Holis at the Zhangyan Harvest and Future Country Living Festival

Maxim Dedushkov

April 8, 2020

Thanks to our Trustee John Thackara Holis was invited to take part in the Zhangyan Harvest and Future Country Living Festival. I’ve met many exceptional projects and people there and delievered a presentation about Holis and our collaboration with CLARA - Center for Rural Future

This unique harvest festival was opened in a historic village in Shanghai's northeast outskirts with innovative exhibitions, workshops and markets to explore the future of rural life.

Architects, designers and social innovators jointly launched the Harvest and Future Country Living Festival in Zhangyan Village, which dates back to the Tang Dynasty(AD 618-907), in Chonggu Town, Qingpu District.

The festival, jointly planned by Lou Yongqi, Dean of Tongji University's College of Design and Innovation; John Thackara, our Trustee and a senior fellow at the Royal College of Art in UK, and architect Aldo Cibic from Italy, is part of the township government efforts to convert the traditional agricultural town into a demonstration area of urbanization in rural Chinese towns.

A highlight of the festival was an exhibition called Urban-Rural curated by John Thackara. Located in a beautiful high-tech agricultural dome, Urban-Rural features a dazzling array of real-world projects.

“We’re in a transition from the oil age to the soil age,” says Thackara, “and the projects in Urban-Rural are leading the way”.

Urban-Rural included apps that enable urban people to be part-time farmers; streaming platforms that connect farmers directly to the city; and an algae lab that produces 3d cups out of bioplastics.

I was part of an international panel speaking at the festival including Andrea Paoletti from Casa Netural in Italy and Andrew Goodman, founder of Pontio Innovation in Wales.

Here is my presentation.