Every year, CPB launches an internal competition to broaden our minds and fill our personal ‘experience banks’. The competition asks; what would you do and where would you go with £2,500 and two weeks extra holiday. Last year’s winner Alex Ririe (CPB Business Director), was interested in how a cultural flow has started to shift from East to West. She wanted to visit China and surrounding cities to understand this shift and find out just what’s so appealing.
To help understand how Asia is impacting on western design in the future, Alex focused on four themes – Fashion, Food, Drinks and Architecture.
Places she went to include The Red Dot Museum in Singapore which is Asia’s first contemporary design museum, The Hong Kong Design Centre founded to promote Asian design and numerous flagship stores of luxury western brands in Shanghai.
After two weeks of travelling, exploring and documenting Alex left Asia with a backpack full of new insights, more experience and stories to tell.
The result of her research was an inspiring, lively and colorful exhibition at the CPB studio where Alex presented her findings. She not only showed photography from her travels and presented key findings, but also made comparisons of American influences on Western culture versus those coming from Asia like Bubble Tea and Dim Sum. She also presented key cultural motifs in Asian visual language, in Chinese clothing, decorative designs and traditional colors – emphasizing the importance of symbolic meanings in China.
“My BlueSky trip was a brilliant experience. I have always been fascinated by Asian culture so to spend 2 weeks immersed in it was really inspiring. The interesting thing for me, was that at the moment the transfer of culture seems very one way – America and the West influences much of Asian contemporary lifestyle. However, the seas are changing and we are starting to see more and more brands emerging that are not only flying the flag for Brand China, but doing it proudly and in a way that has huge appeal to Western tastes. America has had over a century of influence and it is still early days for China, but I’m sure we will embrace more and more of Asian lifestyle, craft and culture in the future.” Alex