A photo depicts Old Beijing cultures.
Modern Beijing, with its array of skyscrapers, vistas of glass and steel, and commuting masses can be a dehumanizing experience. But some architects are determined to reimagine the city as a cradle of connection and an oasis of fulfillment.
This year's Beijing Design Week is embracing this movement with the Chaoyangmen Cultural Community project, which represents a swath of Old Beijing, with architects' visions for a sustainable city life.
First launched in 2015, the Design for the People program is a headlining cooperation between the Chaoyangmen community and Beijing Design Week. And this year, the Chaoyangmen Cultural Community project looks to new perspectives and solutions to improve living standards for local residents, making creative thinking a matter of daily life.
"A city is a complicated organism associated with its own memories, its own texture, its own past and future," said Dong Linxiao, deputy director of the Chaoyangmen Sub-district office. "When architects put their creations into a city, it will be changed in a big way. Is it a good change or not? Will it bring benefit to the locals or not? This needs to be examined. We say 'Design for the People,' which stresses the fundamental task for architects. The city belongs to the general public. Building a better place calls for the participation of everyone."
Urban planners, designers and artists take on the challenge of bringing direct, tangible and positive change to the community, while protecting residents and independent craftsmen from the impact of mass tourism.
Xu Si, one of the organizers of the Design for the People project said: "It takes time to revitalize the aging neighborhood. The architects will continue upgrading the courtyards and deepening their creative concepts, and thus complementing the sustainability of the program."
The new Chaoyangmen Cultural Community project offers residents a place to connect with art exhibitions, DIY sessions and much more.
Chaoyangmen Cultural Community is helping drive forward the concept of regeneration in the area. The idea of giving residents examples of how to restore and reuse buildings might not be new, but the project is unique in the way that it brings together those that plan and those that dwell under one roof.