Darmstadt, Germany and Shanghai, China, November 6, 2014 – Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, is holding its “Displaying Futures”’ symposium in Shanghai, China today. Focusing on the theme “Building Innovation – Displaying Architecture”, experts will discuss questions concerning the impact of innovative display solutions on architecture as well as the life of the people therein. The Displaying Futures Shanghai symposium is the fourth in a series of annual symposia held since 2011, in which Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, has set out to explore new avenues through an inspiring exchange between designers, artists, communications experts, architects and scientists.

China is experiencing a new era of urbanization. Judging from what Li Keqiang, Premier of the People’s Republic of China, expects of this "powerful engine", the new type of urbanization holds essential weight in his mega-strategy for new breakthroughs - economically and socially*. In 62 pilot projects, smart, green and low carbon forms of sustainable architecture are encouraged.

“Looking at the fast-growing cities across the world, we can see that the face of architecture is changing,” explains Bernd Reckmann, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, Executive Board member and CEO Chemicals. “Thus, with this year’s Displaying Futures, we decided to offer a discussion on how display solutions help architecture to realize communication, synergies and energy efficiency and to enable people to live a better life through the process of urbanization.”

“With ‘Displaying Futures’ our field of vision now extends far beyond the purely technical aspects,” said Walter Galinat, President of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, Performance Materials. “The symposium will help to understand people’s behavior, their expectations and needs. Only by looking also at the social and cultural factors can we create new fields of business application in areas that do not seem obvious at first sight.”

“China has become one of the world's top countries for smartphones and tablets. The displays on our smart devices are more than just user interface screens. They are platforms that communicate our experiences and serve as windows to many different activities. Displays have become a part of our lives,” said Alasdair Jelfs, Managing Director of Merck Chemicals China, an affiliate of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany. “Displays are also becoming a part of architecture. Not only can gigantic displays on buildings be used as advertising space and information platforms, they make for fabulous lighting effects in the cityscape. They also open up new opportunities for everybody working in the display industry.”

Top-level speakers from urban space, architecture and industrial design

“When we talk about new possibilities for the display of information, like any other communication technology, we don't simply plug these devices and systems into an otherwise unchanging world,” explained keynote speaker Adam Greenfield, American network expert and city planner, “We engineer tools to serve a given end, we deploy them into the world, and the world molds itself around their presence, creating new desires, new demands, new risks and new opportunities. We might think of this as a continuous process of reciprocal co-creation.”

The keynote speech will be followed by three sessions: Communication, Synchronization and Energy. In a study on liquid crystal windows technology commissioned by Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, the world market leader in liquid crystals, architect Tim Edler, founder of realities:united, has taken up the challenge of developing proposals for the application of this new technology in his own characteristic and unique way. Famous in the field of understanding how human user interface and interaction languages need to evolve in both software and hardware, Amish Patel from Microsoft will contribute to the discourse on building innovation and displays in architecture. Talking on the broader subject of sustainability and energy is Doreen Heng Liu of NODE (Nansha Original DEsign or NO DEsign), an architecture studio in the Nansha district of Guangzhou, which sprang up in 2004 as a result of a series of projects realized in collaboration with the Fok Foundation in Hong Kong.

* “Urbanization drives growth” (2014-09-18 China Daily)


Displaying Futures "Perceptions", English Edition ISBN 978-3-9814131-5-1
Displaying Futures "Seamless Transitions", English Edition ISBN 978-3-9815860-1-5
Displaying Futures "Ubiquitous Interaction", English Edition ISBN 978-3-9815860-4-6
Displaying Futures "Building Innovation – Displaying Architecture ",
English Edition ISBN 978-3-9816842-6-1

About display materials from Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany

A brilliant home theater experience or crystal-clear road maps displayed on your navigation system: Liquid crystals from Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, work their magic in creating a sharp picture on monitors – which we cannot do without in our daily routine marked by communications. They come in ultra-flat big screen televisions, as well as in mobile phones, electronic toys and digital cameras. Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, develops special liquid crystal mixtures for all types of display technology. With more than 40 years of experience in the field of liquid crystals, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, is the world's leading manufacturer of materials needed for liquid crystal displays (LCDs: liquid crystal displays). Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, also produces materials for organic light emitting diodes (OLEDs).

As an innovation leader, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, is constantly developing new technologies and markets for its customers in close cooperation with the research and development departments in the display industry. The advanced LCD materials and high-quality liquid crystal mixtures developed specifically for customers by the Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, laboratories are also suitable for making future applications and ideas a reality.

About Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany and EMD Chemicals

Merck KGaA of Darmstadt, Germany, is a leading company for innovative and top-quality high-tech products in the pharmaceutical and chemical sectors. Its subsidiaries in Canada and the United States operate under the umbrella brand EMD. Around 39,000 employees work in 66 countries to improve the quality of life for patients, to further the success of customers and to help meet global challenges. The company generated total revenues of € 11.1 billion in 2013 with its four divisions: Biopharmaceuticals, Consumer Health, Performance Materials and Life Science Tools. Merck KGaA of Darmstadt, Germany is the world’s oldest pharmaceutical and chemical company – since 1668, the name has stood for innovation, business success and responsible entrepreneurship. Holding an approximately 70 percent interest, the founding family remains the majority owner of the company to this day.

EMD Chemicals is a North American subsidiary of Merck KGaA of Darmstadt, Germany. Worldwide there are two separate companies that bear the name “Merck”, the original Merck KGaA from Darmstadt, Germany, the oldest pharmaceutical and chemical company in the world, and the pharmaceutical company Merck & Co. in the United States. The rights to the name and trademark MERCK in North America (USA and Canada) lie with Merck & Co., the former U.S. subsidiary, whereas Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, operates in North America under the umbrella brand EMD and EMD Chemicals. In the rest of the world, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, owns the rights to the Merck name and trademark. This press release was distributed by Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany.

About the company’s affiliate in China

The business of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany in China can be traced back to later 1890s. In 1933, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, established its first subsidiary in Shanghai. After over 80-year development, now the Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany business and operation in China is driven by the twin engines: Chemicals and Healthcare. Chemicals is active in the market with committed employees offering high-tech, innovative products that Chinese people encounter on a daily basis. The Performance Materials division provides high quality products and premier service to the China market for effect pigments, liquid crystals and new materials. Life Science offers solutions that enable scientists to conduct life science research easily, efficiently and economically. Healthcare is dedicated to serving the Chinese market, currently marketing 14 products in 8 therapeutic areas in China.