Trip to Tea Drunk

Trip to Tea Drunk

– What was the most inspiring part of the visit?

The most inspiring part is how the process of making tea requires all five senses. This makes Tea a fully long-life design. A farmer has to practice and live in the environment for so many years to gain this ability. It is like a call from the nature.

– Despite being a new business, which of the Long Life Design criteria do you think Shunan might be able to fulfill over the next 50 years, and why?

I think the function of the tea will never fade. I believe that people in the next 50 years will still rely on drinking water. Then the function of the tea could be applied. It is good for health and easy to drink. The only thing we need other than the tealeaves is the hot water.

– Name several of the specific systems involved in Shunan’s work at Tea Drunk? (think about what kind of geography, tea, history, people in China and New York are essential to her work etc.).

Transportation: Tea grown in China is transported into US.

Weather: The sprouting of tea trees depends on the weather.

Farmers: The farmers are key to the quality of the tea.

– Do you think of Shunan as an artist or a business person?

I see her more as an artist than business person. Because tea has been popular for so many years, there are so many other people own tea shops or tea studios. I don’t want to say that, but a lot of long-life designs don’t male a lot of money. Also, a lot of the owners of long-life designs don’t aim at making money.

– Do you feel her work is aesthetic?

I do think her making tea is a really beautiful art, maybe because I admire the tea culture. I grow up in the environment that tea is rooted in our daily life. The other very important reason is that the process from growing tea trees and frying tea requires so much efforts. Her spirit of letting people know the story behind the tealeaves in our cup moves me.

– Do you feel her work is “sustainable”? Does it also address environmental issues in other ways, perhaps in ways that ancient farming cultures did naturally? What do you think of this?

Half and half. Sometimes I do worry about this kind of little shops that are so cute, so authentic. They have their little worlds within modern fast-pace cities, but maybe close down because of some reasons. (I don’t want to be so realistic.) However, the category she is in, which is tea, is very historic and has already been sustainable.

Shunan’s tea was grown by hand instead of cultivated and picked by machine, so it reduces the carbon emission and are closer to the nature. It makes people think about the life style they have: is the fast-pace life the real life, or it has destroyed the true value of living. For years I have been blamed that I am too slow-not efficient. And I was so confused that why we have to ignore so many good and meaningful details and focused on the things that are so-called more “important” but harming the environment, harming our living.


Repair Project Part1

Ask A Question

  1. What object will you repair and why?

I am going to repair a pair of jeans, because I just happen to have a friend who gave me a pair of jeans that she wants me to help repairing it. And she even said that I can treat it as an experiment.

Do you consider repair to be an important design skill?

The repair is an very important design skill for me, because I don’t like time passing. I don’t like changing the objects in my life that reminds me of time passing. I tried to keep my belongings as long as they can, so I don’t have to buy the new ones to replace them.

Do Research

  1. What are 2-3 possible ways this object could be repaired?

A: I can just easily add patches onto the jeans as ancient people repair their clothes.

B: I can make the repair obvious to see and make it into a design point. (e.g. thick stiches)

What do you need in order to do the repair?

A: I need other denim fabric that is cohesive with the original jeans.

B: I need to figure it out the exact design and thread that may not messed up the jeans. The exaggerated repair design need to be aesthetic.

Do you have the materials and skills?

No. I don’t think so. I feel like I can see how I would ruin the jeans.

Construct a Hypothesis

  1. What will your process of repair be?

I will research on how other designers or taylors repair a garmnet (especially denim) first. And then plan my own design that customized for the jeans I got from my friend. After that, I will start the repairing. At last, I will give it back to my friend and ask for her feedbacks.

How long do you expect the repair take?

I believe that I need more than 12 hours. I could see that I will go back and forth and repeat the process, because I’m not a professional sewer. And most importantly, I am not only taking one class a week. The 12 hours doesn’t mean like I could take out for example two hours everyday for six days to finish the repairing. I have five more projects happening at the same time. I have to learn how to switch my focus immediately as I switch between projects.

How long do you want your repair to last?

My friends told me the jeans had already lasted for three years. I wish it can last at least three more years.


What questions do you have about kintsugi? Lacquer, the base of kintsugi repair, has been used in repair for nearly 1000 years in Japan. Are there similar practices of repair in your home country?  What kinds of systems and human actions do you think enables a process of repair such as kintsugi to be practiced and refined over hundreds of years?

I like how the student says “the beauty and the importance stay in the ones who are looking at them.” I totally agree with him. It is like when people listen to the playlist that has stored in their iTunes for a lot time. They are listening to the music itself, they are listening to their old times.

In China, there are similar craft used to repair a wok. Unfortunately, there are few craft men still do this kind of practice, but it was a very popular career in ancient times. In ancient times, people used big wok that directly sits on fire to cook. Every family had “big wok meal.” Once the wok had a cracker, they would go on the street and look for a craft man to tinker the wok. Nowadays, the rural area and some small alleys still have this kind of craft men. For a repair process to last for over hundreds of years, the people live the culture have to be nostalgic. They have to admire the precious craft their ancestors left for them. It is dangerous to always hold on the past glory and won’t work hard for a brighter future. However, if a people abandon their past history, they won’t have a good base for the future. Besides this spirit, the materials people use to repair should be natural. People can get the natural materials at anywhere and return it to nature at any time, so the practice can be more convenient and popular.


Read the following four articles on repair and answer the following questions.

– At Repair Cafes, ‘Beloved but Broken’ Possessions Find New LifeLinks to an external site. Would you like to visit a repair cafe? Why do you think so many people are interested in repair?


I would love to visit a repair cafe. People want to go there because they wish their beloved stuff could be repaired, instead of replaced. The memory that hold in the object is the most precious value.


– Waste not want not: Sweden to give tax breaks for repairs.Links to an external site. Would you like to see this kind of tax be possible in your home country? Do you think it is possible there or the United States? Why or why not?


I wish China will have this kind of tax, but I know it is impossible in the near future. The huge population in China makes every topic a total different deal. Some policies that work in other places may not apply in China.


Spend the Money for the Good Boots and Wear the ForeverLinks to an external site.. Were you surprised by this article? Do you agree with the author? Do you think an object has to be expensive to be well made? What might make people want to take care of objects, even if they aren’t expensive?


I was not surprised at all, because I totally agree with him. Every time I hesitated buying something expensive, my mom told me that the expensive ones are more expensive because they are more reliable. However, that doesn’t work for all the cases. Being expensive is not the only standard that decides an object’s quality, if only the quality worth the price. People are emotional for most of the times. If a cheap object has special meanings to a person, he would like to take extremely good care of it and keep it forever. It’s not the object itself; it is something inside the person who keeps the object.


– Origami-inspired clothing line that grows with kids wins Dyson award (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. What do you think of this design? What is most innovative about it? Do you think it’s possible for adults to enjoy long life design clothing or objects that transform/change in other ways (than getting bigger)? What kind of designs might be possible?

I think this design is very creative and practical. The most innovative thing about Petit Pli is the aimed user of this design. Children are very easily to be ignored, because children don’t have representatives in any field (children fashion designer, children layer, children cook, etc). It is possible to have long life design clothing for adults, because it has already existed. The patched clothing is one form of long life design. Often times, the original clothes would be deconstructed and then rearranged into new pieces.

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