This and the following blog posts aims to document a trip to Shenzhen, to the cradle of things. To read all blog posts in the series, click on the viewsource tag.
Please note: These are quick notes typed up while traveling. Apologies for any typos, missing links, etc.
At long last, we’re all together in Shenzhen. We’re all a bit tired—team Rotterdam from jetlag, team Berlin from the late-night arrival—but excited and a bit giddy, too. Over breakfast, the team meets up. Time to go over our plans for the week. We got stuff to do, places to be. This week we aim to build a self-replicating bike sharing system, have lots of meetings, run a big meetup, visit a design fair and some factories, and document the whole thing in video and writing.
After the planning session we take a stroll through town to get a feeling for the place, followed by steam bun lunch in the park. It’s Sunday and local families are having picnics with their kids.
We split up to run errands and get some work done online, but my pocket wifi (or the VPN? It’s hard to tell…) is on strike again. Once more, we venture out to buy a new sim card, a different one this time. This brings us to a first small consumer electronics mall. The ground floor is all about phones, laptops, gadgets. Tons of smart phones and rigged out gaming PCs side by side with drones, e-bikes, and high-end cameras. I have to restrain myself: It’s day one, and we still have work to do. Back to the hotel.
After a good working session, we meet back up for dinner. At a delicious Hunan restaurant with a slightly odd combination of theme and decoration we can’t quite make sense of (pictured below), we discuss our battle plan. Tomorrow the week kicks off for real with the Shenzhen Design Fair.