Chengdu Snapshot – Kika Yang in dialogue with makers and thinkers in Chengdu

Published January 2019

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“If you could take one picture or create a small portrait of Chengdu now, what would stand out from your perspective? What are questions that move people in the Sino-Foreign changemaker community? Can you catch the Zeitgeist in the air?” This is what we asked our CITYMAKERS collaborator Kika Yang, architect and designer with Chinese roots from Brasil, who recently moved to Berlin.

Kika lived in Chengdu for about two years and worked at Sichuan University and at the WaldenFarm project. Shortly before packing her suitcases in Chengdu, Kika invited a group of seven people from the city and hosted a round-table talk on a range of topics: impact of IT, concern for the environment, situation of NGOs, opportunities in the start-up scene, designing the city, life as a foreigner in Chengdu. The discussion reveals why Chengdu is such a symbolic place in both the Chinese and international sphere right now. Among the seven guests were: LU Hongyan, Sustainability Educator at Sichuan University; Dieter Vanonckelen, Sinologist; Michiel Roosjen, chief representative of Creative Holland; Kam Panesar, founder and managing director of urban hybrid architecture; QIAN Li, co-founder of Storyteller Center (NGO); Alexander Glaser, Prespace Architekten; Jimmy Keesee, founder of ZhongXi.