Following a suggestion by the tourist office in our hotel, we took the metro to downtown Beijing and walked down one of the busiest streets, lined with buildings up to about 25 stories high, intermittent cranes, and new construction shielded by block-long banner billboards. The national bird of China is the crane, a symbol of longevity. If I think like the Chinese, who love to attach significance to homophones, I’d say this was an auspicious sign that the new buildings will last a long time. I wondered how they would hold up next to the ancient, beautiful architecture I saw all over China, with their characteristic terra cotta tiled roofs curved like boat-like sterns, making me feel as if they were ships moored in the sky.
I have a lot of appreciation for the long lasting beauty of Chinese architecture. Their fondness for symbolism is apparent in their use of color, numbers, and proportion, which can be seen in every home and palace. I hope that this beauty is not lost as China becomes more commercial. It’s a reminder that good design doesn’t become outdated and, sitting back here at work, my feeling that DDA provides quality work is reinforced. Although DDA is constantly innovating, we have a solid basis to work from. Check out our timeline to see our history and how we’ve evolved, or visit our latest and greatest projects!