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Design and other creative industries of China.

66m Under – 海拔66米

66m Under – 海拔66米

There is always a reason if I am not posting on Design Hotpot. As the 2014 Beijing Design Week came closer I have been incredibly busy in managing the project for  “66 meters Under” or “海拔66米” [from now on just ’66mU’]. 66mU is an installation organized by IYNED, a waterfront, yacht and marina design company with ties to Tsinghua University. According to a research done by National Geographic, If All The Ice-Melted, There are more than five million cubic miles of ice on Earth, and some scientists say it would take more than 5,000 years to melt it all. If...
7 reasons why the Design Week struggles to make it in Beijing

7 reasons why the Design Week struggles to make it in Beijing

I know it is not easy at all to organize such a huge event like a design week, and surely in a city of 20 millions citizens like Beijing… it’s hardcore! However, in this article I will try to explain what are the five main reasons why the Beijing Design Week is not growing as you would expect. [This article only represents my own views, no offense to anybody] Design still far from life. In China design is mostly perceived as an academic matter. Designers might be ‘cool’ but somehow many Chinese see them as 屌丝 Diaosi. For the city...
Chinese architects rediscovering the tradition of bamboo

Chinese architects rediscovering the tradition of bamboo

Bamboo is an extremely fast-growing species of giant grass that grows abundantly, quickly and cheaply across East Asia, Northern Australia and west to India and the Himalayas, but also occur in the Americas and the sub-Saharan Africa. It’s high strength-to-weight ratio, comparable to the ratio of steel, makes it adapt for construction uses. While in Japan, bamboo was used primarily as a supplemental or decorative element, throughout China’s building tradition, bamboo was a dominant material in architecture, especially in southern China. It was used for all the elements in architecture: structure, wall, floor, furniture, or ladders and stairs. A bamboo...
[infographic] Four perspectives to understand life in Beijing’s Hutong

[infographic] Four perspectives to understand life in Beijing’s Hutong

I hope you like this infographic about my favorite part of Beijing. You can click on the image to enlarge. The reason why I haven’t been posting for more than a week is because it took me quite a while to draw all those illustrations… anyway, I feel it was worth it! All the informations and numbers included in this graphic come from an extensive research I did a couple of years ago while contributing to the Hutopolis workshops. Feel free to share it, or maybe I should say “please share it!” P.S.: If you are interested in how to generate an...
Context is God. Try to understand this before building your China monument

Context is God. Try to understand this before building your China monument

Two days ago while I was on a cab ride through Beijing Haidian district, I noticed a glittery gate of a newly constructed compound with geometric decorations on its surface. It is common in Beijing, as in most of Chinese cities, to enclose residential 大院 compounds in walls. Usually the higher is the value of the compound, the stricter is the security at the compound’s gates. This reminds me of how castles in medieval Europe were built. The opposition between the rationality of the human-built environment and the chaos of the outside world, with the uncontrolled mess of a still frightening...
Feedbacks from readers on Chinese creative industry

Feedbacks from readers on Chinese creative industry

The childhood of Design Hotpot went really well, and it grew much over my best expectations. I had many interesting feedbacks by readers coming from all over the world, and to conclude this phase I want to summarize the great opinions I collected in these months. China is fast, and this is not just a cliché. I was away for six months and when I got back many things were not as I remembered. What really impressed me was the margin of penetration of social apps like Wechat. I’ll give you an anecdote. Like most of the residential compounds, on...