Design Across Borders: My Hong Kong/Beijing Trip

Monish SubherwalDesign LeadershipLeave a Comment

For two weeks I was traveling on vacation to Hong Kong and Beijing. In a whole new world with different people and different needs, I saw many examples of interesting design solutions.

Here are ten that I captured and wanted to share:

1. Umbrella Cover

It was raining a lot, but at the entrance of the mall I saw this — it’s an umbrella cover. You put your umbrella in it, and it will cover it with a plastic sheet so the water doesn’t get the floor wet.

IMG_0622

2. Umbrella Dryer

They also had an umbrella dryer — put your umbrella in it and clean it. Not sure how effective this was — I didn’t use it nor did I see anyone else using it.

IMG_0623

3. Priority Lines

The train stations in Hong Kong had really good signs — and the people tended to follow it! Here at the elevator entrance you can see 2 lines – for Priority and Others, the icons for priority are good too.

IMG_0643

4. Helpful arrows

When the train stops it can be a jumble. People are usually stressed. To alleviate this, signs on the floor show where you should stand.

IMG_0644

5. Adoption of lines

People actually follow the signs!

IMG_1710

6. Priority Seating

Priority seating on the train is marked in red. I like how they put a smiley face on the seat to differentiate (but reminds me of mcdonalds a bit much).

IMG_1563

7. Beijing Train Map

The Beijing train station however was SUPER complicated – and difficult for any english speaking person (notice nothing is in english here!). Too many trains and many colors.

IMG_1885

8. Elevators without the Number 4

Cultural differences – the number 4 tends to be bad luck so they remove it from the elevator. The other interesting thing was that on the left side the numbers were ascending — and on the right side of the elevator they were descending. This was so handicapped people could get to all the buttons.

IMG_1405

9. Dragon Holes

Cultural design – many of the middle of tall buildings had something called a “dragon hole.” Folklore says that dragons would come in the evening to drink water – so the dragon holes provided passage through the building. Nice honoring of cultural traditions. This area in the building usually has a garden or something else (pretty crazy how they do this considering the cost of living there is SUPER expensive and that could be a lot of potential money to the builders/owners).

IMG_0543

10. Fitting Rooms

Fitting rooms at the airport on the international side (Makes sense). Near baggage claim.

IMG_1785

 

What have you seen?

Ever been to Hong Kong or Beijing?  Or any other part of the world?  What have you seen?  Share below.  🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.