Posts in Travel
Design of Everyday Things - Tokyo Edition

Tokyo is an experience designer’s paradise. On my recent trip there, I was amazed by how considerate and intentional the Japanese are with every action, product, service, and process. “How can we make life easier and more enjoyable for everyone?” seems to be the guiding principle in life. I felt it in everything from the perfect weight of a wabi-cha teacup to the incredible efficiency and accessibility of their public transit system.

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Pre-Japan trip: Conflicting emotions

This will be my first trip to the "Land of the Rising Sun", and I'm feeling many conflicting emotions. I have been a fan of Japanese culture ever since I got hooked onto Sailormoon as a kid. Anime and manga were a hugely influential part of my childhood and teenage years. In junior high, we learned about Japanese culture, feudal history, and literature. In university, I studied the approaches of Japanese design firms…

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[China] 雍和宫 Lama Temple Vlog

The most renowned Tibetan Buddhist temple outside Tibet, the Lama Temple was converted to a lamasery in 1744 after serving as the former residence of Emperor Yong Zheng. Today the temple is an active place of worship, attracting pilgrims from afar, some of whom prostrate themselves in submission at full length within its halls.

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[China] The Old Schoolhouse

Mengjinzhuang Village, Hebei Province, China (2013)

I spent this past summer in China, working on a project at Tsinghua University and spending time with relatives. It had been over 8 years since I visited my father's village in Hebei, and I was eager to see the changing rural landscape.

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[China] A factory life

On the bus, I happened to sit next to Xiao Wang – a round-faced 24 year old man with an infectious smile. After breaking the ice by offering him a cookie, I asked him where he was headed. Xiao Wang was visiting a friend in Baigou in hopes of finding a new job there. He had been working in a Beijing factory making boxes for the past 2 months and had grown tired of it. “I don’t have any specific job in mind. I’ll see when I get there. It takes about a day to find work, at most 3 days.”

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TravelJessica FanChina
[China] In the Clouds - Mr. Li's Take on Changing China

I've already met quite a few characters with great stories to tell. On the flight here, I had a long conversation with Mr. Li who sat next to me. He was a Beijing native and a product manager for a large tech company, on his way back from a business trip. He had spent a few years in Canada before moving back home, realizing that it was easier to find a job in Asia after the tech bubble. We talked about everything from China's state capitalism, to government accountability, to healthcare.

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