apple says itunes movies, book services closed down in china. a report says china’s media regulator shut them down. via adage
CRH380 harmony bullet at a wuhan high-speed train maintenance base | click > enlarge
China opened the world’s longest high-speed rail line when a link between Beijing and the southern metropolis of Guangzhou on 26 December 2012.
an organized experience trip from beijing to zhengzhou, 22 december 2012
A trip between Beijing and Guangzhou, a distance of 2,294 km (1,400 mi), will be cut from 20 hours to eight hours. The Beijing-Guangzhou high-speed railway will travel through the cities of Shijiazhuang in North China’s Hebei Province, Wuhan in Central China’s Hubei Province, and Shenzhen in South China’s Guangdong Province, the China Daily reported earlier.
The ticket prices for the new line have not yet been released by the Ministry of Railways. But the report said that they will likely cost more than 900 yuan ($144) for a second-class seat, much more than the current prices of 253 yuan for a seat and around 450 yuan for a sleeper ticket.
During the first 11 months of the year, fixed-asset investment in railways, including railway infrastructure investment and train purchases, totaled 506.97 billion yuan ($81.1 billion), reversing 15 months of previous decline, the Ministry of Railways said on Monday.
Total investment in fixed railway assets during the period increased 3.1 percent year-on-year, including 431.9 billion yuan worth of investment in capital construction, up 9 percent compared to the same of stage last year, according to the ministry. Earlier in October, the ministry increased this year’s investment to 630 billion yuan ($101.73 billion), as part of Beijing’s latest efforts to boost the slowing economy. This is at least the fourth time this year that the ministry has raised its investment target since the start of July.
The new line is equivalent to San Diego to Vancouver / Hartford to Miami / Chicago to Miami for about $144 for second class. Would high-speed rail work in US? Doesn’t seem like US has the optimum population density or the right destinations for tourist or business travel yet.
Architecture firm Goettsch Partners (GP) has designed the new Poly Business Tower in Shunde, China. Totaling 110,000 square meters, the project is one of several current assignments between GP and leading Chinese developer Poly Real Estate (Group) Co., Ltd. Other office, hotel and mixed-use developments are located in the cities of Chengdu, Deyang and Guangzhou.
The new signature tower in Shunde will be the tallest structure in the area, at a height of 200 meters, and will be a centerpiece of the business district. It will add valuable Class A office space and will be in close proximity to various cultural and government facilities in the city, making the structure a critical venue and focal point.
A multi-story winter garden is designed for the top of the structure, offering unobstructed views of the surroundings in all directions. This signature space will be lit at night to create a new beacon that provides identity for the Shunde business district. At the base, the tower is seated at the head of a ceremonial garden. The four-sided lobby is designed to engage the landscape, blurring the distinction between interior and exterior space while intuitively segregating vehicular and pedestrian circulation around the perimeter of the building.
GP’s concept was to create an efficient, modern tower that integrates features of the local culture into the architectural expression of the building. Particularly inspired by the “pinwheel” patterns commonly found in the regional screens and paving, the tower’s planning and façade articulation are designed to showcase this traditional vernacular. Pinwheel-patterned perforated screens extend the full height of the tower in order to provide shading; more importantly though, they integrate and conceal fresh-air ventilation for all office floors. These screens, in conjunction with automated energy controls, high-performance glazing and vertical shading devices, create an energy-efficient skin that also provides floor-to-ceiling glass for all office users.
Completion of the development is scheduled for 2014.
[ goettsch partners ] is working in more than 20 cities throughout Asia, particularly in China, on commercial projects including office buildings, hotels and mixed-use developments. Select work includes the Tianjin R&F Guangdong Tower in Tianjin, China; the Park Hyatt Guangzhou Mixed-Use Tower in Guangzhou, China; the Chicony Headquarters in Taipei, Taiwan; the Grand Hyatt Chengdu at Chicony Plaza in Chengdu, China; and the China Diamond Exchange Center in Shanghai.
(GP) is an innovative architecture firm with a global perspective, emphasizing a singular design approach across offices in Chicago, Shanghai and Abu Dhabi. Focused on combining exceptional design, technical expertise and unmatched service, the firm creates measurable value and environmentally responsible solutions. Services include architecture, interiors, planning and building enclosure design. Diverse projects around the world share a consistent emphasis on bringing bold design clarity to complex challenges. [ goettsch partners ]
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The more you walk, the greener the trees will be. Well, that’s the message the creators are intending to make. Almost 4 million people stepped in a green environmentally friendly washable and quick dry paint, then walked across a massive canvas measuring 12.6 x 7 meters that was stretched at at pedestrian crossing in 15 different cities in China. Credits go to Jody Xuibg from DDB China in cooperation with the China Environmental Protection Foundation. 40% of carbon monoxide emissions come from cars. According to China’s Ministry of Commerce; the country is now the world’s largest car market with over 500 million vehicles on the road. 132 trees were created. After the campaign, the above print was exhibited at the Shanghai Zheng Da Art Museum.
[ ddb china ]
Form, function, sustainable, and now adding working conditions and journalism to getting good product to market equation. via grist [RK]
Heng Zhi’s dining table is minimal and opulent at the time same time. On the one hand, the plain, white table is set with only the basics. No flowers or candles, not even napkins – just a knife, fork, spoon, bowl and a plate for each setting. Of course, those settings are cast in bright, shiny gold, giving the spartan table top a bit of bling. But that’s almost besides the point. The main attraction here is the tank of water concealed inside the table’s Corian frame. When you first set the table, everything appears to be normal, but soon the weight of the place settings presses the floating table top down beneath the surface of water that comes flowing in, forcing the hypothetical diners to either rescue their food from drowning and eat it wit their hands or watch as the water ruins their meals.
So what’s the point? It helps to know that Zhi submitted “Water Table Object” to the “What If…” category of Beijing Design Week, meaning, I suppose, that it doesn’t have to make sense or be practical to satisfy any of the normal requirements of good design. And though I don’t really see the point, Zhi spent an entire year researching dining culture, questioning whether using utensils is more civilized than eating with your hands. German sociologist Norbert Elias argued “Why do we need a fork? Why is it ‘barbarian’ and ‘uncivilized’ to eat with hands from your own plate? Because it feels embarrassing to be seen with dirty and oily finger in company.”
That and it’s pretty gross. I admit that I like to mix cookie batter with my hands instead of using my Kitchen Aid, not because my hands are necessarily better tools (although Julia Child always said they were) but because it just feels good. Of course, I wash my hands before touching anything else. Imagine a dinner party where everyone ate with their hands. The cuffs of your shirtsleeve would be ruined, your wine glass would be covered in greasy fingerprints and the salt and pepper shakers being passed around would become a health hazard. Besides, utensils were invented to pick up hot, hard to handle food like pasta and soup. I mean, is there really even an argument here?
So what exactly is the “What If…” category for? Surprisingly, Dezeen makes the case for poetry. “Poetic interpretation of the familiar shape of a dining table brings to mind the formalities of dining that are taken for granted in the everyday life. Poetry happens during the process of serving the table, by force of the fragility of the whole setting. Watching the downfall of the eating implements that we are used to, we start to question why certain patterns of behavour and certain everyday objects make up the relationships within social groups. Poetry takes place here by turning an everyday object useless.”
Watch a video of the table being set. You may want to fast forward, though, it takes nine minutes to put down four place settings!
hangzhou, china, a city of 6.77 million, bikeshares 50,000 bikes at 2,050 stations, an average of 240,000 trips a day. [RK]
Multi nationals growing their design centers in China: via china car times [RK]
This video’s been around, but now slightly updated. Still fascinating.