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Next City Living Lab at Beijing Design Week 2015



In 2015, the Next City Living Lab will make its debut at Beijing Design Week, in The Nurturing House. From 23 September to 30 October, The Nurturing House will be a home for the brightest ideas for a sustainable future, in China and the world. In this urban age, how can we be healthy and happy in our cities? How can they nurture our existence? And how should we nurture our cities, with clean air, water, energy, and food, to make this possible?


More with Less

China’s extraordinary high-speed urbanisation has brought great benefits but has now reached a turning point.

To continue its economic growth, while improving quality of life for its citizens and without further depleting its resources, China seeks to do more with less.


Small but Smart

Together with their Chinese colleagues, professionals from the Netherlands are researching how this goal can be achieved. Their knowledge and experience come from living in a tiny, green and water-logged country that is also one of the world’s strongest economies, and the second-largest exporter of food.


Meeting of Minds

Innovation for a sustainable urban future requires a meeting of minds. Architects and data crunchers, energy experts and agriculture specialists, urban designers, water engineers, and transport planners, ecologists and social scientists, serious

gamers and health care professionals: all contribute to an integrated approach that produces long-term solutions.


Next City Living Lab

Debuting in 2015, in the coming years the Next City Living Lab will provide a platform for this meeting of minds: coming from different disciplines; from business, education and government; from the Netherlands and from China.

The Next City Living Lab will highlight and support existing partnerships, while creating new opportunities for joint research, knowledge exchange, and business development.


The Nurturing House

Situated in busy Dashilar hutong, in a large former factory with beautiful skylights over a perfect rhythm of small rooms,

The Nurturing House welcomes all who seek to create a better future together. In an exciting and immersive environment, the rooms will tell stories, show beautiful objects, and present surprising solutions.


* Beijing Design Week 2015

Since its inception in 2011, Beijing Design Week has become a leading annual platform for the creative sector, gaining critical depth and public attention over the years. The event is organised under the auspices of the Chinese Ministries of Education, Culture, and Science & Technology, as well as the Municipal Government of Beijing. BJDW brings together important government officials with prominent thinkers and designers, connecting top-down approaches with bottom-up initiatives.


Dashilar is by far the best visited of all BJDW locations. The high quality of presentations draws a faithful audience of design professionals, business people and public officials. These include projects by CAFA and Tsinghua University, and important Chinese firms like Urbanus, Standard Architecture, Arup China, etc. The Dashilar Platform creates successful PR during BJDW, including an attractive area map with all the highlights.

Participating Companies

The creative and innovative companies participating in The Nurturing House, with lectures and exhibitions, are selected on the basis of their long-term involvement with China, their knowledge of the local context, and their genuine interest in contributing to a more sustainable world. To date these include OMA, MVRDV, West8, Powerhouse, UNstudio, MLA+, Next, Mars, More, Droog, as well as the collaborative research projects Towards 2050, INTI for Guangming New Town, and the Architecture Faculty of TU Delft. 


Main Partners

Beijing Design Week – long-term

Netherlands Embassy Beijing – long-term

China Building Centre – public programme

Dashilar Platform – location and local PR

Powerhouse Company – venue design

LAVA Beijing – identity & graphic design

Perfect Crossovers – PR & communication

Studio Henny van Nistelrooy & Ubi GalleryNurturing House Café


Open House

The Nurturing House will have a specially designed café with Wi-Fi, lovely food and great coffee and tea. Throughout BJDW and the month of October, The Nurturing House will be a place to meet and be inspired: Open House. Its open platform will welcome the initiatives of participants and other friends to hold workshops, lectures and social gatherings. 


Beyond BJDW 2015

In the coming years, the Next City Living Lab will act as connective platform for successful Sino-Dutch partnerships for sustainable urbanism in China. It will foster long-term collaboration between companies, education institutes, and government departments.

Next City Living Lab will have a pop-up presence at main events for innovation and creativity in China, returning yearly to Beijing Design Week. It will be an ever-evolving, interdisciplinary, mobile ‘living lab’, initiating and supporting crossovers for a more sustainable future.  

Main partners for this venture are Beijing Design Week, China Building Centre and the Netherlands Embassy and Consulate-Generals in China.


Friends of the Next City Living Lab

We invite companies from the Netherlands and China to become friends of the Next City Living Lab.


Earth: Founding Fathers

Join us as Founding Father on a three-year journey into unprecedented encounters between excellent minds: coming from both countries and a diversity of disciplines, standing on the shoulders of each other’s knowledge, and step-by-step evolving inspired solutions to urgent global issues. Be the first to know the outcome of their work and help form durable bonds between them.


Water & Air: Project Sponsors

Join us at The Nurturing House, together with the Founding Fathers, for the exciting debut of Next City Living Lab at Beijing Design Week 2015. Be part of the conversation; connect to other creative and innovative companies; meet key people in sustainable urbanism.


About ROAM

The ROAM foundation, led by artistic director Christine de Baan and business director Hester Swaving, connects networks and people with the aim of strengthening the impact of art and culture on urgent social issues of today.