Luckily I managed to arrive in time for Beijing Design Week where I particularly enjoyed the pop up exhibitions along one of the most charming alleyways, Dashilar Alley. The exhibitions appeared in amongst the small eateries and shops selling things such as Chinese artwork and stationary. At times the exhibitions were in very unexpected places – ruined and vacant buildings were given over to the temporary exhibitions.
Hutopolis was for me the most interesting exhibition I discovered. The exhibition used presentation boards and two short movies to express the atmosphere, urban conditions and way of living in Beijing’s hutongs. It’s the hutongs that make Beijing such a special place, the alleyways are full of life and history. They mix people, cars, bikes and rickshaws navigating the narrow spaces in between the seating outside restaurants, clothes hanging out to dry and kids playing. I’m lucky enough to be living on a hutong and experiencing it all first hand. So far, I’ve seen my hutong full of life first thing in the morning to last thing at night, but I’m interested to see how this will change as the days get colder and we move into winter.
Beijing’s design week had the ultimate goal to change the renowned ‘made in China’ phrase to ‘designed in China.’ Perhaps it will change to ‘B designed in China’ instead… Steve Jobs has shown anything is possible!
See you next time,