Like most urban centers, Beijing is a city of migrants and transients—this year's inaugural Beijing Design Week dovetailed with National Day when people return to their hometowns to celebrate the extended holiday with their families. Fittingly, designer Naihan Li showcased a collection of mobile pop-up furniture CRATES at No. 8 Dawailangying Hutong in the Dashilar Design Hop district. Inspired by Li's experience unpacking crates of artwork for the Salone Internazionale del Mobile in Milan, the collection is a commentary on "the moody impracticality of globe-trotting." Unpacking the collection from their shipping shells reveals an entire lifestyle "on the move." Sofas, foosball table, storage, entertainment centers, workstations, wet bars and beds stand ready for uncrating or packing for the next location.
Li herself is a transplant from Harbin, moving to Beijing in the mid-80s. After a stint in the UK studying design and architecture, she returned to Beijing to, "find the city in its most rapid and volatile state of urban development and simultaneous decay." This urban flux has inspired her personal work as well as the curatorial work of Bao Atelier, a design consultancy she co-founded with Beatrice Leanza.
Above: CRATES Collection on display at No. 8 Dawailangying Hutong