Blue Heart

A blue box might be a cure for the increasing loneliness in large Chinese cities.

China is reportedly on the way to succeeding Japan as the capital of Asia’s loneliness economy. Home life can be isolating in Chinese cities, where the majority of citizens now reside in a xiao qu, or ‘closed residential district’, with little sense of community. One remedy has risen in the form of Blue Heart, a shareable ‘living room’ within walking distance from a Chengdu xiao qu.


The first in a series of Youkong Living Room projects, Blue Heart is located in Chengdu’s Go Mall within 15 minutes’ walk from neighbouring homes. The designers describe Blue Heart as ‘a buffer between home and the public world’ – a place that fulfils the original intention of the xiao qu as a hub of communication where residents can hang out, relax and build relationships. Users download an app and scan a code to enter the service-oriented environment, where they can pick up mail, deliver a package, cook a meal or perhaps host a meet-up. And, tapping into the new breed of libraries that serve as community centres, Youkong Living Room also includes a reading space.



The ‘female box’ – one of three main zones, where residents can make use of the kitchen or host parties – is the core of Blue Heart.



27th August 2019

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