Tag: walking

Shanghai for the love of Art, Teaching & Food

I am just back from Shanghai, where I had the pleasure and honor to teach Interior Design for 5 weeks at Donghua University representing Edinburgh University. The students have a lot to teach us all over here about passion, hard work and positivity.

It was 5 amazing weeks with my great colleagues and mon amoureux. In our free time we visited lots of galleries (list bellow of some of the best exhibitions I have seen), spend a day walking and riding in Hangzhou around the west Lake and we went for a week end in the mountains. We stayed in xia yan bei village (下岩贝村), hiked 19 peaks (穿岩十九峰), the Hanfei river ( 韩妃江)  and dao tuo xue (倒脱靴). And of course had some amazing food: hot pot, dumplings, wonton soups, noodles, Chinese crepes, vegan dishes…

I am starting to learn basic Chinese to prepare our next trip in March, looking forward to it.

  • chi K11 .com/.cn
    The work exhibited is digital / conceptual art. What we found most interesting for your practice is the building in itself.
  • MOCA Shanghai Apple+
    The exhibition highlights Japanese designer Ken Miki’s four decades of practice as well as his unique approach to design thinking and education, summarized in what he promotes as “Learning to Design, Designing to Learn”.
  • Rockbund Art MuseumHugo Boss Asia Art 2017
    High-profile award that honors emerging contemporary artists in the early stages of their artistic creation and exhibition practices.
  • Long Museum West Bund Antony Gormley
    The first major presentation of Antony Gormley’s work in China. At its core is Critical Mass II (1995) an installation of 60 life-size cast iron body forms.
  • Power station of Art Balkrishna Doshi, Shigeru Ban & Li Shan
    Shigeru Ban : What is the architectural content to be presented possibly only by exhibitions? The first half of the Exhibition will introduce the disaster relief projects across the world, & the second half of the Exhibition will introduce the projects in progress and the projects in China.
    Li Shan : he gave up his decades-long familiarity with painting, and turned his artistic thinking to topics that are related with bio-science. He claimed to be creating on a canvas once reserved only for the God, and created a new artistic discipline: BioArt.
    Balkrishna Doshi: Celebrating Habitat-The Real, the Virtual & the Imaginary. The exhibition showcases more than thirty pieces of the Indian architect’s notable works, including personal and public housing, community projects, educational institution, urban planning and furniture design.
  • Modern Art Museum Hello, My Name is Paul Smith
    Touring exhibition showcasing the fashion designer’s journey in building his company, as well as his stylistic tastes and eye for design.
  • Shanghai Minsheng Art Museum – Sonsara by Céleste Boursier-Mougenot
    “It is a project of imagination and contemplation, containing the reflection of the symbiosis and a control system for human and nature. The two issues that the exhibition wants to discuss, “how humans co-exist with the artificial nature” and “building an ecology, imaging the world after human”, constitute the two sides of the non-zero-sum game between human and non-human beings.”
  • Dialogue In The Dark
    Very exciting life-changing experiences where visitors are guided by blind guides in absolute darkness. You get a chance to experience space and daily environments of life without your sight. Daily routines become exciting and a reversal of role is created where sighted become blind and Blind become sighted. It was a life changing experience. 


Why children walk less ?

50 – 70 years ago (not so long), most of children were coming back from school walking alone. It is illustrated in movies: ‘mon oncle’ Tati, or ‘La guerre des boutons’ Yves Robert. Now, most of them come back in cars with the parents.

Studies show that kids walk less and less: survey in 2008 in Languedoc-Roussillon estimate ‘70% of all movement of a child between 6 to 14, are in cars.’

(on the graph bellow: ….. Walk – Cars __ )


Don’t go to far

Why did they not walk more ? Because they are forbidden.

Le médecin britannique William Bird, doctor in Britain, showed it with the exemple of a family, comparing the radius of the area where people were allowed to walk as a 8 years old child on 4 generations.

  • in 2007,  Ed Thomas could go alone at the end of his street, less than 300m of his house.
  • in 1979, his mom, could go to the swimming pool, 800m of his home.
  • in 1950, his grand father could go the the forest, more than 1.5km of his home.
  • in 1919, his grand grand father, could go fishing at more than 10km.

Young kids are not forbidden to walk, but face a lot of bans. They can’t go over some spacial borders around the house, like a tree or another house. Most often a 10 years old child can’t go on the other side of the road (Pascal Legué, urbanist and anthropologue).

Because of cars

Since the XIX century, kids starts to loose a social function in town (Philippe Ariès, historian), moreover, it is in the XX century that starts the desertion of streets by kids. The kids who run and play in streets, disappear from our imaginary, and we saw them in reserved space, as parcs, playground, or halls. For the historian it is the fault of cars and urbanists, who builded cities for adults who have a car. Because a young kid doesn’t have the ability to react against the speed of a car, we removed the right to access the city.

On the graph bellow:
– space for 7-13 years old
– limit of the distance for 7-10 years old
– limit of the distance for 11-13 years old


Transformation to our relationship to the world

These modifications have important conséquences on children. We notice that they have less endurance than 30 years ago: physical aptitude decrease of 2% every 10 years, although studies shows that a walking daily and continuously, could  check this deterioration.

To give back the right to walk, urbanist Thierry Paquot propose to forbidden cars around school 15 minutes before and after the start and finish of the day. He also propose to rethink the entrance of the schools: where they installed barriers to move away childs from car parks: the space could become a space for exchange and play, garden could be developed in order to create a common intergenerational life space. Instead we think for cars and confines everyone on a reserved space.

I wrote it being inspired by a french article on the subject in Rue89.

Walking/cycling bus


A walking/cycling school bus is a group of children walking/cycling to school with one or more adults. It is simple, and that’s part of the beauty of the walking school bus. It can be as informal as two families taking turns walking their children to school to as structured as a route with meeting points, a timetable and a regularly rotated schedule of trained volunteers.

  • Encourage physical activity by teaching children the skills to walk safely, how to identify safe routes to school, and the benefits of walking
  • Raise awareness of how walkable a community is and where improvements can be made
  • Raise concern for the environment
  • Reduce crime and take back neighborhoods for people on foot
  • Reduce traffic congestion, pollution, and speed near schools
  • Share valuable time with local community leaders, parents, and children
  • Gives them a chance to meet new friends and interact with old ones
  • Opportunities to identify intergenerational activities
  • The wider community can enjoy access to improved local
  • Engage communities around the walking / cycling stops
  • Support greater numbers of young people being involved in positive activity

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