Denmark in Shanghai 03.03.16

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Denmark believes Shanghai is taking over from Hong Kong as Asia’s design hub and it is determined to play a part in that

Denmark has made promoting its design and creative industries a priority and, as part of these efforts, has been a high-profile participant in Design Shanghai. Casper Freddie, head of design in the commercial team of the Danish Trade Council in China, explains how it is using the platform to give Danish brands a leg-up in the Chinese market.

ICON Why has Denmark made participating in Design Shanghai such a priority?

CASPER FREDDIE We feel Shanghai is becoming the Asian hub for design. Ten years ago, it was all happening in Hong Kong, but now the concentration of innovation – where design society is developing from in Asia – is Shanghai. In five years, Shanghai will be even more of an international design capital than it is now.

ICON What is appealing about the Danish design aesthetic to the Chinese market?

CF One of the keys to Danish design is the balance between functionality and aesthetics. It isn’t just about sleek design, it’s as much about creating something with a function. We sometimes say that, if it’s designed for the sake of design, then it’s art – it has to have functionality to be called design.

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Casper Freddie, who spearheads Denmark’s involvement in Design Shanghai

ICON How was your experience of last year’s event?

CF We had this presence at Design Shanghai for the first time in 2015, and it was quite successful. It is a Danish-subsidised promotional activity – we invite selected brands to join the pavilion and provide designers with a platform, so they don’t have to be on their own out there. The design brands that participated all came home with business, new partnerships and new friends. We were very happy with it.

ICON What are you hoping to get out of the experience in 2016?

CF We are bringing in a lot of furniture and accessories brands that are totally new to China. We obviously hope this will give them a foothold in the market, to come here and meet with retailers, consumers and so on.

Design Shanghai takes place from 9 to 12 March 2016 at the Shanghai Exhibition Centre



Casey Hall


Above: The Danish exhibition area at Design Shanghai 2015


Produced in association with Shanghai Promotion Center for City of Design

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In five years, Shanghai will be even more of an international design capital than it is now

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