The exhibition was inaugurated in 2000 and is a biennial event, with six exhibitions under the organization's belt to date. From 2013, the event's name was changed to DESIGN SHANGHAI 2013. The exhibition aims to foster innovation, especially in the Shanghainese design world.
The theme of this exhibition is the Aesthetics City, and envisages a world where design makes everyday life more creative, and where aesthetics build the ideal city. Aesthetics are the most special conceptual link between a city and its design. The Aesthetics City takes a critical and explorative look at the issues encountered in the urbanization, suburbanization, de-urbanization, and re-urbanization process. 'Design' can explore models of urbanization that strike a balance between us and the environment, and allow urban and rural areas to grow together.
The event is composed of themed, invitationaland collateralexhibits.
These are designed along the following themes: Thought, behavior and urban character; urban planning, architecture (redevelopment of old quarters, renovation of historical buildings); community and street life, public spectacles; furniture and everyday items, entertainment, fashion; interaction, digitized lifestyle, transport, the internet city; entering and leaving the city center (city and rural area, urban village); public life and art "urban artists", creative industrial parks. The Themed exhibits are the "Backlit City", "Night-Time City", "Mobile City", "Interface City", "Handicraft City" and "Film City".
Live in the city; live in this city of ideas. A city is a highly individual place, but is also where one can find collective identity and a common lifestyle. This exhibition envisages the city as a collection of specific cases within a particular time-frame, with four region and time-specific segments: "Shanghai:Re-Design", "Brand Media", "Abstract & Concrete", "Inter-School & Community". These different sections provoke thought about cities, design and the aesthetics of our era. Urban Upgrade is our response to the Aesthetic City theme. This response explores the critical eye and improvement that contemporary design can offer specific contexts. The exhibition looks at the relationships between current and future trends affecting urban upgrade and demonstrates the important role played by design. Urban Upgrade is the product of our awareness of our identity and re-appraisal of our culture; it affects every aspect of our lives. A comprehensive and far-reaching inquiry into the powerful symbiosis of city and design is the challenge for contemporary designers.
The collateralexhibit is an extension of Design Shanghai 2013, embodying the applicability of the theme, the progressiveness of its philosophy and its relevance to Shanghai. The 'Art & Design Map', marks out Shanghai's cultural scene with its most lively and refined brands, art districts, design companies and galleries. The external exhibit draws together local fine art galleries, design associations and art spaces under the "Aesthetic City" heading. Related events will be organized and information included in the map. The map was available free at outlets around Shanghai, informing readers about accompanying events over the 4 months of the exhibition, allowing the public to take part in and experience a 'trip round the city'. The external exhibit aims to set up a means for exchange outside the art and design exhibition, acting as an advertisement for design biennales and promoting popular interest in design.