Category > design

Pimp my ride, China-style!

Cars are a symbol of modernity and luxury, and particularly so in China, the largest car market in the world. Everyone is in on this: the government, auto companies, and of course, the sacred cow of the international economy, the rising Chinese middle class. As a country and a generation goes wheels up, one of [...]

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An Ode to O2Sun

Welcome to book heaven! Like most book nerds, I can spend hours browsing a bookstore, and this is particularly true of the branches of the Fujianese bookstore chain O2Sun. Branches can be found all over China, and it is the kind of store that is definitely more oriented towards a younger, relatively hip reader with [...]

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PaperTalk: Celebrating the Charm of Paper

PaperTalk is one of my favourite, favourite places in Beijing. Nestled in Fangjia Hutong (方家胡同), this adorable shop specializes in paper products and specialty papers from all around the world. It is all very fitting considering that paper was a Chinese invention. PaperTalk Proprietor Haiyi is passionate about paper, and PaperTalk is a perfect platform [...]

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The Secret Boutique: Wuhao

Beijing is not a city particularly known for its fashion or its style, at least, not yet, but sometimes one stumbles across both. Hidden behind a door with only its street number, the stylish boutique Wuhao calls itself a “curated shop”. Situated in a gorgeous siheyuan–formerly occupied by Wanrong, the Last Empress, before she was [...]

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The love child of English and Chinese

As seen in 帽儿胡同 Mao’er Hutong, near 南锣鼓巷 Nanluoguxiang. This sign for a bookstore/tea house represents what I like best about Beijing’s–and China as a whole–burgeoning interest in design and language, the way that it cleverly takes both Chinese characters and the English alphabet to create something new. In the Traditional character for book 書 [...]

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