Design China

News about design in Greater China

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Articles

Fading Lives

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"Shanghai is a fantastic city undergoing incredible change. The city’s impressive growth, however, does not come without consequences. To make room for the already abundant high-rises, many old areas are being knocked down. This short film highlights the disappearance of a small historical quarter (小南门, or Xiao Nan Men) in Shanghai, and the impact this has [had] on its community". Watch the video.

Jiana Mani Visitor Center

"Situated in Yushu, in Qinghai Province close to Tibet, the Jiana Mani Visitor Center is a crucial building for [an] area that was badly damaged in recent earthquakes. The center will provide basic services for the residents, including a post office, food and drinks, and medical services.

The building is square in form, with 11 observatory platforms around the perimeter. Each platform points towards an important cultural site nearby, and reflects the story of its surroundings inside. The project was completed by TeamMinus in 2012”. Via EightSix.

Three Courtyards Community Center

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"A rapidly developing area along the Yangtze River called for a community center for…the burgeoning city of Yangzhou, China. The structure [makes use of a] streamlined form and a rich architectonic palette to balance the likes of the nearby 2500-year old Beijing-Hangzhou grand canal and the sleek glass office blocks. Zhang Lei of Chinese firm AZL Architects used the cluster of three buildings to assert a statement about the potential for architecture to unify a shifting landscape". Via designboom.

The Making of Remaking: Rural Politics, Observed

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"Kunshan-Under Construction, an intervention-style research project marrying art and society, began in 2010. The project observes and investigates China’s New Countryside program of rural construction. The specific locale is Kunshan New Village in Chengdu’s Shuangliu County. The multi-dimensional, integrated art intervention has included field research, on-site creative projects, short-term themed workshops, interdisciplinary symposia, themed exhibitions, and more. The spontaneous origins of the project have created two parallel channels for discourse: a reality and history-based critical intervention, and a constructed system of reflexive artistic practice". Continue reading.

Ai Weiwei (Part 1)

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In a special three-part interview, Design China talks to internationally-celebrated, China-based creative Ai Weiwei about Caochangdi Village, his thoughts on Beijing Design Week and what young, local creatives need to do in order to survive here.

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Francis Lam

Francis Lam (or dbdbking) is an interactive designer based in Shanghai, founder of db-db.com, and owner of furniture studio-store Origin Woodwork (O.WW), which he runs with his wife. He is also creative director at W+K Shanghai. Design China’s Lynn Zhang sat down with Francis to discuss how his background in computer science opened up opportunities to realise his interests in art and design, as well as his career journey to date.

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Art Village: A Year in Caochangdi

Caochangdi is a microcosm of 21st-century China. Rural migrants come from the provinces — historic Hubei, impoverished Anhui, subtropical Sichuan — in search of opportunity in the big cities, but a lack of marketable skills and the inability to gain an urban hukou, or residency status, limit their access to housing and prevent them from obtaining social services like education and health care. They can’t afford to live in the expensive new neighbourhoods in the center, so they live on the margins, where they remain in a legal gray zone until money and luck run out, or the demolition trucks roll in”. Continue reading.