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Press Release for Media Briefing of the Shanghai Municipal Government on September 13, 2023


On the afternoon of yesterday (September
13), the Information Office of Shanghai Municipality held a press briefing. Wu
Jincheng, director of the Shanghai Municipal Commission of Economy and
Informatization, introduced the details of the World Design Cities Conference
(WDCC) 2023. Ruan Li, deputy director of the Shanghai Municipal Commission of
Economy and Informatization, Lou Yongqi, vice president of Tongji University,
Li Wei, vice president of Donghua University, Nie Qing, vice president of
Shanghai University, and Xu Zhi, deputy chief of Huangpu District, attended the
press briefing and answered questions from reporters.

Shanghai is earnestly advancing the construction of the “Five Centers,” with a
concerted focus on bolstering the “Four Functions.” In this endeavor, fostering
the city’s cultural and intellectual vibrancy serves as a vital pillar, upheld
by a commitment to benchmarking global excellence and robust participation in
international cooperation and competition. In alignment with the directives set
forth by the CPC Shanghai Municipal Committee and the Shanghai Municipal
Government, the city is diligently promoting the high-quality development of
its industrial economy and expediting the establishment of a modern industrial
ecosystem. Among the crucial links in this industrial chain, design stands out
with its remarkable value-added effects, acting as a pivotal engine propelling
industrial innovation and advancement. It is also instrumental in enhancing the
quality of people’s lives and contributing significantly to the shaping of a
city’s distinctive brand identity. Since Shanghai’s entry into the UNESCO
Creative Cities Network (UCCN) in 2010, earning the title of “City of Design,”
the city has rapidly attracted exceptional design firms and talent. This
magnetism has led to a continuous stream of innovative design achievements and
a steady rise in both domestic and international influence. This year marks a
significant milestone with the forthcoming second World Design Cities
Conference, hosted by the Shanghai Municipal Government, which is currently in
the final stages of preparation.

The main session of the WDCC 2023 will take place
from September 26 to 28, with exhibitions and activities extending until
October 2. The central venue is situated along the Huangpu Binjiang, offering
an inspiring and vibrant environment for creative design. This location serves
as a connecting point between both sides of the Huangpu River and Suzhou Creek,
fostering collaboration and interaction among all districts within the city.
Aligned with the overarching goals of “gathering people, promoting industries,
and bolstering sectors,” and underpinned by a commitment to
internationalization, specialization, and marketization, this year’s WDCC aims
to further consolidate global creative design resources. The aim is to create a
world-renowned platform that sets the tone for cutting-edge design, serves as a
wellspring of innovation, and provides a stage for the unveiling of
groundbreaking products. The central theme for this year’s conference is
“Design Beyond Creativity.” The event structure can be summarized as
“1+2+3+10+X,” encompassing the following elements: an impactful opening
ceremony, a dual-line layout catering to both local and international
audiences, three summits, and a grand total of 10 major design-related
components. These components will include nearly 100 summits and forums, launch
ceremonies, fashion shows, and design carnivals within the field. Additionally,
the event will feature city-wide, overseas, and online linkage activities,
denoted by the variable “X.”

Firstly, we aim to establish a robust global platform for design
cooperation and exchange. The initiative, aptly named “World Wave,” aims to
foster a dynamic international environment where Chinese and foreign creative
endeavors harmoniously interact. The conference prominently emphasizes a global
perspective by securing the support of UNESCO and the China National Commission
for UNESCO as integral partners, with plans to unveil collaborative initiatives
between Shanghai and UNESCO. One of the conference’s highlights is the Global
Creative Cities design summit, which will witness the active participation of
representatives from 43 cities across 29 countries, both in-person and online.
Their discussions will revolve around the future of urban design, marking the
launch of the Shanghai plan and the associated indicator system. The conference
will draw together an impressive array of stakeholders, including
representatives from worldwide design industry organizations, esteemed design
institutions, accomplished design luminaries, academic experts, and pioneering
corporations. Anticipating a roster of over 1,000 speakers, these voices will
contribute their insights to discussions. Tongji University, at the forefront,
leads the Shanghai International Design 100 think tank and the International
Design 100 summit, dedicated to envisioning the development of
design-innovative cities. The conference leverages global resources, with key
attractions such as the Design Cities network exhibition area from around the
world, an Italian guest of honor exhibition area, and a collaborative Nordic
exhibition space. Furthermore, the conference will forge connections with
renowned international events such as the London Design Festival and Milan
Fashion Week, hosting a series of activities under the Design Shanghai banner
in London. In Milan, it will stage the Shanghai Fashion Day showcasing and

Secondly, we aim to chart the course for design-driven, high-quality
development. This conference firmly embraces the “science and technology
paradigm,” showcasing the practical application of AIGC technology. A
significant emphasis is placed on harnessing design to propel the
transformation of scientific and technological breakthroughs. The focus is on
perpetually birthing novel products, cultivating innovative models and fresh
business formats, and transforming mere “showcases” into thriving “markets.” To
set a definitive standard for industry innovation, the Shanghai Design 100+
2023 will unveil outstanding design achievements during the conference. This
prestigious list is curated from a pool of 2,542 submissions originating from
18 countries, spanning China, the United States, France, Italy, and Spain.
These showcases epitomize the brilliance of design talent through remarkable
case studies. They include groundbreaking accomplishments that leverage design
to empower industries, illuminate our lives, enrich our city, and provide a
tantalizing glimpse into the future. Notably, the selected products have
already achieved sales of 51.8 billion yuan, with a projected total sales
figure expected to reach 470 billion yuan over their product lifecycle.
Esteemed companies like Bright Dairy and Zemso Electron will also host
dedicated launch events. To foster mutually beneficial industrial
collaboration, the conference will unveil several visionary creative design
industry projects.  These include the
Shanghai Zhixing Design Valley, NICE2035 Chifeng Road International Design
Street, and the Design Financial Support Platform. A meticulously crafted home
exhibition will comprise an industrial pavilion, a fashion pavilion, and more,
spanning a vast expanse of 20,000 square meters. Over 100 leading international
and domestic companies have been chosen to partake in this exhibition, where
they will showcase the latest interpretations of design-driven industrial
innovation. This collective effort aims to empower enhanced lifestyles, bolster
urban development, and vividly illustrate design’s remarkable capacity to
propel industrial progress, transcending from the ordinary to the
extraordinary. Anticipating the unfolding industry landscape, the “Future
Design” summit will take center stage. This summit will concentrate on five
pivotal industrial clusters: future health, future intelligence, future energy,
future space, and future materials. It will convene domestic and international
academicians and experts, fostering discussions on design’s role in gaining
foresight into the future. Together, they will seek out and illuminate the potential
breakthrough paths that will define our collective tomorrow.

Thirdly, we aim to
foster the pervasive integration of design into the fabric of our cities and
daily lives, enhancing their appeal and functionality. This conference serves
as a canvas for illustrating and showcasing the Guochao, or Chinese fashion
trend, aimed at delivering an enriching and delightful design experience that
ultimately elevates our quality of life. We’re actively seeking global input,
inviting creative ideas from across the globe through an international call for
architectural design proposals for the Shanghai Industrial Museum. This
endeavor envisions the creation of a landmark structure on the picturesque
banks of the Huangpu River, thereby transforming the cradle of modern industry
into a contemporary hub of “intelligent manufacturing” and a vibrant “living circle”
through innovative design thinking. To stimulate the forefront of design
thinking, we are encouraging fresh and innovative ideas. This commitment is
exemplified by the second Frontier Design Innovation Award, recognizing
pioneers and their groundbreaking design contributions worldwide. These
accolades are designed to steer the trajectory of design innovation, driving
the industry towards new horizons. Furthermore, we are orchestrating a life
design carnival in collaboration with Donghua University and Shanghai
University. This carnival will introduce an array of popular design products
and experiences, spanning from Hanfu, or the traditional styles of clothing
worn by the Han Chinese, and handicrafts to outdoor gear and trendy toys. We
aim to make these accessible to everyone, fostering a culture of design
appreciation. In addition, various districts, cultural and creative parks, and
industry associations are mobilizing to host over 20 distinctive design-focused
events. These include the Xiaohongshu Road Design Festival, World Smart
Mobility Design Forum, and the Songjiang Intelligent Manufacturing Visual Bloom
design exhibition, among others. This collective effort ensures active
community participation and offers an urban design extravaganza that boasts both
distinctiveness and scale. It promises immersive interactive engagements for
all attendees.