Nordic Design and Innovation week 2015 held in Shanghai


On 30 October to 8 November the Nordic Consulates General in Shanghai presented the Nordic Design and Innovation Week (NDIW) 2015. This was the third year the Nordic countries came together to showcase sustainable Nordic design and fashion, this time with the theme Nordic Spaces . With 10 days of workshops and seminars as well as an exhibition open to the public, the goal was to promote and spread innovations that can improve people’s daily lives, all held in K11 in central Shanghai.

Since 2013 the Consulates General of Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland have been organizing this celebration of Nordic values in China, supported by the Shanghai International Culture Association (SICA) and Crystal Globe.


This year’s exhibition Nordic Spaces showed how space could be created and utilized in increasingly crowded urban environments to increase the quality and sustainability of urban lives and to help further creativity and innovation. In the exhibition NDIW brought together the latest Nordic innovations and trends within interior design, urban planning, clean-tech and digital technology.

Invited guests included representatives from the local government, partner organizations, academic institutions, journalists as well as Nordic and Chinese companies.

Each country was responsible for a part of the larger theme, with Sweden handling the Digital Spaces part of the week. Panel discussions were held about what Visualisation technology would mean for our future as well as a Hackathon showing how programming can be used in playful and creative ways. The opening day started with a seminar on sustainable fashion and ended with the inauguration of the New Nordic Fashion exhibition, where visitors could have a close look at 16 outfits from Nordic designers and companies – all produced with sustainable materials and methods.


During the Sweden Day a seminar on the latest trends in wearable technology was held, with the intention to initiate a conversation between Chinese and Swedish designers, companies and organizations in the field of wearable technology. Consul General Viktoria Li inaugurated the event and also presented the new Swedish Lifestyle Map, a guide to Swedish lifestyle products in Shanghai.

At the seminar, Qu Xiaoping of the Swedish eye-tracking company Tobii presented the latest insights into eye tracking technology and advertisement effectiveness. Web and mobile developer Ellen Sundh from Sweden’s Coda collective talked about the capabilities of electronics and connected circuits.

Niklas Bergh, one of the founders of ZoundIndustries (the creators of the Urbanears headphones), shared the story of how a couple of friends created one of the biggest headphone brands in the world. Strategy Director of Yang Design, Xiaojing Huang, talked about the importance of brand identity and trend studies. The last speaker was fashion designer Simon Wang who talked about the connection between wearable technology and fashion.

“Ever since old times Finns have preferred natural fibers, clear cut lines and bold colors in their clothing and everyday products that they use. And very often fashion and accessories designers have been inspired by the Finnish nature and the four seasons. Fashion and design from Finland is typically timeless, pure and functional.” With the words of the Finnish fashion by the Consul General Mrs. Marja Joenusva, the Finland day seminar was opened.


On the Finland Day, Finnish designers Paola Suhonen (IVANAhelsinki), Bruno Beaugrand (LUMI) and Petri Kähkönen (Golla) created an inspiring dialogue between the Finnish and Chinese Fashion together with the lauded local designer Wang Yiyang (ZucZug).

Nordic Design and Innovation Week reached its end with a cloth swap organized by the Consulate General, promoting themes of sustainability and fashion upcycling.

The event was open to the public and attracted a large crowd, who exchanged a few hundred items of clothing and accessories. The guidelines of the event had been published in advance, and participants had been asked to bring unwanted but still in good condition clothing and exchange them with other swapper’s clothes – all under the tagline “Your fashion miss can become someone else’s fashion hit”.

At the event, participants could browse clothes for men and women, as well as accessories and shoes. There were snacks and oath milk offered for anyone interested, courtesy of Scandic Foods. At the end of the day, all leftover items were handed to H&M to be recycled as part of their Conscious campaign, launched earlier this year in all of their China stores.

The Danish Consulate General in Shanghai also co-hosted seminars at the exhibition on smart cities and simplicity in Nordic design.

Sources: Danish Consul General in Shanghai, Embassy of Sweden China

About Joakim Persson

Freelance business and lifestyle photojournalist

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