Design Miami/ Podium x Shanghai Opens

Posted on: 9. May 2022

© Design Miami/ Podium x Shanghai

Design Miami/ announced the first edition of Design Miami/ Podium in Shanghai on November 4-14, 2021. Presented in partnership with Made in House and co-hosted by Hantang Culture, Design Miami/ Podium x Shanghai is Design Miami’s first collectible design event in Asia. The Podium concept, launched in Miami in December of 2020, is a tightly curated selling exhibition that features a unique showcase of one-of-a-kind collectible design objects and collections by select international and regional galleries and studios alike.


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

Design Miami/ Podium×Shanghai demonstrates the ongoing growth of Chinese galleries that specialize in collectible design, such as Pearl Lam Gallery, Gallery Sohe, Objective Gallery, Gallery All,  and Art & Deco Gallery. Well-known galleries from abroad who are participating include Carpenters Workshop Gallery, Cristina Grajales Gallery, Etage Projects, Friedman Benda, Galerie Patrick Seguin, Gokelaere & Robinson, Mindy Solomon Gallery, Moderne Gallery, Nilufar Gallery, Ornamentum Gallery, R & Company, Salon 94, Side Gallery, The Future Perfect, and Volume Gallery.

The Shanghai exhibition spotlighted contemporary Chinese designers who are experimenting with traditional crafts and craftsmanship to develop striking new directions, gathering 33 top art galleries and design studios worldwide. Standouts include the fiber works of Lin Fanglu—this year’s international Loewe Craft Prize winner—who collaborates with ethnic-minority artisans in the Yunnan province, as well as the exquisite lacquer furniture designed by Li Naihan and crafted by master artisan Runda Zhou.

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 were 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.

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 in 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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