Uniting Design, Architecture, and Commerce for climate solutions

In 2023, the Sustainable Design China Summit in Beijing continued to achieve significant success, showcasing innovative global solutions to combat climate change

The Sustainable Design China Summit, in Beijing, held from September 21 to 23, 2023, attracted over 2,000 professionals and more than 5,000 exhibition visitors, with 75% being trade visitors. This demonstrated the value of providing a platform for visionaries and innovators in design, architecture, developers, and academics who share a mission to create positive sustainable change.

Sustainable Design China Summit 2023
© Sustainable Design China Summit 2023

This year’s Summit was designed to bridge the gap between knowledge and action and focused on a clear message that Sustainability is no longer a choice. We shone a spotlight on the inspiring cases studies and sustainable developments that are taking place globally to address the planet’s most pressing challenges by showcasing the solutions, the actions and the strategies that are being implemented by leading companies and thought leaders to make positive change,” says Orianna Fielding, Chief Sustainability Advisor & Content Director. 

The three-day summit, which was introduced in our previous article too, featured six key themes.

Sustainable Design China Summit 2023
© Sustainable Design China Summit 2023

Sustainable Design China Summit – Three days, six key themes:

Day One

  1. Designing a Sustainable Future: Highlighted the role of spatial design in addressing climate challenges such as nature-positive design, biodiversity, Sponge Cities, and Passive House design.
  2. Circular Design Matters: Explored circular design thinking and its impact on waste reduction, recycling, and economic systems.
  3. Notable keynote speakers included Orianna Fielding, Mario Cucinella, and Prof. EM Dr Wolfgang Feist, who emphasized the benefits of Passive House design.
© Sustainable Design China Summit 2023

Day Two

4. On the Path to Net Zero: Focused on achieving net-zero carbon emissions in the built environment, with discussions on policies, passive building design, low-carbon materials, and smart building technology.

5. Towards A Greener Future: Explored opportunities and challenges in transitioning to a Net Zero future and highlighted the importance of sustainability in product design.

6. Notable speakers included John Haffner, Dr. Raymond Yau, and Alwyn Li, who discussed topics related to achieving net-zero carbon emissions.

© Sustainable Design China Summit 2023

Day Three

7. Holistic Hospitality: Explored hospitality approaches that prioritize well-being, environmental impact reduction, and employee health.

8. The Empathetic Workplace: Discussed changes in the workplace, sustainability, technology, and well-being in design.

9. Notable speakers included Lucky Chan, Qing Ye, and Pearl Tang.

Sustainable Design China Summit 2023
© Sustainable Design China Summit 2023

In addition to the conference sessions, there were three special curated projects:

  • Materials First: Presented 100 different materials exploring their potential and connections to sustainability.
  • Near & Distant: Explored new media’s impact on bringing people closer together.
  • Finland Pavilion: Showcased sustainability and functionality, featuring products from Finnish companies.

The exhibition area was larger this year, featuring environmentally-conscious products from various exhibitors. The Sustainable Design China Summit was supported by The Audi Group, highlighting the importance of design and sustainability in their products.

Sustainable Design China Summit 2023
© Sustainable Design China Summit 2023

The Audi e-Tron GT presented at the Summit is the perfect combination of breath-taking design, powerful electric drive, sustainable material, and dynamic performance, demonstrating design and sustainability can go hand in hand at Audi,” said Katy Tsang, Audi China Executive Vice President of Sales & Marketing.

Sustainable Design China Summit 2023
© Sustainable Design China Summit 2023

Overall, the summit provided a platform for professionals to discuss, network, and collaborate on tackling climate change. The next edition is scheduled for June 19-21, 2024, at the Shanghai World Expo Exhibition & Conference Centre, as part of Design Shanghai, Asia’s leading international design event, where sustainability issues will once again take center stage.


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