Chen Fanyun, Zhao Hailing, constructing the frame, photo by Adam Brillhart


Diverse initiatives have been supported by local governments with the aim of creating sustainable solutions for the development of rural China. Many of these initiatives involve architecture and design as a driver for development. Not all of these have been successful. The better examples include a series of well-known contemporary iconic buildings by Xu Tiantian and her office DnA for Songyang county. The Yanping Art Harvest festival in the Jukou county of Fujian is similarly an attempt to revitalize the countryside through contemporary art and design.

The second edition of the Yanping Art Harvest festival took place in 2019. As in its inaugural year, the local government commissioned a series of art and design works for public spaces.


video by Adam Brillhart


video by Chen Fanyun



Realized by a team of researchers/designers with the assistance of local workers and villagers, Seats for Seeing is one of the public artworks at the Yanping Art Harvest festival. Design and production were realized in eight weeks. The work was partially carried out in a university’s workshop, with the final construction and assembly performed on-site. Pine was used for the frame, and bamboo, stainless steel and fabric for the seats. All parts may be unscrewed or ‘unknotted.’ The work respects the requirements of a circular economy.

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