In the Mix

Announcing: Design Miami/ Podium x Shanghai

Design Miami

Our first collectible design event in Asia opens in Shanghai this November

Today, we’re thrilled to announce Design Miami/ Podium x Shanghai, our very first collectible design event in Asia—and the latest chapter in our traveling event concept, Podium.

Following its launch in Miami in December 2020, Podium’s second iteration will take place November 4-14, 2021, coinciding with Shanghai Art Week. This special event will be produced in partnership with our friends at creative agency Made in House—led by multitalent Chris Shao—and media group Hantang Culture. Together, we’ll present Design Miami/ Podium x Shanghai within beautiful No. 1 Waitanyuan, a celebrated venue located at the northern edge of the Bund, a famed waterfront area and a protected historical district in the center of the city.

No. 1 Waitanyuan in Shanghai, site of this November's Design Miami/ Podium x Shanghai. Photo courtesy of Made in House

Under the direction of locally based Curatorial Director Aric Chen working in tandem with Deputy Curator Violet Ruhui Wang, our Shanghai debut will explore the theme of Wu Gan: The Art of Design. Including rare and exceptional 20th-century and contemporary design and art, the exhibition will highlight the connection between objects and environments and the aesthetic, emotional, and spiritual experiences they impart.

According to Chen, “Throughout most of Chinese history, little distinction was made between what we now consider to be the separate fields of art and design. It was only with the Industrial Revolution in the West that design became conflated with mass production, form, and function—a constraining definition that has once again expanded in recent decades, alongside definitions of art. By underscoring the narratives, processes, and ideologies of design, this exhibition will offer objects to ponder and stimulate discussion.”

As a hybrid event, all exhibited works at Design Miami/Podium x Shanghai will be available for purchase for a limited time both in-person and online at The online event experience will run in parallel to the physical installation and will feature a click-to-collect shopping experience, interactive 3D tours, virtual programming, brand partner installations, designer spotlights, and more.

No. 1 Waitanyuan in Shanghai, site of this November's Design Miami/ Podium x Shanghai. Photos courtesy of Made in House

The event marks an important milestone as Design Miami/’s first major foray into Asia. Design Miami/ CEO Jen Roberts observes, “This moment is a long time in the making, and we’re elated by the opportunity to engage the region. In addition to being a beautiful, international city with a sophisticated art-loving public, Shanghai has a rich design history, and we are seeing an exciting new wave of designers revitalizing traditional Chinese forms, materials, and techniques. This is the first time a collectible design exhibition of this caliber is coming to Shanghai.”

Roberts adds, “Design Miami’s entrance into China presents an exciting platform to connect international and local design collectors, experts, and enthusiasts, and to celebrate and elevate the unique design sensibilities coming out of the country.We are beyond excited to present Design Miami/Podium x Shanghai this November 2021!”

The setting, No. 1 Waitanyuan, former British embassy, feels especially fitting. The name Wai Tan Yuan literally means the origin of the Bund; the location is recognized as the cradle of Shanghai contemporary culture, politics, Western communication, finance, and business. As Grela Orihuela, Design Miami/’s recently appointed Vice President of Fairs, notes: "It is a joy to put together a Podium project in Shanghai, a city bubbling with a vibrant energy and steeped in culture. And this historic, iconic space right on the Bund adds to the aesthetic sensibility of our theme Wu Gan: The Art of Design, which is, we believe, the perfect way to introduce Design Miami/ to Asia." ◆


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