Lim Geehwee, design director at MetaDesign in Beijing, shares five projects that seek inspiration from different cultures
As a multilingual and multi-culturally influenced designer, I always seek inspiration from different industries, aspects and regions. I’ve been working at MetaDesign Beijing for seven years now, but I grew up in the multilingual and multicultural country of Malaysia, so I speak English, Mandarin, Bahasa Melayu and Chinese dialects. Before Beijing, I also worked in Singapore, Taipei, Beijing, Dusseldorf and Shanghai. Today, I still find inspiration in all sorts of places, embedded in different cultures and languages. Here are some projects that have caught my eye lately...
Prada - 'Wuzhong Market, Shanghai'
Agency: In-house at Prada
This campaign combines a luxury brand with a daily local activity, adding value to a day-to-day experience. It also created the hottest social topic in town. I like how Prada is redefining ‘new luxury’ in China - they’re not precious about the brand’s heritage here. It is popping up
in places like Shanghai’s Wuzhong Market where there are just regular folks. The brand is not exclusively for the trendy here. In a way, it’s more democratic and inclusive.
ERDOS - '2021 Autumn and Winter Fashion'
Fashion Label: Erdos
The fashion label ERDOS recently celebrated its 40th anniversary by holding its 2021 Autumn and Winter fashion show in the Kubuqi Desert in Inner Mongolia. The hot red graphics and architectural elements combined with a cold desert environment to convey the sounds for celebration. I love the design language, it is so impactful.
Kraft Heinz's Guanghe Fermented Bean Curd - 'Preserve a Piece of Childhood'
Agency: BBH China
Fermented bean curd may not appeal to the Western palette, but by combining traditional food with a new interpretation, this campaign brings the historical brand a new life for younger generations. It’s all about 'preserving a piece of childhood
', which I think is a nice sentiment.
Jing-A Brewing Co. - Brand and Packaging Design
Agency: MetaDesign China
Jing-A is a craft beer that was born in Beijing, so we wanted each element of this project to be inspired by a different facet of Beijing’s history. Each label has its own design, patterns, motifs and stories - the world doesn’t know enough about modern Beijing, so we wanted to share little facts for others to discover! Each label, poster and execution has a thought behind it...we put a lot of love and care into this one.
Xu Wei Art Museum x Qingteng Square - 'Urban Renewal Plan'
Architects: UAD - ACRC
Photography: Jonathan Leijonhufvud x Fang Jia x Lanlan Jiang x Chenfan Zhang
I can always find design inspiration in China’s modern architecture projects. This
is one of the key projects in Shaoxing’s ancient city urban renewal plan. It's an interesting project - and the interpretation of Shaoxing local traditional styles in terms of roofline, materials and colour usage (black, white and grey) make the architecture fit in with the surroundings, whilst still being outstanding. It fully expresses the concept of 'modernity meets history'.