Opening this weekend at London’s feted Victoria & Albert museum ( is China Design Now, an exhibition which captures the climate of the continent today as it opens up to global influences and responds to the hopes and dreams of its emergent urban middle class.

This is the first exhibition in the UK to explore the recent explosion of contemporary design in China, and the first to attempt to understand the impact of rapid economic development on architecture and design in the country’s major cities. From significant architectural projects, including the 2008 Olympic national stadium, to the latest in fashion and graphics, the exhibition investigates this dynamic phase.

Taking the form of a journey through three rapidly expanding cities - Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen - the presentation explores different design fields. Around a hundred designers are featured in a display that focuses on architecture, fashion and graphic-design as well as film, photography, product and furniture design, youth culture and digital media. These are the designers who are taking Chinese design to an international audience.

China Design Now : 15th March to 13th July 2008
Photo: the exterior of the V&A museum