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What is Beijing Design Week?

Beijing Design Week is the largest and most significant design festival in Asia. The 2021 festival takes place from 18 September – 7 October.

Beijing Design Week is the largest design festival in Asia. The festival attracts annually more than 8 million visitors and close to 10,000 participating designers and organizations from more than 30 countries.

The design festival covers about one million square metres of exhibition space in the centre of Beijing.

The theme of Beijing Design Week 2021 is The Power of Brands. The design festival is held from 18 September–7 October. The grand festival opening takes place on 22 September.

Beijing Design Week is organized by Beijing Gehua Cultural Development Group and Beijing Industrial Design Center

Helsinki Guest City

The Guest City status of Helsinki gives Helsinki and its partners significant visibility at Beijing Design Week.

Participation in the design festival is an opportunity for Helsinki to present its expertise and to strengthen the city’s partnerships and visibility in China. Beijing is the only official sister city of Helsinki, and cooperation with Beijing is one of the key themes of Helsinki’s international strategy. Helsinki and Beijing signed a four-year intercity cooperation agreement in 2019. The themes of this agreement include urban planning, environmental protection and cooperation in innovation.

The main goal of the project Beijing Design Week – Guest City 2021 is to enhance the reputation and appeal of Helsinki especially in the utilization of design and as an innovative testbed for smart and sustainable solutions.

Helsinki’s participation in the design festival opens opportunities for exporting Finnish expertise to China, as well as for developing the city’s own operations. 

The goals of the Helsinki Guest City project

  • To grow the name recognition and appeal of Helsinki.
  • To strengthen the expertise of Helsinki and the international business opportunities of partnering enterprises and other partners.
  • To implement the intercity cooperation agreement of Beijing and Helsinki, to achieve a closer relationship between the cities, and to create new cooperation opportunities.
  • To attract Chinese talent and businesses to Helsinki and to promote investment.

The Guest City status has been granted to nine cities before Helsinki, most recently to Mexico City in 2019. The Guest City status was granted to Helsinki for the 2020 design festival, but Helsinki’s participation in the festival was postponed by a year because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The impact of Covid-19

The Beijing Design Week programme of Helsinki has been drawn up with due consideration for restrictions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. All programme items are implemented either virtually or in a hybrid manner partially in person in Beijing and partially online.

To organize the Guest City events, Helsinki partners with Luovi Productions and the special events agency TAPAUS. The Helsinki Guest City project is coordinated by the Helsinki City Executive Office’s Communications division.

Photo: Yiping Feng & Ling Ouyang