It is said that after the opening ceremony of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, the English delegation felt that it would be almost impossible to better it in London’12. And so it happened. It is also said that the Barcelona Olympic Games in 1992 had been the best in history until the turn of China arrived in 2008. From that exact moment, Beijing was (again) in the center of the world.

With a different magnitude and obviously a different approach (design instead of sports), the opening ceremony of the 2014 Beijing Design Week made us feel part the history. With an spectacular lighting performance at the China Millenium Monument, the different country delegations walked along the blue carpet waving at the public. Thanks to the Chinese courtesy, the Delegation of Barcelona, headed by Xavier Trias, was the last in walking the blue carpet and joining the rest of the countries. Afterwards, the magnificent metal horse made in Barcelona walked in the ceremony to conclude the event. From that moment, Barcelona was part of the design history of China. For those who have been promoting Barcelona as one of the capitals of design, we felt like justice was being made. Barcelona needed to badly an event like this to make Chinese know that design is not only Denmark, Holland or Italy, but also us.

The City Hall of Barcelona, ACCIO, the Barcelona Centre de Disseny (BCD), the Institut Ramon Llull and plenty of Catalan companies joint forces to communicate a clear message: Barcelona, a future inspired by Design. Several activities took place around Beijing: the “Casa de Barcelona” in Dashilar and the Designers Brunch offered by Migas and the 751 were just impressive. But the most important event took place at the Water Tank in 751, where 3.000m2 were exclusively devoted to Barcelona. Designed by Exitdesign, this magical space showed the best from our design and served as a guide for Chinese and foreign visitors to get to know better our city. The big crowds walking around the exhibition proved the interest of Chinese about Barcelona and its design.

Business Mission

Organized by the BCD with the support of ACCIO, stimulo, Magma Design, Workplane, Estiluz, Shad Maletes, Dear Design and Casual Play visited Chinese design agencies, design institutions and companies interested in Catalan design to find ways of future collaboration. The mission took part in the cities of Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Shanghai and Beijing. During the different meetings, we saw the growing interest of Chinese companies for design and the incredible progress that Chinese designers have experienced during the last years. Without any doubt, China is not any more a place to manufacture, but also an excellent place to design.

BCN exhibition Beijing Design Week The metal horse Water Tank