One of China’s ten designated “Tulou Clusters”, Hekeng village in Fujian is home to a
unique and rare form of Hakka culture, heritage and architecture. However, after the UNESCO had deemed these clusters as world heritage sites, the publicity from the UNESCO title has resulted in many of these small villages to be turned into
commercial tourism hubs. With the help of a Keru Team, Laojia wants to help build
upon these already existing cultural preservation initiatives by focusing more on the humanistic side of the Hakka people and its culture.
Our Keru team will help Laojia research and create a
documentation of the cultural history and assets of Hekeng in an effort to promote sustainable development. In addition, students will have the opportunity to witness and understand the architecture and design of the Tulou Clusters and create an architectural preservation for Hekeng village.
Laojia is a social enterprise and was founded in 2013 by Eric and Maarten who were
in search of 'authenticity' in rapidly developing China. Inspired by the beauty and authenticity that rural China has to offer in terms of heritage, nature, food and
people, they decided to move to the countryside. Laojia hopes to continue creating
positive experiences and promote sustainable developments for the local community
Xenia (born in Russia) is a Schwarzman Scholar with a master’s degree in Global Affairs from Tsinghua University, and holds bachelor’s degree in Architecture and master’s degree in Urbanism from Delft University of Technology. As part of her Urbanism master thesis Xenia conducted research on the BRI Khorgos Gateway development and the local culture in the border regions around the Sino-Kazakh border.
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