At 17:00 on September 26, 2014, HLN Beijing Design Week Held at Dutch Ambassador’s Residence in Sanlitun. The Netherlands Ambassador Aart Jacobi, cultural counselor, director of HLN program, representatives of International Affairs of Beijing Design Week (BJDW), designers, artists and media took part in the activity. The organizer specially introduced the HLN program. 2014 has been the fourth year since the Netherlands continuously participated in the Beijing Design Week. In the participation, the Dutch will further strengthen its collaboration with Beijing Design Week, establishing a partnership for the next three years, until 2016.
At the opening ceremony, the Netherlands Ambassador Aart Jacobi initially addressed that, “This is the fourth time in a row that we participate in this creative sector extravaganza. This year we focus on the most critical issues of our time: urbanization and sustainable development. The reason we chose it, and not just for this year, we aim it for many years to come, – is because urbanization and sustainable development are so important in our collective efforts to create a brighter future for all. It is something that you and I can all resonate with. Give you an example. Half of the world population today is living in cities. According to China’s national censuses, China’s urban population grew from only 11% in 1949 to over 50% today. The speed of this urbanization is astounding – urbanization in Europe took 150 years to go from 12% to 51% and only 50 some years in China. This is a phenomenal change but at the same time full of opportunities. I believe via our joint efforts, we could tackle mutually concerned challenges, explore innovative solutions and take timely and strategic actions to create cities in a way that guarantees quality of life not just for us but many generations to come. Based on this theme urbanization and sustainable development, a full-fledged program has been organized. Many of you perhaps have already attended our pre-launch event at Dashilar yesterday – as a preview, I hope it motivates you enough to come back and visit us during the design week period.”
Afterwards, Winnie Gao Director International Affairs of BJDW, Beatrice Leanza, Creative Director BJDW, Christine de Baan, Curator and advisor HLN program successively delivered a speech. Winnie Gao said that the Netherlands was the first foreign country to participate in the Beijing Design Week, thanks goes to the embassy for supporting the program. Mrs. Christine de Baan addressed that, “Beijing Design Week is an ideal podium to present outcomes of this collective Chinese-Dutch creative working and thinking. It is a relationship that echoes the longstanding practice of Sino-Dutch partnerships in design: many Dutch architects, planners and designers are successfully working and living in China, some already for more than ten years. Obviously there is a common ground, and scope for collaboration, particularly in addressing and resolving the pressing issue of sustainable development and urbanization. Such as how will China provide jobs, homes, food, and water for its millions of new urbanites? How can China’s urban economy grow without destroying the natural resources that support it? And how can China create healthy and efficient urban environments for its citizens, and improve the quality of their daily life? Several projects in the HLN program address these issues, of which I would like to mention two: the ‘Towards 2050’ project on Transit Oriented Development, and the ‘City = Museum’ project on the future of creative clusters. Both projects are based on research by design, and both bring together Chinese and Dutch architects and planners together with specialists from many other disciplines in a series of collaborative workshops on integrative planning methods. And the results of these workshops will be presented in a debate at the ALL gallery in 751, Beijing in September 27.
Text: Chen Peihua, edited by Sue/CAFA ART INFO
Courtesy of the Netherlands Embassy and Consulates China.