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Designing China

Designing China

Since last winter I’ve been working for a design exhibition called Yù – Designing China 中国设计进行时 which will be held in the cloister of Milan University “Statale” [Via Festa del Perdono 7 20122 Milano], from 7 to 13 April. I’ve been involved since the beginning, coordinating the whole project, together with the Chinese curator Yang DongJiang and the Italian organizers [and founders] of the Milan Design Week: the Italian design magazine Interni. Apart from the exhibition itself, you are all invited to attend the press conference and forum of the exhibition and the following cocktail, to talk about where is the made-in-China heading to with some of the most important...
Why do Chinese love photography

Why do Chinese love photography

If you’ve ever been to China you should know how Chinese are crazy about photography. It’s not just a stereotype depicting Chinese tourists in Europe snapping thousands of photos in a day; it is the truth. In my college years in Tsinghua I was amused by the number of SLR cameras my classmates had, all of which costed at least twice the country’s average per capita income. With my 400 euros Olympus I was their joke. A few years back a meme appeared on the Internet: “摄影穷三代,单反毁一生” literally “third poor photographers generation, reflex cameras ruin lives”, and a photo of a...
China bridge-blogs

China bridge-blogs

China bridge-blogs are those blogs that give insights, analysis, opinions and news about China to a foreign audience, and before I start annoying you with my own stuff, I wish to write about my favorite ones, those I have been reading in the past six years. This list does not pretend to be the cream of the crop of the Chinese blogosphere, instead simply represent my tribute to a huge source of valuable knowledge. Of course there are many, many other valuable Blogs, but I enlisted only the ones I am familiar with. At the moment of writing I am in Vicenza,...
Engine start

Engine start

So, after 6 years spent wandering around China, in the middle of the rise of a multitude of microblogging platforms and closed social networks, witnessing the sunset of blogs as the main form of expression in the World Wide Web, with awful perfect timing, I finally decided to set up this Blog. I’m an italian Beijing-based designer, which means, for how I see it, that despite me being (ethnically and to a certain degree also culturally) italian I can’t accept the idea of being entangled into the definition of being an italian designer. Having lived in Beijing for the past six years of my life (which counts...
3 reasons why coworking is booming in China and what’s next?

3 reasons why coworking is booming in China and what’s next?

According to real estate services firm Jones Lang Lasalle, by the end of 2016 there were over 500 coworking sites in Shanghai and Beijing alone, compared to just a few in the end of 2015. As the sharing economy takes root in China with increasing vigour, a growing number of Chinese customers are shifting to a collaborative consumption lifestyle, resulting in a huge boom of co-working spaces in recent years with thousands of operators emerging. Generally speaking this is a mindset change: from owning something to renting something. Since this ‘new’ mindset is not totally a new thing in China, coming from a collectivist...
Why car-sharing is about to explode in China

Why car-sharing is about to explode in China

Disruptive changes in the car-sharing landscape are to be expected from the Chinese market, pushed by an increasing demand for connected vehicles and by the impellent emergency of pollution and cars congestion. On one side, according to estimates from Goldman Sachs, people born between 1980 and 1990 made up roughly 30% of China’s total population in 2015. They are more urban, more affluent almost all digital natives. These connected consumers are now turning their attention to the country’s car market, demanding connected cars at far higher rates than elsewhere. On the other, Chinese officials are seeking to harness the flood of private...
The rise of multi-label and lifestyle brands in China

The rise of multi-label and lifestyle brands in China

In Beijing, it seems that everyone is opening up a vintage shop. From the American, retro-cowboy, rockabilly vintage of the shops in Gulou, to the more European vintage of Sanlitun’s House of Willow, there are so many different vintage boutiques that have mushroomed around the city. Vintage is still a niche market in general. It still has a concentrated appeal—it’s not for everyone. These shops complement their brick-and-mortar shops with E-commerce platforms that serve more for marketing purposes than actual sales. These WeChat platform are more like style blogs where everything it’s about lifestyle. Mainstream luxury vs niche luxury Consumption in...