A hat design that communicates something about the culture I belong to.
My design borrowed the fan-shaped and crown-liked frame of “Qitou”, the traditional headdress that Manchu women worn during the Qing Dynasty. Instead of decorating the hat symmetrically with a big flower in the middle and beads on the edges like Manchu court women did, I used different colors and materials to emphasize asymmetry and to break with tradition. The black cotton and the color-patterned matte paper of the hat intertwine and together establish a framework of contrast. I designed a wide triangular flip-top box for my hat. The angled flip top breaks the standard horizontal or vertical haptic motion. The black and color pattern inside and outside the box resonate with the contrast of the hat design.
Beijing is the place where my hat relates to. Most people see Beijing as a city with a rigid urban planning (the central axis) and a lot of traditional Chinese elements. The city is usually portrayed as “the central headquarters for the Communist Party of China” and “where culture and media are controlled by propaganda bureau” by western media. I want the hat to communicate to the viewer that Beijing is diverse, rebellious, and avant-garde. She’s got the most solemn flag raising ceremony in the morning, and the craziest indie rock concert at night. She’s got Neolithic artifacts in the National Museum, and graffiti on the wall outside the contemporary art gallery.
The branding, Non Axis Beijing, contradicts with the philosophy of symmetry which many people believe is what Beijing all about. Non Axis communicates an attitude of breaking down stereotypes and opening to new possibilities.
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