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“China Campus #2”: an exhibition for the Transcultural Design China program

“China Campus #2”: an exhibition for the Transcultural Design China program

On September 14 and 15, 2012, a year’s work from the Master’s program was presented at the River South Art Center (Shanghai, China). We take a closer look at the event, which brought together a number of key players in the school’s project in Shanghai.

The exhibition

“China Campus” 2nd edition: a year’s work exhibited over two days

Following the first edition in 2011, the Shanghai team went to great lengths to put together a comprehensive overview of the course content of the Transcultural Design China Master’s program for 2011/2012, in the form of a two-day exhibition held at the River South Art Center. The venue, a former industrial building converted into a three-story art gallery, gave the event a unique atmosphere.

Many types of project were set up in a 500m2 space, with an elegant scenography designed by the school’s creative team (I. Champion and M. Rappenne). First and foremost, the exhibition provided an opportunity to take stock of partnership projects: over twenty partnerships were finalized in the course of this academic year. It was an opportunity to discuss various topics such as the hotel room of the future with Naço agency, or the development of driver assistance systems with Continental VDO. Projects could be short or long, ranging from a few days to several weeks of reflection.

Breathe by Abigail Potié

Secondly, it was the opportunity to discover all the final year degree projects, on the theme of multiculturalism, carried out by final year students. Augmented reality glasses to help foster social interaction in Chinese “early adopters”, an air purifier for Shanghai apartments, a mobile application to help foreigners understand ideograms – all different responses to the underlying objective of the program: providing relevant design solutions in a cultural, economic and social context which is radically different from ours.

Finally, it was also the opportunity to present some of the students’ personal projects, such as Arthur Kenzo Debaigue’s Swashies!!! project, developed for the company Enj, which is now selling by the million. It was also the opportunity to look back on the Sino-French workshop organized in Nantes in June 2012, when 40 students and teachers from Shanghai University worked on a particular characteristic of Nantes: the stands selling fresh sardines.

Workshop, Nantes, June 2012

An official ceremony to celebrate the partnership with Shanghai University

The exhibit opening took place on Friday, September 14th, before a varied audience made up of partners, students, professionals and journalists, and included several highlights.

M. Yang Jian Ping vice-doyen de la faculté des Beaux-Arts et M. Michel Michenko, président de l'école

First of all, the signing of a new agreement between Shanghai University and L’École de design Nantes Atlantique by Mr. Yang Jian Ping, Assistant-Dean of the Faculty of Fine Arts, and Mr. Michel Michenko, President of L’École de design, in the presence of Mr. Song Wu, Vice President of Shanghai University and Head of International Relations. This agreement extends and reinforces the cooperation between the two establishments for a further three-year period.

Another high point was the announcement by Mr. Chris Ebbert, Academic Director of the Asia Campus, of the results of the oral defenses, organized the previous day at Shanghai University. Sixteen students became the 3rd class of graduates in the Transcultural Design China program.

An opportunity to promote the dynamism of the Nantes area

The exhibition resulted in a joint project with the team of Nantes Just Imagine, international promotion agency for Nantes and Saint-Nazaire, to demonstrate the vitality and dynamism of the Nantes area and the importance it attaches to creation. Thanks to this, the event was included in the official program of Shanghai Design Week, and a press visit for a dozen local journalists was organized by Daphné Vanderperre, ambassador for Nantes in Shanghai and director of MEO agency. In return, Nantes was given a high profile in the exhibition. This is the first example of close cooperation to promote Nantes’ initiatives, which are in line with L’École de design Nantes Atlantique’s ambitions in terms of international approach and development.