New Jindai

Jindai Town, Liangping County Chongqing, China.

In January 2010, the China-US Center for Sustainable Development approached DESIGN Harvests to lead the design and constrcution coordination of a new sustainable school in Liangping County to replace one damaged in the 2008 earthquake. During the week dirrectly preceding the opening ceremony, DESIGN Harvests led a workshop along with Tongji University involving the Jindai school students and faculty, along with the local community, to facilitate the transition of the school's ecological and social design ideas into real-world practices.

In this project, our aim was to create an exemplary school that respects and interacts with nature, culture, and community through comprehensive yet cost-efficient sustainable methods that are both vernacular and replicable.

Our sustainable planning focuses on low-cost, high impact conservation, recycling, and comfort strategies tailored to Liangping's humid subtropical climate. The terraced topography naturally lends itself to constructed wetlands; the site is adapted to treat both wastewater and rainwater, creating a low-maintenance, closed-loop organic infrastucture that treats 4,800 gallons of water every day. The rainwater that falls on the buildings and the track is collected in an adjacent wetland pond. When it rains, this wetland cleans the rain-water, which then cascades down several ponds to become a landscape feature that reaches all the way to the school's entrance. In addition, dual-flush toilets help regulate water use.
The New Jindai Elementary School is a project where the conditions were aligned for a responsible sustainable design to have positive impacts in an earthquake-stricken, rural community in China. Rather than ending our involvement with the end of construction, our intentions are to establish a long-term relationship with the school and town in order to provide continued design intervention throughout the school's development. Now the DESIGN Harvests team is working together with the school to improve the sustainable experiences and create more interactions with the community and the outside world. The community centre of the school is now being upgraded to be an innovation centre, which can support local entrepreneurship focusing on the rural-urban interaction.


No.660, Xianqiaozhong Road, Shuxin Town, Chongming, Shanghai, China.

The DESIGN Harvests Hub in Chongming Island, Shanghai has been in operation for eight years and consists of several modules including Design B&B, Rural Creative Activities, Eco-Experience Farm, Creative Agricultural Products, and Natural Creative Classroom. Through eight years of rural practice, the use of design to rekindle rural vitality and create new rural formats has begun to take effect. The Chongming model is still being refined and revised, and the DESIGN Harvests has extended this model to a wider range of villages, creating a small and interconnected new economy, and gradually forming a network to generate more interactions and a new economic model.

Natural Taste

We cooperated with the natural creative experience brand “JulyWorkshop” in Xianqiao Village to provide you with various sections such as rural creative activities, ecological experience farms, creative agricultural products, and natural creative classrooms. Advocate the power of "Nature and Design" to help everyone grow into a better self. "JulyWorkshop" has been deeply cultivated in Xianqiao Village for many years together with "DESIGN Harvests". As a company incubating on the "DESIGN Harvests" platform, we advocate sharing happiness with nature and bringing you more experience and many times the joy.

Artist Residency

Since 2016, the “Flow/Flux” project co-ordinated with “Open&Fun Village”, “Shanghai International Culture Association” and “College of Design and Innovation, Tongji University” is another important innovative exploration in the urban and rural areas which is to implant art/design into the countryside, activating rural culture and the economy. Since 2016, the “Artist Residency Program” has been successfully held for two sessions. We invite 5-10 artists from all over the world to come to Xianqiao Village for a 30-day resident in the village. Artists from Iceland, Italy, Britain, France, China Taiwan, China and other places have come here. And after the resident, at the beginning of the next year, we will hold the final Artist Residency Program exhibition in Shanghai.

Innovation hub

We renovate the six greenhouses in the village and use one of them to carry out activities to solve the problem of the lack of flexible and open space in the village. In the greenhouse, we try to imagine different business models, including rural knowledge exchange, training, parenting, and pension.