Since 2009 Beijing Design Week has been a platform to spread design culture into a country whose aesthetics have been long trapped between faded echoes of past glories and mass-produced kitsch. While the discussion about a Chinese Renaissance, and how to revive traditions, takes place on TV, the path to shaping a contemporary Chinese style isn’t easy, as a fast-paced cash-hungry economy often represent an insurmountable obstacle for authentic craftsmanship.
During this year’s Beijing Design Week, Domus Tiandi Space is hosting an “Maverick,” which aims to take to the spotlight some of the most interesting examples of contemporary Chinese design.
In a fast-changing city like Beijing, urban planners and designers puzzle over how to preserve the remains of historical identity while improving residents’ quality of life in old neighborhoods. Round upon round of demolitions and relocations have been reshaping the city and its social fabric for a good three decades. So far, commercialization and gentrification of hutongs have been the only way to save old blocks from land-craving developers. Altogether, it’s a widely debated dilemma.