Collective Contemporist

at Design Shanghai:
The Past, Present and Future of Design in China
07–08.03, 2019


A hub for creative, academic and business collaborations
East x West / Art x Technology / Creativity x Commerce


Assembly is a not-for-profit initiative created by Collective Contemporist.

Rooted in China with international vision and outreach, we aim to bring together the world’s best creative talents to engage with China’s burgeoning art and design scene, creating a hub where artists, designers, architects and entrepreneurs converge to share ideas and resources; a platform to nurture collaborations and exchange, for creative, academic and business pursuits.

For 2019, this second edition will take place in partnership with China’s biggest and most influential design fair - Design Shanghai.


International Speakers

Bringing together an exceptional roster of speakers, thinkers and practitioners at China’s largest design fair, the two-day forum hopes to engage the audience in considering China’s design legacy, its current design challenges and its future of design.


Marcus Fairs
Founder & Editor-in-Chief of Dezeen, UK

Fairs is the first digital journalist to be awarded an Honorary Fellowship of the Royal Institute of British Architects in 2017 for 'the enormous contribution he has made to architecture'. In 2018 he was named one of the 1,000 most influential people in London by the Evening Standard. Other accolades he has won include journalist of the year and business editor of the year.

Ben Hobson
Chief Content Officer of Dezeen, UK

(placeholder) A Berlin-based design studio that applies Modernist design principles onto contemporary objects of the everyday. The collection of furniture and accessories develops under the creative direction of Manuel Goller. In Bauhaus tradition, the studio creates products characterised by conceptual design, clean aesthetics and functional form, handcrafted in Germany.

Satoshi Isono
Senior Associate, Universal Design Studio, UK

A Senior Associate at Universal Design Studio, Isono has delivered multiple award wining projects in the past 5 years at Universal. Notable clients include BMW/Mini Living, British Airways and Selfridges. Isono currently teaches at Royal Collage of Art, London; where he co-runs ADS6 which focuses on materiality and fabrication within architectural design research.

Manuel Goller
Founder of New Tendency, Germany

A Berlin-based design studio that applies Modernist design principles onto contemporary objects of the everyday. The collection of furniture and accessories develops under the creative direction of Manuel Goller. In Bauhaus tradition, the studio creates products characterised by conceptual design, clean aesthetics and functional form, handcrafted in Germany.

Dara Huang
Architect and Founder of Design Haus Liberty, UK

Founded by Dara Huang, Design Haus Liberty is an architecture and design studio that creates architecture, interiors, branding and lighting design working across the commercial, residential, workplace, hospitality and leisure sectors. Headquartered in Clerkenwell in London, the firm also works in New York and Shanghai, employing a team of over 25 designers.



(placeholder) A Fine Example of Urban Regeneration in the Historical Beijing Quarter – The events will take place in historic Damochang in the Qianmen district of the city. They will feature a series of talks, networking sessions and a film screening followed by a live music.


Archi-Union Architects 创盟国际
Founder, Dr. Philip F. Yuan 袁烽

Founded in 2003 in Shanghai, Archi-Union introduces a design style that is an amalgam of the global trends and the local traditional architectural approach; merges the concepts of tectonic construction and ecology that are catalysed through a parametric design process, in essence combining digital technology and craftsmanship.

The Global School 世界学院
Co-Founder, Beatrice Leanza 毕月

Based in Beijing since 2002, Leanza is a co-founder of The Global School, China’s first independent institute dedicated to creative research, and B/Side Design, an organisation developing strategies of urban and social impact in areas of socioeconomic transformation in China. She previously served as creative director of Beijing Design Week from 2012 to 2016.

Co-Founder, Alex Mok 莫秀曼

An architecture and interior design practice established in 2013 by Alex Mok (Chinese-Swedish) and Briar Hickling (from New Zealand). Both have completed extensive work in Asia and abroad. Linehouse operates as a platform to investigate the rituals of inhabitation and how these daily moments can be celebrated through design.

Neuni Group 连联设计集团
Founder, Lyla Wu 吴迪

Wu is a maker, an architect, a designer and an educator. She studied in Singapore, Hong Kong, the US and Austria. In 2015, she founded Neuni Lab, a workspace that combine innovation and prototyping in a laboratory environment, In 2016 she founded Neuni Materio China and became the first world-class Chinese platform that provide training, incubation and trading of innovative materials

Penda 槃达建筑
Founder, Sun Dayong 孫大勇

A team of international creatives based in Beijing and Vienna. In 2013, Chris Precht and Dayong Sun founded penda with the belief that architecture serves as a bridge to connect nature, culture and people to strive for a better quality of living. By drawing different perspectives from western and eastern history, Penda seeks the fundamentals in architecture.

Stellar Works
Founder, Yuichiro Hori 堀雄一郎

Hori has carved out a sweet spot for the Stellar Works brand in Shanghai. The brand was established in 2012 as a partnership between Hori and luxury French manufacturer Laval and has rapidly achieved a global following. Key to its brand character is the Asian sensibility in its products. It has evolved into an operation that brought together talents from across Asia and Europe. 

Benwu Studio
Founder, Wang Hongchao 王鸿超

Founded in New York in 2012 and is currently based in Shanghai and Beijing, the multi-disciplinary design agency works in product, set and interior design. They had collaborated with brands such as Hermes, Mini, Baccarat, Swarovski, Perrier Jouet and more. Wang was born and raised in China, educated in the U.S. and graduated with a master in design for luxury and craftsmanship from ECAL.

Co-founder, Andrea Destefanis

Born in Turin and completed his education at University of Architecture of Venice, Destefanis founded Kokaistudios Filippo Gabbiani in 2000 and two years later moved their practice to Shanghai. Kokaistudios aims to develop projects that add positively to the built environment and social fabric of the cities and countries in which they are located. 

Banmoo 半木
Founder, Lv Yongzhong 呂永中

Born in 1968, Lv has a deep understanding and appreciation in the relation between Chinese traditional culture and our modern society, which enables him create spaces renowned for the combination of Oriental philosophy and Poetic thinking. “Good design precisely establishes a certain relation, so as to support the constant resonation, between man and the environment.”

Particle Fever 粒子狂热
Creative Director, Lin Hai 林海


Shui On Land 瑞安房地產 / Director of Development Planning and Design, Albert K. B. Chan 陳建邦

For the Company, Chan manages the conceptualisation, site feasibility studies, masterplanning and design of developments. From 1997 to 2001, he led the planning and design effort for the Shanghai Xintiandi development. He also focuses on mixed-use development, planning and design research and development, and chairs the Sustainable Development Committee.

Studio MVW 明合文吉
Co-founder, Virginie Moriette

Since 2006, Chinese designer Ming Xu and French architect Moriette have based their signature style on exclusivity, demand and a unique approach to shape and form. Their vision is defined by a strong respect for nature and the dynamics of life. They believe the language of nature forms a subtle undercurrent that connects contemporary Western and Chinese aesthetics and ways of life.



Day 1 / March 07, Thursday
Registration only

13:15 – 14:45
Dezeen x Neuni Talk:
Sustainability in Architecture and Design, in the Context of China’s Promise and Challenges

In this panel, we look into how designers are utilising material thinking and architecture skills to combine traditional methods, new materials and technologies to create a sustainable future for China cities. 

Moderated by Ben Hobson, chief content officer of Dezeen (UK). Speakers: Lin Hai, creative director of Particle Fever (CN); Alex Mok, co-founder of Linehouse (SE, CN); Yuichiro Hori, founder of Stellar Works (JP, CN)

19:00 – 22:00
Collective Contemporist x Phillips
VIP Dinner at The Shanghai EDITION
By Invitation Only

The Collective Contemporist x Phillips VIP dinner is reserved for our roster of esteemed speakers and VIP guests of partners and selected media members, this is an ideal setting for casual meet & greet with design and business leaders in China and the world. Supported by Teawith.

Day 2 / March 08, Friday
Registration only

14:00 – 15:30
Panel 1: Art Deco, Bauhaus, Memphis… and the Next Design Movement from China

Diving into the heritage of some of the most important design movements in modern history – Art Deco, Bauhaus and Memphis, which originated in France, Germany and Italy – we look into how they continue to influence contemporary design culture and at the movement that will mark China’s place in the future history of design.

Moderated by Beatrice Leanza, co-founder of The Global School China (IT, CN). Speakers: Manuel Goller, founder New Tendency (DE); Lv Yongzhong (CN); Virginie Moriette, co-founder of Studio MVW (FR, CN); Andrea Destefanis, co-founder of Kokaisudio (IT, CN)

15:30 – 16:45
Panel 2: PRESENT – Dezeen ‘China Design Power’

An outlook on China’s current design challenges and the future development in the creative industry.

Moderated by Marcus Fairs, founder and editor-in-chief of Dezeen (UK). Speakers: Dara Huang, founder of Design Haus Liberty (UK); Lyla Wu, founder of Neuni Group (CN); Wang Hongchao, founder of Benwu Studio (CN); Sun Dayong, founder of Penda (CN). 

16:45 – 18:00
Panel 3: FUTURE – Designing for Healthier, Happier Lives

A panel of creative and business leaders explore the role that design plays in creating innovations to enrich our lives and strengthen our communities.

Moderated by Maurice Li, co-founder Collective Contemporist (CN). Speakers: Dr. Philip F. Yuan, Archi-Union Architects (CN); Albert K. B. Chan, director of development planning and design, Shui On Land (CN). Satoshi Isono, Senior Associate, Universal Design Studio (US). 



ASSEMBLY is dedicated to partner with a selected roster of leading organisations in design and culture, all working to contribute to meaningful exchange and to support the design community.



Camron’s clients come from many fields; design, interiors, art, food, fashion, publishing, travel, luxury. One could say they’re a lifestyle agency with design in their bloodstream and retail on the brain. Their clients are leaders in their chosen field, companies driven by visionaries, mavericks and passionate entrepreneurs.

Design Shanghai

Showcasing 350 of the best design brands and galleries from across the globe, Design Shanghai provides a unique and exciting platform to network, exchange and establish long-term business relations with Asia’s top architects, interior designers, property developers, retailers, collectors and private buyers.


Launched in 2006, Dezeen has grown rapidly ever since with audience base growing each year. By 2017, the website had 2.5 million unique visitors per month, making them one of the 5,000 most popular websites on the planet according to Alexa, as well as the most popular website about architecture and design.

Neuni Group

Established in 2013 in Hongkong – Neuni Group aims to bring design and innovation to a place within reach. Innovation design, new material and digital fabrication are the core value of Neuni. There are eight divisions in the group – Form, Materio, Shop, Lab, Space, Du, Fund and Partner.


Phillips is the destination for international collectors to buy and sell the world’s most important contemporary works of art. Headquartered in New York and London, with offices throughout the world, Phillips conducts sales in a select number of categories: Contemporary Art, Photographs, Editions, Design and Jewelry.


Founded by a designer and an IT expert with a shared passion for tea and for the aesthetic experience of drinking tea. Teawith focuses on enabling the enjoyment of fine teas in everyday life, and concentrates on purity of materials, design and manufacture to deliver an experience that is perfectly calibrated for daily life.