporate design leaders as the backbone and the majority of young designers as members to lay a solid foundation for the construction of the design city.


First, we will build a high-end platform for talent exchange and cooperation. Relying on WDCC, CIIE, UCCN, and other important platforms, we will actively carry out project cooperation and talent exchange. At the same time, we will support Shanghai's original design to participate in well-known international design awards, exhibitions, festivals, and weeks, set up a number of overseas interaction centers for Shanghai's creative design and fashion consumer goods, encourage qualified agencies to lay out design R&D centers around the world and attract design elites from home and abroad.


Second, we will grow the market entities for talent employment and business development. By giving full play to the leading role of market players in the cultivation, introduction, and use of talents, we will promote large enterprises to establish design research institutes, small and medium-sized enterprises to set up design centers or design departments, multinational enterprises, and brand companies to set up design centers in Shanghai, increase the introduction of international and domestic first-class design talents and teams, vigorously develop "design + "new industry and new mode, so that design talents could have more space to show their abilities.


At the same time, we will support the introduction and cultivation of talents. Among the policies such as the selection of industrial elite talents, we will increase support for the design field and carry out the promotion plan for young creative design talents. In addition, we also support universities to carry out Sino-foreign cooperation, continue to promote the development of IV category design disciplines and cultivate high-level interdisciplinary talents. Just now President Lou also made a detailed introduction about these plans. Furthermore, for the needs of industrial development, we encourage the private sector to set up design colleges and institutes, promote the linkage of industry and education and practical training of talents, and grow the main force of industrial practice.


Gathering design power, integrating advantageous resources, exporting high-quality design results from industry, academia, and research, and helping Shanghai to become a world-class "Design City"


Daily Mirror: The WDCC plays a very important role in promoting design in universities, which is very different from the past events you had, could you please tell us more about it?



Ruan Li: Three universities, namely, Tongji University, Donghua University, and Shanghai University, are very important partners and organizers of this conference. These three universities have been involved in the preparation of this conference, and have done a lot of work in inviting experts, recommending and selecting the 100 talents to form the Design 100 Think Tank, and participating in the selection of the Frontier Design Innovation Award. At the same time, a special section "Design for the Future" was set up in the main exhibition area.


President Lou has already made a comprehensive summary and introduction of the work undertaken by Tongji. In addition, Donghua University will showcase the award-winning works of the World Wearable Art Competition in the "Design for the Future" exhibition area under the theme of "Splendid Future". An exhibition themed "Costume in the East” will also be held to release the creative fashion works of new designers and show the innovative prospects and endless frontier works in the field of fashion and technology.


Based on the cultural connotation of "New Shanghai Design Style", Shanghai University arranged four exhibition areas, including "for the people, for art, for life and the city", and the exhibits were distributed in the indoor and outdoor spaces of the Ship Pavilion, presenting the sound development trend of design disciplines helping the city and serving the people through seven major exhibits such as the exhibition of young designers' works.


We also hope to take this conference as an opportunity to give full play to the advantages and roles of universities in gathering innovative elements, training design talents, conducting forward-looking research, strengthening the construction of think tanks, and accelerating the integration of industry and education. We will also continue to encourage Shanghai Jiaotong University, East China Normal University, East China University of Science and Technology, and other universities to join together to gather design power and integrate advantageous resources, export high-quality design results from industry, academia and research, and help Shanghai to become a world-class "Design City”. [Text source: Shanghai Release]
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