more working coast to vacation getaway…

… this time on Jiming Island, which is located in Rongcheng City, Shandong and made famous during an episode of “Daddy, where are we going? Impressions, below:

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SZ8X80106//The_Myriad_Transformations//Cut and Pastiche: That was then…

I know, you’re asking yourself: how is it already 2019? The date pounds like a migraine because once again we’re in the middle of a China-history countdown: 70th anniversary of the founding of the PRC, 60th anniversary of the start of the great leap forward famine, 50th anniversary of the Sino-Soviet border conflict, 40th anniversary of the “First Blast” of Reform and Opening chez Shekou, 30th anniversary of the Tian’anmen democracy movement, 20th anniversary of the crackdown against Falungong, and the 10th anniversary of Shenzhen’s decision to upgrade its “dirty, chaotic, and substandard (脏乱差)” urban villages. Continue reading

…and what happens to people after they leave shenzhen and return home?

Heshun is a township located in Tengchong, which these past few years has been heavily promoted by the Yunnan Tourist industry. Heshun is indeed a fun place to stop off and explore for a day or two. In addition to enjoying great local food, jade, hot springs, and Bai ethnicity architecture, tourists can learn about the role of Han Chinese in the history of Southeast Asia, including Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Myanmar, and the mainland territory of Malaysia. In Heshun, specifically, Han families tell multiple stories of cross-border family ties with settlements in Myanmar. In fact, in the Cun Ancestral Hall, the jeweled portraits of important ancestors were produced in Myanmar, while last year the wood for renovating the ancestral hall was imported from Myanmar. According to the tour guide, the wood cost over 5 million rmb.

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taipei dreaming (on such a snowy day)!

This past week, I had the pleasure of visiting the Taipei Dream Community, a fascinating place where Gordon Tsai has used real estate to push forward hippie dreams–redeveloping Xizhi (汐止), stimulating community through carnivals, and artist residencies.

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landlord dreaming, or affordable housing III

So yes, it seems that affordable housing problems are not simply escalating, but also creating new market niches. Recently on the subway, I pick up a leaflet advertising condominiums for sale in Shenzhen East, out near Dachong. The catch? The developers weren’t targeting single families who are buying their first home or even trading up for bigger and better, but rather the developers are targeting potential landlords. From the copy:

Exquisitely designed hotel apartments, 5 years guarrentied rent, as soon as you buy you can start collecting rent.
精装酒店公寓,5年包租,即买即收租。

affordable housing II: more on dormitories

Yesterday I was talking with a tourist destination designer from the Tourism Division of OCT. He explained that each themepark hires approximately 1,000 workers who are housed in dedicated buildings in OCT holdings. From the mid-eighties through the mid 90s, these apartments were allocated to single workers in OCT management. However, as they moved into larger apartments, which they bought through housing reform policies, the use of the dormitories changed. As did living densities. Continue reading

taihua and the emergence of a shen-zen. seriously.

I went to have tea at the Taihua Estates clubhouse in Bao’an. The estates were built in the late 1990s by Taihua Real Estate (泰华地产). But since its early success, the Taiwanese firm has re-envisioned the social role of real estate development — they are searching for designs that culturally and environmentally sustainable.

The clubhouse / office / kitchen is open to the outside and uses hanging fans rather than air-conditioning to cool the office space. Employees have lockers and laptops and they change workspaces as desired. Each day, a different department is responsible for preparing lunch for the entire team. There is a meditation room, a tea room, and as much spatial flexibility as possible. Moreover, the entire office and surrounding environment has been transformed through bamboo and water installations.

I find theirs a compelling vision. We introduced ourselves, meditated together, enjoyed two hours of tea and conversation, and then ate lunch. The space itself delights. Impressions, below.

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