[In 2011, Dashilar Alley showed visitors and the design community how Beijing’s traditional hutong alleyways and siheyuan courtyard houses could be re-envisioned by creative communities and industries.
Design Week and the accomponing media coveragehelp to place Dashilar back in to the lives of many ofBeijing’s residents who had either stopped coming dueto the change in business environment and increase intourists.
Students, Professionals’ and resident foreigners allrediscovered Dashilar through the week, experiencingthe unique juxtaposition of contemporary design andBeijing’s traditional lifestyle.
Feedback has proved that people have not forgotten Dashilar. However, besides issues of urbanpreservation and social issues such as compensation and reallocation, publicity on new highlightsand positive news from the area was missing. Neither rental performance nor new investmenthas confidence, and the marketing seems to be frozen. Beijing Design Week became a breakingpoint, with the new image of Dashilar successfully re-established in the public’s eyes.
Wonderwater collaborated with Tian Hai, and together with Aalto University produced the first Wonderwater Café Concept,illustrating the breakdown of the water footprint of TianHai’s most popular dishes. This successful collaboration between anexternal entity and a Dashilar local business bought attention to how the existing commercial environment can actively engageand gain from the revitalisation of Dashilar.
Over the past decade Dashilar’s once vibrant economy slipped further and further behind therest of the city, despite its rich tourism resources. Design Week offers huge creative resourcesto address this degrading commercial ecology by the insertion of pop-up shops and restaurantsin vacant spaces held by the developer. With this first experiment a new market was opened toboth consumers and local businesses, and Dashilar showed its potential as a unique destinationwithin Beijing.