Utopia of Culture Makers

Curated by China – Italy Design and Innovation Center (CIDIC), Markor Home Furnishings, Hunan University and Sichuan Fine Arts Institute

April 7, 2015 _ “Sharing Design: Utopia of Culture Makers” is the name of the exhibition organized by China-Italy Design and Innovation Center, Markor Home Furnishings, Milano Makers, and co-organized by Hunan University and Sichuan Fine Arts Institute, on show at Fabbrica del Vapore in Milan from April 14 to May 7, 2015. Divided into three sections linked by the overall theme of collaborative intercultural and multidisciplinary work, the exhibition will display and recreate various regional cultures and lifestyles, share the experience of culture makers’ production means, business models and their cultural creativity continuing the historical trend of human ingenuity.

Section 1. Culture Coding: New Channel Design and Social Innovation Cross-Media

Design Exhibition

One section of the exhibition will display products from a design and social innovation program, New Channel, and it will use cross-media tools including videos, audios, products and interactive installations to elaborate the culture and life style of different ethnic groups in China. This project results from four summer camps conducted by the School of Design at Hunan University, with the support of Markor Home Furnishings’ “Art • Home” Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) program starting from 2009. Each summer, the teachers and students lived with the local people for a month, filming documentaries, recording folk music, and designing cultural products in order to discover the specific cultural “code” of different ethnic groups and seek new interpretation of culture, tradition and craftsmanship. The project aims to support those regions’ sustainable development in the areas of nature, society, economy and culture and to raise awareness about the cultural heritage protection in China. The audience can walk among the design works and have a close-in experience of different ethnic designs and cultures.

Section 2. Culture Making: International Culture Makers’ Joint Design Exhibition

The second section gathers independent designers displaying projects related to “culture making”. Designers from the Sichuan Fine Arts Institute created and re-designed Chinese traditional food-related articles and utensils in accordance with the theme of the 2015 Milan Expo. Works of renowned Chinese designers including Mr. Yang Mingjie and Mr. Zhang Jun will be on display, providing thought-provoking new craft interpretation by underlining what is the concept of contemporary “culture making”.

Further exhibits from British universities including the Royal College of Art, Queen Mary University of London, St. Martins College of Arts and Design, and the Sir John Cass Faculty of Art, Architecture and Design, from South Korean universities including Hongik, Sangmyung, and JungAng Universities, featuring “New Smart Living”, demonstrate how, throughout all cultures, technology is used to interpret culture, lifestyle, and environment.

Section 3. Culture Driven: DesignEngine Innovation and Design Workshop

The third section showcases a selection of achievements of the China-Italy Design and Innovation Center (CIDIC) during the past three years as well as some award-winning works from the past four “LotusPrize” (www.LotusPrize.com) International Industrial Design Competitions. The culmination of work by CIDIC shows the culture-driven innovation in China and with the governmental support, China will forge more cooperative relations with other countries on cultural design.

Concurrently with the exhibition, the Association of Culture Makers under the DesignEngine, an international design promotion network platform, will be launched in order to provide more international exchange opportunities for young designers all over the world.

Please visit our website at www.nchannel.cc

Press office Italy and Europe:
Sabine Schweigert
Email: cidic@sabineschweigert.com
Phone: +39 02 45491266

Marketing and Media Contact:
Maggie He, Marketing and International Liaison, Hunan Industrial Design Association
Email: heqian@cidic.cn
Phone: +86 186 7039 3916, +39 366 8640016

Tong Xiaolong , International Relation and Administration, CIDIC
Email: tongxiaolong@cidicn.cn
Phone: +86 188 9035 1480

Exhibition Content:
Dr. Ahn SungHee Assistant Professor in School of Design , Hunan University
Email: sahn@hotmail.com
Phone: + 82 10 4713 9596, + 39 366 8637 954

China-Italy Design and Innovation Center

China-Italy Design and Innovation Center was jointly built by the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology and Italian Ministry of Public Administration and Innovation (now belongs to Italian Ministry of Education, Universities and Research) in November 2010. Six signing parties, the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology, Tongji University, Hunan Industrial Design Association, Italian Innovation Promotion Agency, Italian Value Foundation and Italian Association for Industrial Design came together to improve the cooperation of the economy, technology and culture between China and Italy and to enhance the role of design in building an innovative country and setting up a high-end intergovernmental cooperative center and platform of design and innovation with a national reach. Being the exclusive partner of Italdesign-Giugiaro S.p.A, CIDIC works as a bridge connecting Italian design with the Chinese companies and organizations, as well as introducing foreign talents to China.

Markor International Home Furnishings Co., Ltd., is principally engaged in the production and sale of furniture and home improvement products. Markor distributes its products in domestic markets and to overseas markets. It operates chain stores to sell its products in cities including Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin, Hangzhou, Suzhou and others. Deeply rooted in art and with the objective of creating a better life, Markor Home Furnishings initiated a Corporate Social Responsibility program called “Art • Home” in June, 2009 to fund art programs in order to help with the social innovation development.

Utopia of Culture Makers

Presentata dalla Hunan Industrial Design Association e dalle organizzazioni partner, l’esposizione Utopia of Culture Makers intende mostrare varie culture regionali e stili di vita cinesi, e contemporaneamente condividere l’esperienza dei mezzi di produzione propri dei makers, i loro modelli di business, e la loro creatività.
L’intera mostra è il risultato della stretta collaborazione tra designer appartenenti a differenti culture, generazioni e discipline artistiche.
Una sezione della mostra, dal titolo New Channel prevede l’impiego di strumenti multimediali tra cui produzioni video, audio e progetti interattivi con cui i designer hanno voluto ricreare la vita e la cultura del gruppo etnico dei Dong di Tongdao County, nella provincia di Hunan situata nella Cina centrale.
Il progetto si è sviluppato durante quattro campi estivi, tenuti a partire dal 2009: i designer coinvolti hanno trascorso un mese a contatto con la popolazione locale, e durante la permanenza hanno realizzato documentari video, hanno raccolto le registrazioni di musiche locali, e hanno riprogettato prodotti tipici di quella cultura, al fine di cogliere il ‘codice’ culturale specifico del gruppo etnico di Dong.
Finalità ultima del progetto era sostenere lo sviluppo della regione nei differenti ambiti – naturale, sociale e culturale – e accrescere la consapevolezza dell’opinione pubblica sul tema della tutela del patrimonio culturale in Cina.
Visitando la mostra Utopia of Culture Makers, il pubblico può ammirare opere di design e contemporaneamente avere esperienza diretta della cultura etnica e dello stile design di Tong.

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