The changing and unchanging of Sijing

Met again with my former design students in the old town of Sijing (古镇泗泾) in Shanghai’s Songjiang district. With the help of the local government, the area is being renovated into a cultural hub with their studio at the center.

My former students may still call me 老师 (teacher) but we’re equals now. They’ve graduated, matured — and it’s fantastic to see. Now they work here and lots of design students now come here on the weekend, with analog cameras or ink brushes. To 调研: investigate and research.

The atmosphere is amazing. The students study it all: The buildings that are going to be demolished, the new and old architectural styles, the people still living here, and the river that flows in between. It feels a world away from Shanghai’s fast and modern city center.

If you’re in Shanghai — can go to 泗泾镇. Go there now, and go there again in a few years.