03/02/2019Design Society on the Eve of Lunar New Year 2019

Dear visitor, partner, participant and supporter:

We are about to enter a Chinese New Year. It’s such a pleasure to extend to you our sincerest wishes of well being and inspiration for the imminent Year of the Pig.

At the same time, I would like to take the opportunity to briefly dwell upon the achievements of Design Society’s first full operational year, materializing an ideal, long cherished by its founder China Merchants Shekou, and its founding partner the Victoria & Albert Museum, to become a source of creative inspiration, collaboration and co-creation for many.

Our public building, located at the interface of mainland China and the world it wants to relate to, designed by Fumihiko Maki, turned out to become the cultural attraction it was meant to be, easily accommodating more than 1 million visitors and withstanding the toughest typhoon in the recenthistory of Shenzhen. We proudly received some remarkable accolades, including being selected in Time’s 100 World’s Greatest Places.

We deliberately decided to name ourselves Design Society, in order to go well beyond the traditional concepts of museum, mall or monument.  Day-by-day we staged a platform for creative interactions between the people we work for: general audience and designers, clients and creatives, students and teachers, product developers and consumers,curators and participants. This design eco-system, which cultivates overlap and mutuality, is much more than the sum of the parts, and mines the power of design.

We positioned design as a form of applied thinking, geared to respond to the social and economic issues that we face as society. We began to develop this new cultural institution as an engine for ideas, to continue on a path that Shekou and Shenzhen started some 40 years ago. We particularly pride ourselves on the many, many partnerships that we have been able to establish:the city of Shenzhen and its district of Nanshan, major universities, Shenzhen schools, research institutes, professional associations, supporting corporations, local communities, embassies and consulates, tenants and enterprises,and domestic and international media.

So after the New Year, what comes next? In 2019 we will continue on this journey. We eagerly look forward to opening two new major exhibitionsby our founding partner the Victoria and Albert Museum.  We will also launch a new collaboration with a major British institution, the Barbican, featuring its major show Mangasia: Wonderlands of Asian Comics.We will continue with our innumerous public events and exclusive events for members. We will welcome new partners, open new shops, intensify our already well-esteemed theatre and performing arts program, and will reveal more inspiring public artworks in and around the building.

Meanwhile, for both the past and future, what becomes abundantly clear is how much Design Society is built on the shoulders of the many stakeholders this letter intends to reach, either as a member of our audience, or as a maker, or as a funder, or as a Design Society member, or as any other participant in this adventure to create a unique cultural project. It is you we would like to thank and appreciate, we do so wholeheartedly.

As founding directors, let us also do this personally, knowing how much of our efforts in the last four years have been given substance, inspiration and perseverance by the believers at China Merchants and the Victoria and Albert Museum, colleagues in the team, and most of all, the public, who embraced the idea to occupy this platform to Design Society. It has been a rewarding as well as humbling experience, which we hope to take further to new endeavors for the Design Society brand, at the Sea World Culture & Arts Center and beyond!

Let us finish this letter by expressing hope that we will see each other during one of the many occasions we plan to stage. Until then: happy lunar new year!

Ole Bouman, Director of Design Society

Rong Zhao, Deputy Director of Design Society

亲爱的朋友们:

新春将至,喜迎猪年。设计互联恭祝您和家人猪事大吉,设计如意!

借此机会,我们想简要回顾刚刚过去的2018年——海上世界文化艺术中心开馆第一年。在这一年里,设计互联实现了综合维度的发展,为成为国内外创意文化思维的重要聚集与合作平台,为实现创办方招商蛇口与英国国立维多利亚与艾伯特博物馆(V&A)多年合作的文化愿景奠定了坚实基础。

海上世界文化艺术中心是设计互联运营的首个公共文化空间,由世界建筑大师槇文彦先生设计,是他在中国内地的唯一作品。开馆一年多来,文化艺术中心以开放的空间、丰富的活动、友好的服务履行了其城市公共文化地标的使命。通过团队的共同努力,我们在2018年达成了很多值得回顾的成果:中心共接待了逾100万访客,抵抗住了深圳近年来最强的台风,举办了12场设计展览,开展了逾200场公共文化及演出活动;获得了众多国内外奖项、媒体的赞誉,其中包括纽约《时代》周刊杂志授予的“全球百佳目的地”以及旅游者宝典《孤独星球》授予的“深圳首选文化目的地”。

设计互联的内涵超越了人们对传统博物馆、购物中心或城市地标的理解。以设计互联为名,我们致力构建创意互动的平台,为市民大众、教师与学生、设计创作者和消费者,策展人和学者等带来创意灵感与启发。我们通过构筑设计相关的生态系统,在复杂的社会情势中发掘培育行业共识、深耕设计价值与力量。

在我们看来,设计不局限于“术”,更是“道”;我们以此塑造更美好的社会,迎对全新的挑战。设计互联作为创新文化机构,是创意思考的引擎,是改革开放四十年蛇口创新精神的传承者。设计互联的成长得益于与社会各界广泛而深入的合作网络,其中包括:深圳市委市政府、南山区委区政府、国内外高校、深圳中小学校、研究机构、基金会、行业协会、本地社区、各国大使馆及总领馆、商户企业与国内外媒体合作伙伴等。

2019年,我们将持续绽放蓬勃能量:设计互联将继续与V&A的合作,并拓展更多的国际合作伙伴关系,我们将在新的一年与英国伦敦巴比肯艺术中心共同推出“亚洲漫画大展”;设计互联会员与公共教育项目将为广大观众提供更高品质的互动与教育项目;设计互联将携手更多合作伙伴,结合文化艺术中心的剧场和公共空间,带来更多精彩的演艺活动、公共艺术以及更具创意价值的企业活动。

值此辞旧迎新之际,设计互联最想表达的是对所有支持者的感谢。不论你是我们的观众、会员,还是合作方、赞助者或参与方,正是因为你的关注、参与和支持,设计互联才能另辟蹊径,探索创新。设计互联的成长与你密不可分,我们在此向你致以最诚挚的谢意!

作为设计互联的领导者,多年来,我们有幸与招商蛇口、V&A、团队的同事们、行业伙伴紧密合作,共同努力;他们是设计互联源源不竭的灵感来源与前进动力。我们欣喜于设计互联的公共性理念得到广大观众的喜爱,无数观众、志愿者参与到设计互联的组织中来。在新的一年,我们将寻求更多新的机遇与挑战,设计互联将延展至更广阔的空间,为美好生活激发更多创新活力。

新年,我们在设计互联不见不散!

奥雷·伯曼 设计互联馆长

赵蓉 设计互联副馆长

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