21 December 2023

Heatherwick Studio’s hit exhibition heads to Shanghai

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Heatherwick Studio’s critically acclaimed ‘Building Soulfulness’ exhibition will arrive in Shanghai this January. Curated by the celebrated Mami Kataoka of the Mori Art Museum and already seen by more than 100,000 visitors in Japan and South Korea, the show celebrates the studio’s seminal designs and long-standing relationship with China.

The exhibition will open to the public on 17th January and is hosted by the Fosun Foundation at the Bund Finance Centre – a building designed by the Studio in collaboration with Foster + Partners.

Thomas Heatherwick said:

“Shanghai holds a special place for the studio. It was here that the Seed Cathedral, our 2010 Expo pavilion, was visited by over fifty thousand people each day, leading to many projects and friendships in China ever since. It’s also here that we opened our first studio away from London. Being able to show ‘Building Soulfulness’, not just in Shanghai but in one of the buildings we designed, feels like a natural next step in our relationship with this
incredible city.”  

In partnership with Shangri-La Group, the Shanghai exhibition will feature models of the studio’s buildings across the globe as well as a full-scale model of Airo, the car that cleans the air as it drives and a selection of spun chairs for everyone to enjoy as part of the experience. The exhibition will also contain a new section diving into the design story of the studio’s newest project in the city – West Bund Orbit. Visitors will be able to see an exhibition model as well as drawings and banners of the gallery and event space soon to open on Shanghai’s West Bund waterfront.

The immersive Little Island experience, previously shown in Seoul and featuring exhibit models, videos, projections, and banners taking visitors on a design journey of New York’s newest public park will also come to Shanghai.

The final section, Humanise, will invite visitors to join a conversation about the way that cities make them feel. A giant scroll, designed by the studio and measuring 1.6m in diameter, will ask simple questions such as “Which buildings make you feel good, just by walking past them?” As visitors sketch their replies, the scroll will become a place for creative discussion, cataloguing what people want and what inspires them about the places where they live.

The exhibition is kindly sponsored by Shangri-La Group, Roca Shanghai Gallery and EFC Engineering Consulting Co., Ltd. The partnership between Shangri-La Group and Heatherwick Studio will extend beyond Shanghai and into 2024, including the unveiling of a joint internship programme cultivating China’s next wave of native design talent, as well as design showcases, speaking engagements and a book launch.

For more information, including ticket booking, click here.

Contact details:

Heatherwick Studio


About Shangri-La

Shangri-La Group is one of the world’s premier developers, owners and managers of hotel and investment properties which comprises office buildings, commercial real estate and serviced apartments/residences. The Group’s other principal activities include hotel management services as well as property development for sale. It currently owns and/or manages over 100 hotels globally in 76 destinations under the Shangri-La, Kerry, JEN by Shangri-La and Traders brands. Prominently positioned in Asia, the Group has a substantial pipeline of upcoming hotel and mixed-use development projects in Australia, Chinese Mainland, Cambodia, and Japan.

For more information, please visit https://www.shangri-la.com/group/.