This week, we make a visit to a firm that is in-charge of the designing and manufacturing of the information box. The firm has willingly allow us to see their designs and also provide us with a good (for those who can understand) presentation about it which is not the case for me. Let me justify why.

Exploring the firm’s office after the presentation

My Chinese is of a basic level. Therefore, I could not fully apprehend what the discussion is about. Usually, I cover up this flaw by reading the other parties’ body language or just by observing. However, none of this works since the slides are full of complicated Chinese characters. All the labels in the floor plan are in Chinese. I could not understand a single thing that throughout the presentation, all I do is struggling to stay awake.

The struggle is real. Not only during the visit but also when I carried out my daily activities here in Zhejiang. Despite the lessons being conducted in English, conversations are often carried out in Chinese as the locals are more fluent to that. Being fluent means that they talk extremely fast. So fast that some basic characters sounded so complex to me. In addition to that, I am almost illiterate in Chinese which makes the use of Chinese apps difficult, including their local map Amap. As much as I want to travel and explore by myself, I do not dare. With my (poor) sense of direction accompanied with inability to read Chinese maps, the probability of getting lost is 100%. People asked me to travel more but with this, you might understand why I choose not to.

In short, if you do not want to experience the same fate as me, go and pick up Chinese. Especially, with China’s growth, sooner or later, the importance of Chinese language would be on par of that of English language. The faster you learn, the better for you in the future. I am going to do that (I hope this motivation can last for quite a while #fingercrossed). Meanwhile you decide for yourself.

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This program contains two main parts: 1. Cognition of architecture and visiting: understanding the development of Chinese city and country, organic renewal of Hangzhou, and latest achievement of contemporary architectural design by investigation in Hangzhou. 2. Understanding the work nature, process and way of architectural design combining with specific design project; meanwhile, practicing design skill preliminarily (including understanding of design tasks, analyzing of design condition and clue, discussing of ideas, estimating of technology until expressing of design). Through practice of these two parts, knowing the relationship between design and society, technology and environment and learning how to make reasonable judgment of specific problems.


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