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The value of design meets the concreteness of business

3-6 Sep 2021 • CIFF Shanghai

The 48th edition of CIFF Shanghai is about to begin, bringing hope with it for a world slowly regaining normality and stability. And so the sectors of CIFF Shanghai have been reorganised across the different halls to accommodate the presentation of almost two full floors of exhibitors at the National Exhibition & Convention Centre in Hongqiao, the largest exhibition centre in the world.

It’s almost time, the dates are set between 3-6 September in Shanghai Hongqiao. Even this troubled year of 2021 will see CIFF Shanghai go forward with its next edition. This is news in itself; even today, few other international fairs can ensure their editions proceed as scheduled.

Founded in 1998 in Guangzhou, CIFF takes place twice a year, in spring and autumn. In 2015, the organisers moved the September edition from Guangzhou to Shanghai, thereby markedly distinguishing the two editions, which attract distinct markets and visitor targets.

Together, the two editions involve over 6,000 of the top Chinese and international brands each year and host over 500,000 trade visitors from around the world. Throughout the pandemic, CIFF has suffered no decline. In fact, the latest edition of CIFF Guangzhou reported a 20% increase compared to the pre-COVID period.

Accordingly, there will be over 2,000 exhibitors at CIFF Shanghai this year, occupying an area of 400,000 square metres, and over 150,000 buyers, mainly from China due to the COVID-19 restrictions imposed by the Chinese government. Precisely these figures demonstrate the success of CIFF, which keeps its numbers unchanged despite the drop in foreign visitors.

The 48th CIFF Shanghai will be business-oriented, with its primary focus on the value of design and the culture of good living, expanded and interpreted across all sectors of the fair, from Home Furniture to Homedécor & Hometextile, from Outdoor & Leisure to Office Furniture to Furniture Machinery & Woodworking Machinery.

The 48th CIFF Shanghai will showcase the best design brands, offering new solutions that create a new experience for the industry, alongside the leading brands in upholstered furniture, promoting development in the sector with the technological and functional innovations of their products. It will be an edition full of events and exhibitions addressing issues related to the furniture market and the quality of the environments in which we live and work, but also discussions about how and to what extent good furniture can concretely improve people’s well-being and quality of life, a topic dear to many, especially after the lockdowns during the pandemic. Much space, both physical and conceptual, will be dedicated to the most advanced technologies applied to furnishings. In offering all this, the fair never loses touch with its Eastern identity, acting as a launching pad for good Chinese design and giving visibility to schools, institutions, and young talents entering the world of work.

A standout in this panorama, the EAST Design Show will make its now-usual appearance. Organised by Zhu Xiaojie and now in its sixth edition, the show is positioned as an ‘incubation platform for young, up-and-coming designers’, bringing the leading brands in home furnishings together with Asian designers and design schools in an exploration of the value of design.

Among other events, the Design Dream Show (DDS) will create eight trend sectors under the theme ‘New Wave · New Sound Filed’, including Trendy Play Special Exhibition Zone, Creative Market, Modern Fashion Workshop, Materials Academy, High-end Social Platform, Future Life Exploration Zone, D-Talk Forum, and Designers’ Club!; the Office Life Theme Pavilion, organised by Xu Zhaoming, will present interesting new concepts for workplace design under the theme ‘Office Customization • Harmony & Symbiosis’; and the Daguan Tea Ceremony will be dedicated to furnishings designed to facilitate better living and tea appreciation while also sharing the ancient tradition’s values.

In conjunction with CIFF Shanghai 2021, the 4th edition of the Shanghai International Furniture Machinery & Woodworking Fair, a furniture industry trade fair organized by CIFF in collaboration with Hong Kong Adsale, will be held in Halls 7.1 and 8.1 and brought to life by leading Chinese and international manufacturers who will present production technologies and all types of process machinery.

Though it is still difficult for Westerners to attend this edition, there will be no shortage of articles, livestreams, and resources to make everyone feel present and central.

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