Tag Archives: hutong

What can we learn from the last Dolce & Gabbana PR disaster in China

What can we learn from the last Dolce & Gabbana PR disaster in China

Global luxury brands are trying very hard to conquer the Chinese market, fit in the local culture and engage with the consumers and their ever-changing behaviours. While some brands appear to be succeeding in creating a real conversation with their audience, some others are struggling to understand the local culture. Gucci and Alessandro Michele’s story of success A successful example comes from Gucci, that fuelled the expression of its brand identity in a slightly traditional way, by curating an art exhibition in Beijing’s art district 798, together with the high-end fashion publication A Magazine Curated By. Luxury fashion houses are...
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...
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...
[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...