Designer, translator, collage maker, avid manga reader and matcha lover.
Hi there, I’m Xintian (literally ‘heart’ and ‘sky’). Born in China and grown up in Dubai, I maintain a strong interest in Asian cultures, languages and histories. Apart from design, I enjoy translating Japanese song lyrics and reading bilingual novels.
What was the most intense deadline you’ve had to make?
Every single deadline.
Other than design, what creative fields interest you most?
Photography, film making, and illustration.
What is the most useful piece of design advice that you have received?
Inject your own perspective into your work, have a voice.
If you could learn any new skill or talent, what would it be?
I would like to master the Arabic language, this time seriously.
Tuibian is an exhibition that showcases Shanghai’s modern architectural wonders from a historical perspective. The show presents a macroscopic view on the urban transformation of Shanghai as a result of wars and social upheavals that took place after 1920. This exhibition is meant to educate Chinese Canadians on contemporary Chinese history, as well as to inspire architecture and history enthusiasts.
Both a noun and a verb, Tuibian is a Chinese word meaning “qualitative change”. This name was chosen partly because of its phonetics, as it can be easily pronounced and remembered by a non-Chinese audience. After various experiments, I decided to use Helvetica Compressed on the logo as the typeface’s inherent rigidness syncs with the theme, and the subject matter of this exhibition. In addition to the word mark, I have also created a set of icons that are simplified representations of Shanghai’s iconic architecture.
Information will be organized in chronological order and displayed as a timeline throughout the exhibition. There will also be immersive wall projections of Shanghai’s streets to help stimulate the experience of walking around the city (both the old and the new). The implementation of AR technology will allow visitors to interact with 3D renderings of the buildings by scanning artifacts (models, building plans) with their smart devices.
A print supplement to the exhibition, this book consists of 4 chapters, 90 pages, with each chapter covering a specific time period in Shanghai’s history.