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Barcelona will be Guest of Honour at the 2014 Beijing Design Week

The city of Barcelona will be the Guest of Honour at the 2014 Beijing Design Week (BJDW). This festival is one of the biggest cultural events in China and will be attended by three and a half millon visitors from all over the world. The news was announced on Thursday by Mayor of Barcelona Xavier Trias, Minister for Culture Ferran Mascarell and Director of the Ramon Llull Institute for Catalan Culture Àlex Susanna. The event is dedicated to Design, Architecture, Urbanism, and Contemporary Creation. Susanna insisted it was the most significant cultural project since Catalonia’s invitation to the Frankfurt Book Fair in 2007.

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25 October 2013 06:42 PM

by

ACN

Barcelona (ACN).- The city of Barcelona will be the Guest of Honour at the 2014 Beijing Design Week (BJDW). This festival is one of the biggest cultural events in China and will be attended by three and a half millon visitors. The news was announced on Thursday by Mayor of Barcelona Xavier Trias, Minister for Culture Ferran Mascarell and Director of the Ramon Llull Institute for Catalan Culture Àlex Susanna. The event, held between late September and early October, is dedicated to Design, Architecture, Urbanism, and Contemporary Creation. Susanna insisted it was the most significant cultural project since Catalonia’s invitation to the Frankfurt Book Fair in 2007.



The Ramon Llull Institute, the Department of Culture, and the City Council had been in talks for two years, defending Barcelona’s invitation at the Beijing Design Week of 2014. And they got their answer on the last weekend of September, when the organizers of the Beijing Design Week announced Barcelona would indeed be Guest of Honour.

Àlex Susanna stated that being invited at the BJDW was a “unique opportunity” to put on display Catalan Design, Architecture, and Urbanism on an international level. He then added that one of the event’s main objectives was to “help Catalan Design and Architecture Companies find new openings with the Gigantic Asian Market.”

Susanna specifically mentioned the Chinese market, where Design, Urban Planning, Architecture, and Contemporary Art are particularly relevant. Some sectors, he explained, have majorly contributed to defining Barcelona. “Ahead of us is the true cultural project that follows our invitation to the Frankfurt Book Fair”, he said.   

The Director of The Ramon Llull Institute also explained it would be an incredible opportunity for the Catalan Culture to be known around the world and that the project would generate new business opportunities.

The budget is currently set at half a million euros and Susanna stressed this was a starting point. He also said it  was too soon to talk about the contents of the BJDW program. “It has been 15 days since the announcement and we haven’t had the time to contact the professionals in the sector and to build our project yet”. In fact, the main outline will be announced in February 2014. Susanna explained that two different commissions would work on the project with one of them functioning as an executive. He also assured there would be more than one commissioner. “This didn’t come out of nowhere” he commented. They chose Barcelona “because here there are other Messis around, and they are the people who innovate, create, and design new objects on a daily basis”.

Minister for Culture Ferran Mascarell responded to the announcement by stating Barcelona and Catalonia would become “an extraordinary dynamic place both economically and culturally”. He added that picking Barcelona was a “great opportunity for Catalonia” and that he was impatient to start working towards this goal.

Beijing Design Week

The BJDW was designed by the Beijing Municipal Government along with the Ministries of Culture, Education, Science and Technology of China. Design and Architecture Companies have also closely collaborated. The festival offers a very comprehensive program to its visitors, with exhibitions, debates, and other activities related to Contemporary Art. Since its creation, one of the world’s leading cities in Design or Architecture is invited by the BJDW as Guest of Honour. Each year, this city plays a significant part in
programming the event. Previous honoured cities include London in 2011, Milan in 2012, and Amsterdam in 2013. The one-week-festival is attended by 3 and a half million visitors not only from China but from all over the world, a fact underlined at the press conference on Thursday. 

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  • The mayor of Barcelona, Xavier Trias, Minister for Culture Ferran Mascarell, Director of the Ramon Llull Institute for Catalan Culture Àlex Susanna and deputy Mayor Jaume Ciurana (by ACN)

  • The mayor of Barcelona, Xavier Trias, Minister for Culture Ferran Mascarell, Director of the Ramon Llull Institute for Catalan Culture Àlex Susanna and deputy Mayor Jaume Ciurana (by ACN)