Oct 1, 2015 | By Tess

Beijing Design Week (BJDW), which began in 2009, has quickly become one of the most significant platforms for international design in China. Meant to bolster design and infrastructure within Beijing, the BJDW has also become a world-class platform for showcasing the latest in sustainable, contemporary design. For the 2015 edition, Beijing Design Week has collaborated with shopping malls, one of which is Parkview Green, a mixed-use commercial space in Beijing and the first to receive a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum level.

Until October 7th, 2015, Parkview Green will host a BJDW Design Hop featuring a number of impressive and sustainably minded installations, pop-up shops, workshops, and exhibitions, many of which have put a strong focus on 3D printing technology. 3D printing has been associated with sustainable manufacturing and design because of its capability to produce objects using only the necessary raw materials while also eliminating the need for post-production retooling.

Parkview Green’s Design Hop was launched on Friday September 25th, and opened with an impressive fashion show by Shandong born designer NE-TIGER. Notably, the models, who wore his latest collections, were also adorned with 3D printed sculptural accessories, ranging from headgear, to necklaces, to body armor. The impressive pieces were designed by over 30 post-graduate students from the Nanjing School of Fine Art and were inspired by French philosopher Gilles Deleuze’s concept of the Body Without Organ. The pieces, meant to provoke and reflect upon the body’s connection to its complex environment, to “explore the virtual field of the body, which has been draped in fabric, adorned with accessories, and intoxicated by fast food,” were made by digitally mapping the movements of the human body. The students then turned the mappings into 3D designs and additively manufactured them on state-of-the-art 3D printers. The pieces will remain on display for the duration of BJDW.

The Parkview Green Design Hub also features an impressive temporary pavilion named HIVE, which is meant to explore the values and social consequences of community built structures and design. HIVE is being presented by DeFacto, a Beijing based collective of international designers, engineers, educators and strategists who all work with 3D printing technology and whose mission it is to disseminate and educate about the potentials of additive manufacturing. The pavilion will be created on-site through the collaboration of designers, local residents, and such companies as 3D Dazzle, Tiertime Technologies, and 3D Studio, who will come together to create the custom designed 3D printed structure. As stated on the Parkview Green website, “One can design and personalise these key connection points, allowing them to customise the pavilion itself, and modernising the construction process.” Once the pavilion has been built it will be transformed into a pop-up gallery featuring an assortment of 3D printed objects and designs.

Perhaps the most impressive feature of this year’s BJDW, however, is what is being hailed as one of the world’s largest 3D printed architectural structure. The large sculpture, named VULCAN, the Latin word for volcano and the name of the Roman god of fire is meant to resemble the cloud of smoke that forms after a volcanic eruption, and incites such feelings as the awesomeness of nature. The structure, which also resembles a sort of cocoon texture, is presented by the Laboratory for Creative Design, or LCD and is made up of 1,100 separate 3D printed units. Vulcan will be set up to host events between September 25th and October 7th.

An exciting addition to this years BJDW as well is the child-minded exhibit “Be a Kid Architect,” which is focusing on opening up children’s perspectives on the space they inhabit. Excitingly, there is a “Be a Kid Architect” competition which allows for children and their parents to design a playground climber out of recycled materials. The winner of the competition will have their design reproduced on a 3D printer!

While 3D printing has taken center stage at the Parkview Green Design Hop, there are also several other exhibitions and workshops that focus on other areas of sustainable manufacturing and design. For instance, Chinese designer brand Made by Mir and U.S. company Pureti are presenting their organic tote bags; Italian footwear designer Vibram and Carmina Campus have collaborated to create and display handbags made from rubber left-over from the shoe-making process; fashion label Sefhyir, which is dedicated to silks and cashmeres, has upcycled fabric scraps into beautiful jewelry and accessories; and Stella McCartney has featured handbags that were ethically handmade by Kenyan craftspeople.

This year’s Beijing Design Week is sure to impress both enthusiasts of 3D printing and those who may have been sceptical of its potentials. From fashion, to structure, to art, to play, 3D printing has influenced and inspired creators in all realms of design. Beijing Design Week runs until October 7th, so if you’re lucky enough to be in the vicinity of Parkview Green shopping center be sure to check out the latest in sustainable, 3D printing design!




Posted in 3D Printing Applications





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