DISSING+WEITLING and Kragh & Berglund are among the Danish companies participating in Asia’s biggest design event and attraction, Beijing Design Week 2018. Together, the two companies represent the Danish human-centred way of designing public architecture and urban spaces.
This year, Copenhagen is the official guest city for Beijing Design Week, taking place from 25 September to 5 October. Several Danish companies will move to Beijing’s creative 751 D-Park and 798 Art District and present Danish lifestyle, culture and sustainable urban developments.
Sharing common urban challenges
Both DISSING+WEITLING and Kragh & Berglund are experienced players in the Chinese market with their extensive knowledge of Chinese–Danish collaborations. They understand the common challenges for China and Denmark when it comes to city planning and architecture: increased traffic congestion, environmental issues, pollution, increasing problems with loneliness, lack of green spaces and demographic challenges.
Partner and Managing Director at DISSING+WEITLING architecture Steen Savery Trojaborg says:
‘Beijing Design Week is an opportunity to strengthen our good relations with Chinese contractors and local urban experts, while showing some of our projects that are relevant for China. The Bicycle Snake, for example, is a significant example of how we work to enhance mobility in a dense city, saving commuters time and simultaneously adding value in terms of developing hospitable and inclusive cities. As Danish architects and urban planners, our aim is to design proper environments for the people who live, work and spend time in cities. We believe in exporting this Danish way of focusing on users and context in the centre of a project.’
Jonas P. Berglund, partner and co-owner of Kragh & Berglund Landscape Architects adds:
‘Since 2005 we have had a local Chinese studio at the Danish Culture Centre in Beijing managed by our Chinese partner Jasmine Wang. Beijing Design Week is a great opportunity for us to meet our local clients and create new relations. As Danish landscape architects and planners, we share a strong tradition of human-oriented approaches to designing and sharing knowledge. Seen as a whole, we have a strong commitment to envision and produce a variety of inclusive architecture and urban spaces that accommodate the needs of the many. We have a focus on designing with nature and our democratic ambitions prioritise mobility, connectivity and accessibility both between people and cities and between regions.’
Exhibition, events and talks
On 29 September, the two companies will be hosting a pop-event at the Danish Culture Centre in Beijing, where Kragh & Berglund also keeps its local Chinese studio. The pop-event will be in addition to several other events and talks taking place during Beijing Design Week.
With the headline ‘From small to great – Copenhagen reclaimed’, Steen Savery Trojaborg will speak at the ’Small Planet, Great Architecture’ conference on 28 September. This talk will give examples of how architecture can help cities become greener and more livable, solving pragmatic problems and creating positive side effects.
Jonas P. Berglund will speak at the Danish Embassy on 26 September: ‘Making cities inclusive, spontaneous and playful’. Here, Berglund will illustrate why and how people and cities benefit by integrating more spontaneous, inclusive and playful public areas.
Besides the Bicycle Snake, other DISSING+WEITLING projects that will be on display in Beijing are the Åbuen Bridge, the major coast-to-coast link in Guangdong, the Shenzhen–Zhongshan link, with the world’s widest immersed road tunnel, two major suspension bridges and two iconic artificial islands. In addition, the Xiamen Bicycle Skyway, Xiamen Footpath and Stonecutters Bridge in Hong Kong will be on show for the exhibition’s visitors.
Kragh & Berglund will exhibit projects, too: ‘Happy and Play’ at Yixing Activity Square, the spontaneous and intuitive movement park ‘Rågsved Sports Park’, ‘PLUGandPLAY’ – a temporary alternative sports area, ‘Stranden’ – a beach, managed coast and park, ‘BLOX’ – an active outdoors space and ‘Generationernes hus’ – the house of generations, a social living space.