Monday, January 28, 2008

Visa or Mastercard?

Visa please!

I got mine. You have yours? Rather easy. Simple application you can download and complete. I brought it to the Chinese Embassy Visa and Passport office here in Chicago. It takes 4 days normal service, you can pay for rush if you want, but there is plenty of time.

I picked it up today. A big FYI. The information we received said the visa cost is $100. Fees went up earlier this month. The fee is now $130. They are hosting the Olympics this year, coincidence or smart business? Anyhow, they do not take personal checks for payment. Upon pickup you need cash, money order or a cashier's check.

The visa is good for 6 months from the date of application, mine is good until July 22, 2008 in the event I get lost in the streets of Hong Kong and it takes me a little while to get back on track. The visa itself is good for 90 days from date of entry. The basic visa is good for one entry only. In the event someone is going back into China after Hong Kong, they would consider that a separate entry.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

All slots filled!

Can you post a list of all those on the list going? And possibly emails so we can get in touch with each other? I will certainly start things off!

My name is Richard Zeid. I have my own design consultancy aptly named Richard Zeid Design. I also teach at Columbia College Chicago. And if you really wanna peek inside my head, check out my blog called Zeidland

Look forward to traveling with and meeting all of you!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Airfare News

Just wanted to let others know about United. I booked my tickets yesterday. I have been watching airfares since sending in my deposit and saw direct flights from Chicago to Beijing and Hong Kong back to Chicago, DIRECT on United. And the price was under the budgeted/approximation of $1500. Even my friend who is traveling from vermont through Chicago got a nearly identical rate including her legs from and to Vermont!

United flight 851 leaves on Saturday May, 10 and United flight 896 leaves Hong Kong on Saturday, May 24.

Hope this helps and look forward to meeting you all in China!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Q&A: Joining Late, Husband joining, Cancellation

Here are three questions from one of the participants with my answers.

-If I could not join the group until a later date such as Tuesday or Wednesday, would that be a problem?
I think we can work it out to have you join us a few days late. We would just need to make sure we can connect. You would need to get yourself to where we are and I'm not sure how this may effect the price of the trip. We'll have to see about hotel nights, etc.

-Also, my husband wanted to possibly join me in China, but he would not be attending most of the daily activities. He has already been to China and has another itinerary planned with work and friends. If he was interested in being a part of one or more activities(not design related, such as dinner,etc), could he pay per event?
My daughter will be joining me, but she will also be attending all the activities. I think it would be fine to have your husband along. Will he go along with us from city to city? If so, we would need to work out the flight/transportation arrangements as part of the group. You would simply book the trip as a "single occupant" for the hotel and we would make sure you had arrangements to suit you both. As for paying for individual events, I'm sure we could work something out. We'll have to see what expenses there are. We are basically trying to cover the cost of events.

-I understand the down payment is $500. What is the cancellation policy if anything were to happen like get sick, etc..?
Huang Li, the editor of Package and Design Magazine is helping us to arrange the internal tour package with the China Travel Service (state owned). He has assured me that things are flexible, but for my peace of mind, I have been trying to get more detail on things like the cancellation policy with no luck. It seems to be pretty flexible and I am booking a range of participants (i.e.: 20-23 people). I will do my best to refund your money up to the last possible moment if needed. I will also provide you with more details on cancellation policies from the China Travel Service as soon as I get them. I am hoping this will be in the next few weeks.



Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Olympic Designers

There are several designers and firms working on the Olympics and we
hope to meet at least a few of them, but I can't promise. This next
month or so, we will be confirming our appointments and solidifying
our schedule. My go! al is to visit these Olympic designers, but it
depends on the ir schedules. We are arriving just 2 months before the
launch of the Olympics. I envision two scenarios. 1. Everything is
done because of early production deadlines. 2. They are up to their
ears in madness.

Here are the names of the people I know who are working on the olympics:

Kao Jun and Meikao Company
They have 3 offices and are one of the five major design/advertising
agencies working on the Olympics. We hope to visit their Beijing office.

Dzeng Hwei
Designer in Beijing who has hosted me before. He is working on the
design of the venues.

Sorry to be unsure about this, but we will do our best to visit anyone
working on the Olympics who is willing to see us.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Exploring the Rest of ASIA

hi, my name is Jesse Thomas, my portfolio is I live in Washington DC.

I was in the Sharing Dreams 2007 program, and I was just in Havana for Icograda.

I recently left my job at AOL to start my own design firm here in DC. This trip was one of the reasons I wanted to be in charge of my career.. What job would let an employee take of 3+ weeks to go to china. Even if it is related to AIGA...

so that being said, I figure if im going to china why not see shanghai and tokyo.. then I start thinking about vietnam and thailand. etc

anyone else thinking the same thing?

either way im gonna put up a site to document my part of this china expedition..!

Irish Times


I write for the Irish Times on design issues. I am intrigued by your May trip and would like to write something on it for our April edition of Innovation magazine - a preview that looked at some of the more exciting design initiatives/designers in China.

Would you be interested to correspond? If so we could start by asking where you think the impetus for new design is coming from in China and which design houses/products are particularly impressing you.

best wishes

Haydn Shaughnessy


If your web travels have brought you to this blog you are probably now registered for the AIGA XCD Expedition to China. We have been receiving some publicity from magazines, Journals, and other publicists from around the world, and I wanted to give all of those who will be apart of the expedition the opportunity to comment on the questions they are asking. Also I thought that we could use this blog as a place to post ideas on the following projects:

• Short videos of the expedition to post on YouTube.
• Writing articles about the expedition
• Photos to be posted on Flickr
• Cultural research (designing and conducting research during hands-on sessions with Chinese designers)

Please use the comments button to add you thoughts to the following blogs. Please leave your name and title in case your comments are published.

Thank you.