Nicola Davison is a British freelance writer and editor based in London.
Financial Times
The architectural firm with an alternative vision for rural China

The architectural firm with an alternative vision for rural China

John Lin stands on a remote mountainside in southwest China, a brick grasped in each hand. The one in his right, the 39-year-old architect explains, is the local standard. It costs Rmb0.45 ($0.07) and has a scorched surface with roughly hewn, crumbly edges. In his left hand is a clean, terracotta oblong with three penny-sized...
China’s ancient ‘porcelain capital’ embraces the 21st century

China’s ancient ‘porcelain capital’ embraces the 21st century

In April this year, a palm-sized porcelain cup from the Ming dynasty (1368-1644) sold at a Sotheby’s auction in Hong Kong for $36m. The rooster and brown chickens painted on the side are cheerful enough. But what the collector understood well is the historical value of Chinese porcelain. Up until the 20th century, Chinese craftsmen produced...
China enjoys design renaissance thanks to rise of middle class

China enjoys design renaissance thanks to rise of middle class

On a recent Saturday afternoon hundreds of people queued in the drizzle outside the Shanghai Exhibition Centre. With its Stalinist neoclassical façade and lofty spire, the centre, built in 1955, pays homage to the friendship between China’s Communist party and the Soviet Union. Today it holds galas and expositions such as Design Shanghai, which bills...