Sea World Culture and Arts Center (SWCAC) is an artistic design center located in Shenzhen. It is China’s first of its kind and features exhibits and classes to mold emerging artists and children. The building was designed by Fumihiko Maki, a well-known Japanese architect. The newest building in the center serves as a platform for the museum’s innovative program that highlights realms of design.
Design Society art center opened in December of 2017 in Shenzhen’s Shekou district in southern China. The institution is located within the SWCAC and houses a new V&A Gallery. The gallery is the first collaboration between a U.K. Museum and a Chinese partner. The SWCAC was designed in 2011.
The building features three large volumes on the roof, facing different directions. Each represents a different local context: the sea, the mountain, and the city. It is a beautiful representation of the fusion between commercial and cultural life. The cultural plaza features red sandstone that gives access to the galleries. The building covers 26,000 square meters, housing the Main Gallery, V&A Gallery, Park View Gallery, Shenzhen Guanfu Museum, Shekou Museum of Reform and Opening, and Shenzhen Exchange Center of UNESCO Creative Cities Network. The interior of the building is very open, making the space easily adaptable to various experiences.
Design Society was founded by China Merchants Shekou. A company engaged in comprehensive urban development under the 145-years-old China Merchants Group. This arts center on the harbor front in Shekou aims to strengthen the sustainable growth of the area by making the local design industry flourish.
The art center in China features many classes, embodying the Design Society’s mission of becoming the go-to platform and leading resource for design education in the country. The center hosts talks and panels that bring pioneers of the industry to talk through various topics. Additionally, there are workshops, design courses, and even courses for educators. The center also hosts screenings, performances, and conferences.
Among the many exhibitions since its opening, the art center has hosted the first Asian exhibit of Italian designers. This exhibition featured 100 works, including chairs, tables, cabinets, lamps, product design, architectural models, resin paintings, vases, and installations by designer Gaetano Pesce. Additionally, the center has hosted exhibitions around food, Chinese innovation, and much more.
The design of the arts center in China, both inside and out, is unique and modern. The open space inside makes it optimum to create various exhibits when needed. Additionally, the vast area that it sits on made it possible to create galleries with beautiful views of multiple environments. Additionally, the Design Society’s goals of not only to give space for Chinese designers to show their work but also for foreign designers to that makes it extra special. Not to mention the vast number of opportunities new designers can engage in by learning more about the industry through the many educational programs. Design Society is a great space to learn about design in China while walking around a beautifully designed building.