I found a lot to be moved by on our trip to Guangzhou: the fluidity between indoor and outdoor in its historic architecture, the lushness and expansiveness of its public spaces, and the animation and liveliness of those spaces filled with people who clearly live their lives both indoors and out. Here I try to share some of aspects of the city’s landscapes and built form that I am inspired by and continue to look to as I develop the graphic and design sensibilities of Microbial Guangzhou. The photos below are mine unless otherwise credited.
This ancient city was built at the meeting place of White Cloud Mountain (Baiyun Mountain) and the Pearl Sea (the Zhujiang or Pearl River).
It is the city at the root of Lingnan culture.
Canton Physic Street | The Abbot
Source: Thomson, J. (John). (1982). China and its people in early photographs: an unabridged reprint of the classic 1873/4 work. New York: Dover Publications.
Guangzhou lives up to its name as the Flower City with exuberance, with lush landscapes not only in parks but also in the smallest of alleyways and even in medians and on overpasses.
Vegetation is not only reserved for gardens.
Open space–parks, plazas, canals, etc–are well-loved and well-used by residents.
The exercise equipment distributed throughout the city—both in parks and tucked away into small spaces in dense urban neighborhoods—is used by people of all ages.
The traditional architecture feels porous: spaces flow into each other. Interior blends with exterior.
The practice, infrastructure, and knowledge production of Traditional Chinese Medicine is thriving.
The Qingping Medicine Market is the largest Traditional Chinese Medicine market in the region. Buyers come to make personal and wholesale purchases from over 3000 sellers.
When we walked through this garden with our guide he told us that he, like many other people in Guangzhou, has a working knowledge of the properties of more than 100 plants that he feels are useful in regulating/caring for his body.