China Design Now, a major exhibition of contemporary Chinese design, opens today at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London. Carefully timed in the run-up to the Beijing Olympics, the exhibition is the largest British exploration of contemporary Chinese culture to date.
The exhibition is divided into three sections, themed in geography and in subject matter. Beijing: Future City explores the rapidly-developing urban landscape of the Chinese capital, and the landmark buildings that have been created in the past decade, such as the 'birds' nest' stadium designed by Herzog & de Meuron. Shanghai: Dream City looks at the country's burgeoning fashion scene and ever-growing position as global consumers of lifestyle and luxury brands. This segment examines the country's middle class and design scene, also touching on those designers who are questioning the growing consumer culture. Shenzen: Frontier City uses the centre of the Chinese printing industry to examine the country's nascent but rapidly-growing graphic design scene. The exhibition features architecture, graphic design, fashion, youth culture, film, photography, product and furniture design, and digital media. It runs until July 13.