Café des Sciences: Rethinking Design

Mr. Hongchao Wang, Creative Director and Co-founder of Benwu Studio, and Mr. Jean-Philippe Bonzon, Founder of Jpbdesign Studio will share their thoughts on design

Event Details


swissnex China office
22F, Building A, Far East International Plaza, 319 XianXia Road, Shanghai, China


[Hybrid] October 15, 2020, 18:00 - 20:30 (China) / 12:30 - 14:00 (Switzerland)


Free, RSVP required. For online viewing via Zoom please refer to Event Registration.

Our 22nd Café des Sciences will focus on design, we will invite two prominent designers working in Shanghai and globally: Mr. Hongchao Wang, Creative Director and Co-founder of Benwu Studio, and Mr. Jean-Philippe Bonzon, Founder of Jpbdesign Studio, to give us a tour of their design products and share with us their thoughts on design over this special period.

They will discuss the art and science behind creating functional tools and interiors. What are some major steps during the design process? How do designers look at consumerism and sustainability?


Event Rundown

*program from 18:30 – 20:00 will be live broadcasted via Zoom
18:00-18:30 Registration
18:30-18:35 Welcome Speech

Dr. Felix Moesner,

Science Consul & CEO, swissnex China

18:35-19:05 Presentation

Mr. Hongchao Wang,

Creative Director & Co-founder of Benwu Studio

19:05-19:35 Presentation

Mr. Jean-Philippe Bonzon,

Founder of Jpbdesign studio

19:35-20:00 Discussion and Q&A
20:00-20:30 Networking Reception




Hongchao Wang

Creative Director & Co-founder of Benwu Studio


Born and raised in China (1989) educated in the U.S. and Switzerland, Hongchao graduated with a master degree in design for luxury & craftsmanship from ECAL (École cantonale d’art de Lausanne), where he studied under the tuition of Designer Nicolas Le Moigne, Thilo Brunner, Jaime Hayon, and Bethan Wood. Hongchao had worked in design studios such as Stephen Burks, Søren Rose, and Fabrica. He is also a lecturer at the IND department of XJTLU since 2015.

Benwu studio was founded in New York City 2012 by designer Hongchao Wang and Peng You. In the beginning, the collaboration between the design duo is mainly focused on material experiment and craft research. In 2015 with design partners interior architect Ge Wei and Product Designer Qiyun Deng, Exhibition Designer Penglong Geng join forces, Benwu Studio becomes a multi-disciplinary design practice with experience in product, interior, and set design. The Studio is based in Shanghai & Beijing and works internationally with clients such as Hermes, Vacheron Constantin, Cassina, Berluti, Isabel Marant, Mini, BMW, Baccarat, Swarovski, Perrier Jouet, Remy Martin, Martell, Lane Crawford, V&A Museum, Comme Moi, Phoenix Television, Common Gender, Particle Fever, Architectural Digest, MFK, SKP, Erdos, and Gaga.


Past Design Projects from Benwu Studio


Kept exploring in practice while serving their clients, Benwu studio has accumulated a variety of project experience in making unique designs while balancing between their unexpected playful concept and satisfying clients’ needs.

Bear Shelf

A furniture piece designed by Benwu Studio back in 2014 customized by the petit h team as a collection piece for the Petit h Rome shop curated by Pascale Mussard, Artistic Director in charge of Petit h.

Fugu Bag

The fugu bag is intended for people who work and live in an urban environment. It protects your precious pods and gadgets from hard attacks. The material is a heavy-duty technical fabric made of carbon-fiber double side coated with polyurethane. The fabric panel is assembled using high-frequency welding techniques which brought the bag to a better waterproof level. The inflatable system consists of special TPU films that provide high tensile, high elongation, and resilient features.


Jean-Philippe Bonzon

Founder, Jpbdesign studio


Awarded by many prizes including the Swiss Design Awards, Jean-Philippe Bonzon is a Swiss designer based between Lausanne (Switzerland) and Shanghai. He is developing his design brand called Jpbd based on a radical aesthetic and simple functionalities for products and furniture. He is also exploring different horizons like scenography and art installations. Paper, bamboo, enamel, and jade is part of these Chinese materials he used to create and define his playful design with his point of view with an inspiration of the Asian Culture. On the other side, Jean-Philippe teaches design at the “China Academy of Art” in Hangzhou and the Ecole de Design Nantes Atlantique in Shanghai.


Past Design Projects from Jean-Philippe Bonzon




A new kind of teaware that helps anybody to make and explore loose leaf tea simply and playfully. Inspired by the concept of the tea ceremony, T-Flip makes brewing a performance, literally “flip it” around to make a delicious tea. Most people drink fast-food style tea bags, even while knowing the many drawbacks in health and flavor. One reason is the convenience of tea bags as well as the unfamiliarity with loose leaf tea. T-Flip wants to change that; it is easy to use and makes brewing tea experience not just a task. All the skills required to make your perfect cup of tea will increase with every use.




A chair made for children. The bricolo chair is inspired by the traditional wood game for kids. Assembling becomes a game and children become handyman. Construction is as important as use. This project aimed to create a chair, where the user could assemble himself, and here the “do it yourself” becomes a fun game. This chair is made completely with the numerically controlled saw and sold in a flat package. A project made in collaboration with Fabien Cappello.



Café des Sciences

Shanghai | Every third Thursday each month

Café des Sciences is a new format at swissnex China offering a monthly platform for Swiss Spotlight Scientists and Startups to present their projects and connect with the local community. The lectures will offer a casual setting in which speakers can present their work and engage with the attendees during a Q&A period. Audiences are welcomed to enjoy the networking reception with Swiss flavour after the talk. The lecture is scheduled to take place every third Thursday each month at swissnex China or our partner spaces. To view past events, please click here