Our Offices & Partners Abroad

Design Visual Arts

Design and globalization


Milisuthando Bongela
blogger, writer, trend analyst. Johannesburg, South Africa

David Abraham
creative director of the Abraham & Thakore label. New Delhi, India

Mimi Yan
curator, design and lifestyle editor. Shanghai, China

Mariam Korachy
architect, co-founder of MK Architects Studio. Cairo, Egypt

Concrete Jungle
Felix Mashkov and Vadim Gerasimenko, street artists and designers. Vladivostok, Russia

Thomas Wüthrich and Yves Raschle, product designers. Basel, Switzerland

Jorge Guerriero
blogger, journalist. Lausanne, Switzerland

Patricia Lunghi, journalist

How does globalization influence design? How does the market change? And, does artistic creation need to adjust? International experts discussed this at the symposium COSMOPOLITAN – Switzerland organized by Pro Helvetia at Milans XXI International Triennale Exhibition.


Mimi Yan from Shanghai
Mimi Yan from Shanghai

«78 % of Chinese consumers use the internet for shopping», says the Shanghai design journalist Mimi Yan at the symposium on the impact of globalization on design, organized by the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia at Milans XXI International Triennale Exhibition. «The shopping malls in China are empty. The mall and shops are still there – but what they need is an additional offer with restaurants, cinemas etc. There are more and more such culture complexes and people go there, but not for shopping», says Mimi Yan. «So designers have to create a lifestyle.»



Many speakers emphasize that globalization brings a worldwide uniformity. Big companies such as Ikea come to markets like India or Egypt. In South Africa, as Mili Bongela, an art editor from Johannesburg, points out: «Fashion is heritage», she is persuaded. «There are a lot of designers in Johannesburg who are focusing on their identity beyond, before, apart from colonization heritage as a part of their identity.»


New Delhi based fashion designer David Abraham sees the role of the designer in India as a mediator between the market and the enormous potential of handcraft in his country. Handcraft becomes the new luxury. «The designers together with the crafts men find their markets and shape them», he says.

The symposium COSMOPOLITAN – Switzerland was the closing event of Switzerland at the Milans XXI International Triennale Exhibition.

(Foto: INCHfurniture Basel / Daniel Riera)


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