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10 trends to watch in Chinese design

The “Made in China” stamp may have had a less than appealing connotation before – but that’s not the case anymore.

Visible in the iconic buildings by star architects, from Frank Gehry to Zaha Hadid, and in the proliferation of museums, high-end hotels and other-worldly retail spaces, design and culture in China have come a long way. On the ground, the swift rise of home-grown talent is notable. Its creative landscape has also matured dramatically in the last two decades.

As the industry moves towards a post-pandemic era – one that continues to see change unfold at seemingly lightning speed – the agility and innovation of Chinese design are proving more significant than ever in the transformation of our world, which has changed irrevocably since the start of the year, and led to us viewing the findings presented here in a very different light.

However, one thing still stands: in 2020 and beyond, China remains an imposing presence on the world and we are privileged to be a witness to this. In this report, CatchOn, a Finn Partners Company, evaluates the trends shaping the state of design in China and the extraordinary architects, designers, creatives, and tastemakers leading the charge.

  • Chinese Design

    Trend 1: Design Collectibles

    As the definition of luxury evolves in China, collectibles are in the spotlight. A renewed commitment to quality, creativity and fine craftsmanship means collectors are looking for unique pieces with their roots in movements as diverse as global modernism, industrial design and Chinese contemporary art. The high numbers of Chinese buyers visiting international as well as domestic art and design fairs are a testament to the growing desire for individuality and authenticity. Their aim? To source authentic one-offs that cross both design and art disciplines.

    Shanghai-based Studio MVW, founded by Chinese designer Xu Ming and French architect Virginie Moriette, was one of the first to focus on collectibles. Represented by Galerie BSL, the duo recently launched a Patagonian quartzite and brass table from their nature- inspired JinYe (gold leaf) series. Similarly, Beijing- and Los Angeles- based Gallery All, founded in 2014 by Yu Wang and Xiao Lu, has an impressive roster of Chinese and global contemporary artists creating edgy, experiential displays for powerhouse shows such as Design Miami, Design Basel, Shanghai’s West Bund Art & Design and Jing Art Beijing.

    With China now the world’s third-largest art market, the future of design collectibles is bright.

This article was originally published in Catch On Finn Partners.

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