“Era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution”:
Design! the Future
․ 2017Gwangju Design Biennale hosted by Gwangju City and Gwangju
Design Center (GDC): Sep. 8 – Oct. 23, 2017 (46 days)
․ Offering various programs including four main exhibitions, special
exhibitions, design business, international academic events and other
․ Opportunities to discover the direction of the future lifestyles, industries and jobs and design’s values and roles
“Let’s design various unpredictable futures in an inflection point of the fourth industrial revolution era.”
As the fourth industrial revolution has recently become the most significant issue in society at large, various perspectives and discourses on the future society’s lifestyles, industries and jobs, where designs are created, will be shared.
Gwangju City and the Gwangju Design Center (GDC) Foundation will host the Gwangju Design Biennale 2017 under the theme of “FUTURES” from September 8 to October 23, 2017 (46 days) at the Gwangju Biennale Exhibition halls, Gwangju Museum of Art and the Asia Culture Center (ACC).
With huge changes imminent in our life due to the fourth industrial revolution, demographic cliff and low growth, the seventh Gwangju Design Biennale, to be held in 2017, plans to discover design’s roles and visions in the future society from multiple perspectives including industries, jobs and lifestyles.
● Theme of the Gwangju Design Biennale 2017: FUTURES
What will the future brought about by the fourth industrial revolution look like? What roles should designs play? Amid the paradigm shift in the fourth industrial revolution, various discourses on the future, including design’s roles and values in the future society and provision of visions, will be made under the theme of “FUTURES” during the seventh Gwangju Design Biennale. The seventh Gwangju Design Biennale is aimed at providing a variety of discourses on the future rather than making a positive or negative predication of the future.
● Participation of designers and universities from over 30 countries
Determining a direction in the large context of globalization, popularization and industrialization, the primary focus during the Gwangju Design Biennale 2017 includes the following: raising issues arising in the global design sectors, enhancing the Design Biennale’s international status and strengthening the role of an Asia design hub, producing results of a practical industrialization, and consolidating the Design Biennale’s identity.
Under the given directions and theme of “FUTURES,” through main exhibitions, special exhibitions, design business and special projects, the Gwangju Design Biennale 2017 plans to offer various perspectives and discourses on our future, the biggest issue in the current society at large, through a variety of programs.
Regarding the size of the event, as of 528 designers and 318companies from over 34 countries, including the U.K., Germany, the U.S., China, Japan and Vietnam, have decided to participate in the Design Biennale with 1,268 design works. Various future design research-development projects will be joined by 15 teams and 100 youth designers from Korean and international universities, including Royal College of Art (RCA) in the U.K., San Jose State University (SJSU) in the U.S., Politecnico di Milano (Polytechnic University of Milan) in Italy, Korea University and Korea Design Membership (KDM). Considering participatory designers and design works to be confirmed by next month, the size of the event will greatly increase.
● Organization of various events including exhibitions: Discovery of the designs’ roles and visions in the future society
The main exhibitions occurring at the Gwangju Biennale Exhibition halls are composed of four thematic exhibitions to glimpse various aspects of design’s roles and visions in the coming future, including “Futures of the past” “Design! the Future,” “Startups the Future,” and “ASIA_The Future.”
First, while ruminating on the future that visitors used to dream of, the “Futures of the past” exhibition will provide guidance for time travel into the past, present and future to picture a new future.
The “Design! the Future” exhibition as a main exhibition, to be held under the theme of “Design is a driving force to change the world,” will be composed to describe various aspects of the future society. Through the Gwangju Design Biennale 2017, the technology evolving into the fourth industrial revolution, including AI (Artificial Intelligence), IoT (Internet of Things), robots and 3D printing, will display in particular the designs that evolve and alter in accordance with humanity.
For this, the exhibition hall will be outfitted with future images including Smart Object, Smart House & City, Connected Community, Smart Healthcare, Mobility in the Future, Connected Shopping and Energy.
In addition, the “ASIA_The Future” exhibition is aimed at strengthening the status of the Gwangju Design Biennale as an Asian design hub by presenting human and nature-oriented future values through the design display with Asian countries’ original, cultural values.
As voices of concern concerning future jobs arise, matters regarding start-ups in the era of the fourth industrial revolution and future jobs are drawing more attention. At the Biennale Exhibition Hall 4, visions of the future-oriented start-ups will be presented under the theme of “Startups the Future” and new directions of trends and one-man design companies will be shown through the convergence of 3D printing and design. Along with this, the “Venture/Start-up Conference” as a new concept, which discovers competent, potential start-up companies, links them with investors, and helps them grow further, will be held at the Asia Culture Center (ACC).
With the attendance of renowned experts from Korea and abroad, the discourses on the Futures will also be held. With the preliminary forum held on June 9 at the International Conference Hall of the Asia Culture Center and international symposium and academic conferences held chronologically under the theme of “Futures” from September 9 to 10, the future agenda of designs created in Gwangju will be proposed, in an inflection point into the fourth industrial revolution. Together with this, the ADADA (Asia Digital Art and Design Association) and the Digital Convergence Society will hold an international academic conference at Chosun University.
A variety of special programs will also be prepared. The special exhibition titled as “The 4th Media Art” (venue: Gwangju Museum of Art)
will show media art combined with new technology, art and design related to the fourth industrial revolution, including VR (Virtual Reality) and AR (Augmented Reality). At the outdoor square next to the Gwangju Biennale Exhibition halls, the mysterious “HALO” associated with another sun will be first shown as a special commemoration project for the UK/Korea 2017-18.
● Holding various design business programs
Design business programs are also held in various places. Along with start-up exhibition and venture/start-up conference, “Design Business Lounge,” including an exhibition of art collaboration products and excellent local products, a consultation meeting for invited Korean and international buyers and design markets will be held at the Asia Culture Center from September 8 to 22, 2017. At the Gwangju Biennale Exhibition halls, the “Design Fair” exhibiting and selling excellent design products will be held throughout the Design Biennale.
From the aspect of the industrialization of the Design Biennale, it is intended to stay true to the original roles of design in terms of actual added values and production of economic results by introducing the concept of design business, linking it with events to be held everywhere, and maximizing synergies.
While significantly covering the issues of environment-friendly automotive and energy industries, which Gwangju City is primarily fostering as lucrative industries in the future, it is expected to foster other local industries. It is also expected to increase the synergies between future-oriented automotive and new energy industries through the collaboration with KIA Motors, KEPCO (Korea Electric Power Corporation), and GIGA (Gwangju Institute of Green-Car Advancement).
Chang dong hoon, Chief Director of the Gwangju Design Biennale 2017, said that as previous Design Biennales have provided discourses on the role of design from a cultural perspective, the Gwangju Design Biennale 2017 will provide discourses on the role of design from the perspective of industries and practical living.
● A citizen-participated programs and global citizens‘ design festival
Attention is also paid to various participation programs. The Service Design Project (People’s Design Group) is held through the direct participation of citizens to come up with solutions to social problems. Exceptional care is given for designers, students majoring in relevant subjects, and citizens as visitors to exhibitions to better understand and sympathize with the theme, “Futures Brought About By the Fourth Industrial Revolution.” Not only design experience programs held at each exhibition hall but also various cultural events with the participation of citizens, including experience programs, events, imagination plaza and an art picnic, will be held around the exhibition halls during the Gwangju Design Biennale. By linking with various events held in Gwangju, including the Gwangju Fringe Festival and ACE (Asia Content & Entertainment) Fair, it will create the atmosphere of a global design festival.
With the Gwangju Design Biennale 2017’s differentiation of art biennale and other events, along with actual industrial results, Gwangju City estimates the Design Biennale will further strengthen the international status of Gwangju, enhancing its role as a design hub.
For the Gwangju Design Biennale 2017, the opening ceremony of this 46-day-long biennale will be held on September 7, following the confirmation of participatory designers and their design works by June and preparation for exhibitions between July and August.