Date: 2017-May-15Writer: Zhang Yang
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AN exhibition hall for displaying new materials has been set up at the Sino-Finnish Design Park in Futian District, a subvenue of the 13th China (Shenzhen) International Cultural Industries Fair (ICIF) that will conclude today.
The materials were provided by Neuni MateriO, a Shanghai-based virtual material library that houses over 7,000 materials chosen by engineers and designers all over the world.
It’s the first time that Neuni MateriO has exhibited at ICIF, providing visitors a selection of 70 new materials, such as flexible wood, diffused fibers and an antibacterial membrane.
Irem Arig, head of new materials at Neuni MateriO, said Shenzhen is well-known as a center of innovation in terms of technology and industrial design, and her company is looking for cooperation in the city by offering its physical and online databases of new materials, and its latest achievements in material research, to local designers.
“As a material library, there is something really unique we can offer in terms of approaching design or approaching innovation through material as a starting point,” Arig said.
The subvenue’s theme is “Design 4.0: Intelligent Manufacturing” this year. Feng Changhong, vice president of the Shenzhen Industrial Design Profession Association, said that Design 4.0 means designing for the eco-environment, which advocates for designing with eco-friendly new materials.
“We hope that the concept of Design 4.0 can encourage more designers, engineers and entrepreneurs to prioritize using eco-friendly materials in their products,” she said.
Sandy Munro, chairman of the Michigan Small Aircraft Transportation System (MI SATS) of NASA and CEO of Munro & Associates — an engineering consultancy firm in the United States, signed a cooperation agreement with Sino-Finnish Design Park on Friday to set up a global benchmark innovation center in Shenzhen.
Called a visionary and master innovator by NASA, Munro is a pioneer who created the concept of lean design to help producers eliminate waste in the design phase and improve the quality of their products.
“The world is realizing that add-value manufacturing is the wave of the future,” he said, adding that the core of lean design was well-suited for makers to produce small batches of products and that the Munro tools could help more Shenzhen innovators realize the full potential of their creativity by improving the quality and reducing the cost of their products.
According to Munro, he has received many offers to set up a Munro benchmark center in different Chinese cities over the past three years while he traveled around the country and worked with many companies, but he eventually decided to set up the center in Shenzhen after meeting many local makers and innovators, who showed him the city’s potential.
“I believe that Shenzhen is an emerging center for innovation in China, and that means this is where Munro needs and wants to be,” he said.