High-resolution images available upon request



Media Contacts:


Sarah Massey 


Douglas Burton

t: (202)  497-7834



Henri Yuan 

t: (516) 655-4689









A week-long celebration of design and a conversation series to commemorate the 30th Anniversary of Sister Cities Relations between Washington D.C. and Beijing, China 
Featuring 80 contemporary designs of DC-based and Beijing-based designers.
Opening Reception: Monday July 7, 2014 / 6-9pm at Powerhouse, Georgetown


‘Design@+’ was produced in collaboration with the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, State-owned Cultural Assets Supervision and Administration Office of the People's Government of Beijing Municipality, Yiyuan Society, China International Design Industry Union, Beijing Design Week, Corcoran College of Art +Design, Apartment Zero, DC Fashion Foundation, Studio 202 and with additional advisory support from the Industrial Designers Society of America Mid-Atlantic Chapter.  ‘Design@+’ will be on the view at Powerhouse in Georgetown between July 8 and July 11, 2014.  


Washington, D.C. - In celebration of the 30th Anniversary of the Sister Cities Relations between the District of Columbia and Beijing, China, ‘Design@+’ was launched to bridge the creative conversation between two capital cities – Washington, DC and Beijing- by engaging design professionals and people in the creative fields to reinforce exchanges, trade, creativity and skill developments. During the opening reception on July 7, 2014, The District of Columbia will create a Memorandum of Understanding signing ceremony with Beijing officials to further explore future collaborations within their respective creative industries.  The ‘Design@+’ Initiative aims to embrace key stakeholders from the United States and international counterparts to discuss critical issues surrounding design such as intellectual property, innovation and trade. This initiative emphasizes the value of design-based collaborations with other fields that have a stake in design through providing a platform for individuals to share their vision, concerns and opinions, and by promoting educational experiences.

 "Pairing designers from Beijing and Washington, DC, offers audiences a truly unique, international experience," says Lionell Thomas, Executive Director of the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities. "Fostering international exchanges with China enriches our own city, while offering designers new opportunities. Washington, DC is a great place to live, work and play."

Washington DC is experiencing an urban renewal: a myriad of new retail, restaurants and entertainment options have brought the city national recognition as a vibrant and innovative destination.  Besides its focus on technology startups and efforts on strengthening the roles of incubators, Washington DC is seeking the best approach to leverage its existing resources by embracing another dimension of the creative community – design. As the advocate and chairperson of the ‘Design@+’ working group, Prof. Yuan Xikun, the renowned artist, sees ‘Design@+’ as the unique opportunity to educate the public about different design practices and to educate the design community about the latest practical needs and opportunities of urban centers. It is about celebrating different dimensions of design with the belief that art and culture are essential to the vitality of today’s metropolis, making it a better place to live, work, and play.

The exhibit includes approximately 80 contemporary designs by DC-based and Beijing-based designers, covering the categories of furniture, product design, fashion design, graphic design and digital and interactive design. Some designs were previously nominated and earned awards at international contests such as Habitare Helsinki, Red Dot Design Award and ENJOIA'T 2012, etc. 
Everything is to be thought, imagined, designed and experienced anew. This is the first time for creative individuals and design institutions from District of Columba and Beijing to work together. Both Washington, DC and Beijing possess the abundant access to intellectual capital and creative talents. As the capital cities, they are the home to hundreds of embassies and international cultural centers. The city-to-city collaboration as well as the different interpretation of design will allow individuals, businesses, academia and organizations involved at every stage of the creative and design process to identify opportunities and challenges.

‘Design@+’ also features a series of public program:  including conversation panels, workshops and seminars, as well as a cocktail mixer. The complementary programming will explore important issues surrounding creative designs.

3255 Grace Street, NW
Washington, DC 20007
(Direction Map)

Monday: 6pm – 9pm                  (Opening Reception and Performance Night)
Tuesday: 9:30am – 5:30pm
Wednesday: 9:30am – 5:30pm      (6pm – 9pm  Cocktail Mixer and Night talk*) 
Thursday:  9:30am – 5:30pm
Friday: 9:30am – Noon 



Tuesday July 8 – Thursday July 10, 2014


Designers' talk:  Design Matters        Tuesday   July 8, 2014   10am – 11:30am
In an effort to advance the public awareness and appreciation of different dimensions of design, this dialogue session engages individual designers and curators to discuss the practices, market and educational aspects of design. Conversation with industrial designers and curators: Scott Mason, Vice President of IDSA-Mid Atlantic Chapter; Douglas Burton, Co-founder of Apartment Zero; Song Tao, Founder of O Gallery/Senior Curator of Design Shanghai

Interviews: "Little secrets" of Designers         Tuesday - Thursday   July 8-10, 2014   All day 
Media and journalists have the opportunity to interview established and emerging designers from DC and curators from China. They will talk about their views, concerns and opinions towards the design industry in urban areas. (2-3 minutes per each person)

Roundtable Discussion: City Level Dialogue        Tuesday    July 8, 2014   1:30pm –3:30pm
City conversation: city as the creative hub - two capital cities – District of Columbia and Beijing share agendas and experiences in fostering and transforming the city's creative community. How to carry out the effective exchanges and cross-cultural dialogue between cities and institutions? What is the role of private sectors in the creative and exchange processes?

Roundtable Discussion: Ice breakers’ Talk           Friday   July 11, 2014   9:30am - 11:30am
Intellectual property and trade play important roles in industrial designs and the creative industry in general. This is a special dialogue session with the US Chamber Intellectual Property Center and creative industry members from the United States and China.

Presentation and Talk: From tech incubator to fashion incubator
Wednesday   July 9, 2014   3:00pm - 4:30pm
A special dialogue with DC Fashion Foundation President Christine Brooks-Cropper, who built the collaboration with Macy’s DC to establish fashion incubator.

Google Art Night Talk: What is the Role of Technology (such as 3D printing) in Industrial Designs?     Wednesday   July 9, 2014   7:00pm - 9:00pm
This conversation aims to discuss emerging technology in shaping the landscape of industrial design. Special speaker include co-founder of 3Doodler (the world’s first 3D printing pen). Broadcast live using hangouts on air, this program aims enable users to be involved in the discussions. All talks are announced and hosted on the Art Project Google+ page before being stored on the Art Project YouTube channel

Quick Design Workshops for Organized Groups of Students
Quick Design Workshops invite the public and students to engage in discussions and hands-on learning. This creative process ranges from rethinking different aspects of design as well as a consideration of materials and sustainability.


· Section 1 – “Designs for all”- This is a quick group activity that allows students to use simple and inexpensive materials to create. Students are asked to foster creativity by solving an open-ended problem with time and material constraints. The workshop will drive team building efforts and problem-solving creativity which can be used by young audiences as a way to engage in design thinking. Working in small groups, design solutions are developed quickly and yield surprising solutions that may not have been immediately obvious.

· Section 2: “Designs Goes Green” - This workshop engages two major recyclable materials: a single sheet of paper and used plastic bottles. Both of them have endless creative possibilities, but like all things, they fall apart. They can be transformed into a calendar, a book, a puppet, a box, a dollar bill; there is unimaginable potential within each plastic bottle and sheet of paper. How many different things can you re-create with a used plastic bottle and a single piece of paper before it is ultimately destroyed?

· Section 3: Innovative Design Approach (Technology & New Media involved) - New media and the application of new technology are becoming more important in future design, ranging from architectural design to production design. This workshop encourages students to learn applications and techniques of multimedia while applying the skills they learned from schools. It is designed to enhance critical thinking through peer-group discussions about critical issues that affect the lives of students and to foster the development of creative and professional skills.




The D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities (DCCAH) is the leading voice for arts and culture in District of Columbia, thereby elevating the impact of the arts and humanities locally, nationally and internationally. The DCCAH is supported primarily by District government funds and in part by the National Endowment for the Arts, and it is governed by a volunteer board of Commissioners who are appointed by the Mayor and approved by the City Council. Recognizing the changing dynamics within the city,  the DCCAH is poised to increase its depth and expand the breadth of creative opportunities for residents and visitors. DCCAH’s mission is to provide grant funds, programs and educational activities that encourage diverse artistic expressions and learning opportunities. For more information, please visit

The State-owned Cultural Assets Supervision and Administration Office of Beijing Municipality was established in June 2012 with the mission to strategize overall plan and implement of the work related to cultural reform development, art development, cultural investment, capital operation, assets management on state-owned cultural enterprises and public institutions and art zones in Beijing. After the establishment, it has positively fulfilled the responsibility to promote the public-private partnership in art and creative culture with an additional focus on science, technology, education, sports, and cultural tourism. For more details, please visit



Established in 1994, Yiyuan Society/Jintai Art Museum aims to promote the cross-cultural understanding and art exchanges. It successfully organized more than 300 international cultural exchange activities, exhibitions, music and film festivals and design fairs. The location provides a platform for established and young artists. These exhibitions encompass a wide range of mediums and cultural traditions. Art Dialogue, the museum's public lecture event series, features leading figures in culture and art communities to share insights about their works and experiences. It has the mission to strengthen art and contemporary culture through multidisciplinary practices of cultural exchanges and education. Please visit


Zizaoshe was established in 2002. Founder Song Tao is the renowned curator for contemporary design in China, and he believes the purpose of design is mixing traditional forms and contemporary culture. The Gallery has held numerous exhibitions for China's leading contemporary artists and designers, while it has also founded an exclusive brand agency for China's top artists and designers and the art institution SAY FINE ART in the famous 798 Art Zone in Beijing. Zizaoshe's program enables the world to rediscover the resplendent art and the profound vitality of Chinese traditional culture and contemporary design. Please visit


Apartment Zero curated and launched the inaugural Washington DC International Design Festival in 2013 that featured the work of industrial designers from around the world and was featured in over 100 international publications. Apartment Zero, has appeared locally on ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC stations and has been featured in the Washington Post, the New York Times, the Chicago Tribune, GQ, Interior Design, VM+SD, Home and Design, DC Modern Luxury and more. The owners have been featured public speakers on the topic of industrial design for The European Union, The Phillips Collection, the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA), etc. Apartment Zero has also collaborated with the National Museum of Women in the Arts, The Corcoran Gallery of Art, The National Building Museum, the Hirshhorn Museum, the Smithsonian Institution, The Phillips Collection and the Embassies of Spain, Australia, Sweden, Finland, Norway, Canada, Netherlands, Latvia and Switzerland. Please visit