Named ‘the city of design’, Shenzhen still has a long way to go

This Friday I went to Shenzhen to join the grand opening of Design Society that used to be the Shekou Design Museum and met many Chinese and foreign artists there, such as Fumihko Maki who designed the building, Tim Reeve the COO of V&A museum and Di’an FAN the dean of Central Academy of Fine Arts, etc.

Photo Credit: Design Society

The architecture itself was amazing although many stores in it were still closing with doors covered by boards. The curator of Design Society said the place was rather a design platform connecting schools, universities and startups together, than a normal museum.

Three exhibitions opened at that day--the value of design (powered by London V&A), the digital dimensions and the exhibition about Mr.Maki’s studio, among which the V&A one was the most attractive, not surprisingly.

It has taken about 7 years to finally complete this project, which seems pretty slow considering that Chinese speed is what people like to talk about. However it also reflects the fact that the process of changing people’s attitude towards China from the country of cheap labor to the country of creativity won't be fast and easy.

It was a milestone that UNESCO named Shenzhen as ‘ the city of design’ , then the opening of Design Society was the second milestone. Which would be the next one? Let’s see.