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Monday 05 Sep 2011

Parsons participates in inaugural Beijing Design Week

Parsons the New School will be participating in the 2011 Beijing Design Week and the First Beijing International Triennial which, judging from the program and participants, is sizing up to be quite an event. To be held in the China National Museum on the east side of Tian’anmen Square from September 28th to 17th October, 2011, Beijing Design Week is being billed as a ‘national stage for Chinese creativity’.

At the event, Parsons will present BJDW ALT, an exhibition of work that responds to alternative hotspots located in Beijing. The project is the result of a collaborative studio held this past June with students from Parsons, the China Central Academy of Fine Arts and Tsinghua University. The exhibition will also feature work from ‘Weather Tunnel’, which was recently on view as part of Translife at the International Triennial of New Media Art at the National Museum of China. According the Sven Travis, dean of Parson’s School of Art, Media and Technology, the ‘exhibition not only exemplifies the types of collaborative work that engage our students but also our commitment to building a stronger presence in China to support its growing design sector’.

For ‘BJDW ALT’, teams of students explored Beijing’s Dongcheng District to uncover a variety of grassroots, international and community-centered creative spaces and created site-specific designs and new media art installations in response to these spaces. This resulted in a Big Urban Game where participants could take a tour of hot spots and interact with student installations. On view will be a selection of these works, including ‘Virtual Beng-Beng’ which simulates a trip to different locations around Beijing to convey how rapidly change occurs in this massive metropolis, and ‘Surface”, an interactive installation that reduces the immense scale of Beijing into an intimate experience.

‘Weather Tunnel’ is a series of installations created from environmental data collected from sensors that were deployed in a variety of geographically and geopolitically diverse locations around the world. The goal of the project was to create works that respond conceptually and formally to environmental and ecological crisis.

"Together, BJDW ALT and Weather Tunnel examine the dramatic changes that are happening both in Beijing and in major cities around the world from the perspective of young artists and designers," said Benjamin Bacon, Assistant Professor in the School of Art, Media and Technology at Parsons, who organized and will participate in the exhibition. "Through technology, these students are able to create innovative responses to what they see in their own community and globally."

In addition to the exhibition, Bacon will lead a DIY workshop on creating a Weather Tunnel project, as well as participate in the AIGA China Tech Salon. For more information, please visit www.bjdw.org

Sharon McHugh
US Correspondent

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