The First Pan-Tongji Design Week: A New Decade

Over the past ten years, many profound changes have taken place across the landscape of design worldwide. In this time, the Chinese design sector has experienced unprecedented growth, while here in Shanghai, the Yangpu District is upgrading its innovation strategies, aiming to transform into a cutting-edge international hub for technological and industrial innovation. 2009–2019 has also seen the College of Design and Innovation at Tongji University become a world class institution.


Tongji Design Week was originally conceived as a platform for deep thinking and creative ideation at the forefront of the design discipline. Over the years, the event has explored and promoted the connection between design thinking and sustainable futures across a broad range of topics. Earlier Design Weeks came under the banners of New Space (2014), DesignX (2015), New Challenges (2016), a New World (2017) and New Communities (2018).


This year, we are widening the remit of the event to include the most active institutions within the Pan-Tongji Design Industry Belt and Pan-Tongji Knowledge Economy Circle. In the spirit of this expansion, we have renamed the event Pan-Tongji Design Week. Our newly-cemented partnership with the Shanghai Urban Space Art Season (SUSAS) festival further attests to the broadening of our horizons.


Our theme this year for the First Annual Pan-Tongji Design Week is “A New Decade.” We will seek out the cutting edge of global design in the coming years, explore the trajectory of Yangpu’s transformation from an industrial zone into a cradle for post-industrial innovation, and clarify the mission of our world-class design institution by hosting over thirty forums, exhibitions, lectures, and workshops. As the most important academic event of design week, the 8th Annual Emerging Practice Design Research and Education Conference (EPC) will focus on the topic “The Beauty of Uncertainty in the Age of AI.” World-renowned design thinkers, educators, and practitioners will share their observations, views, and explorations at this event.


The dawn of the knowledge economy has spurred changes in our education model over the past ten years that have aligned us with a global mindset. In keeping with Tongji D&I’s motto “To learn and create, for a meaningful life and a better world” and our educational philosophy of “Inclusive Diversity, Innovative Foresight, and Conscientious Activism,” over the next ten years we will continue to constructively respond to the extensive changes that are likely not only in design education, but in the field of design as a whole. The First Annual Pan-Tongji Design Week is an important and inspiring step in this direction.


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College of Design and Innovation, Tongji University