ALP – One month in Ningbo (宁波)

18 Jul

By Benjamin Lee

Hi everyone,

Earlier this week, about 20 of us just returned from Ningbo city, where we spent a few weeks for our company internship. Here’s a short photo essay of our time there and the stuff we did.

Our office space for one month.

Our office space for one month.

We were all based at the Daye Design office at 和丰创意广场. It was a small but cozy office, and somehow all 20+ of us, including our team leaders, managed to find our own corner to work.

One week after arriving, we visited companies which specialised in our respective products in Cixi (慈溪). Our sub-group was tasked to design a coffee machine, so we met up with AAA Groups’ engineers to present our initial ideas and find out more about what they did. Our initial doubts were confirmed: the Chinese really don’t drink a lot of coffee, especially when compared to tea; the sales of coffee machines were extremely low, and most of the machines were manufactured for export.

Meeting AAA Groups' engineers to learn more about coffee machines.

Yes, they found out we don’t really drink espresso shots either, and offered us a few drinks. We were on a caffeine high for two hours after this.

And of course…… we did some exploring over the weekends too. The second weekend there was spent at 东钱湖 (slightly larger than 西湖), which was a 45 min bus ride away from our hotel.

Biking at 东钱湖.

Taking a picture of Ian taking a picture. We rented bikes for 1.5 hrs.

A larger expedition was planned to Zhoushan (舟山), located just off the coast to the east. A few peeps from Hangzhou came all the way out to join us for the trip.

Group photo in the middle of the road at 朱家尖. Don't worry, there was barely any traffic at these farmlands. (not in photo: Amanda, who was sketching the scenery a few kilometres back)

Group photo in the middle of the road at 朱家尖. Don’t worry, there was barely any traffic at these farmlands. (not in photo: Amanda, who was sketching the scenery a few kilometres back)

And as usual, we woke up at some ungodly hour to catch the……

The sunrise that we got up at 4am to catch. The fog didn't give us a chance.

Sunrise, 30th June 2013. The fog didn’t give us a chance. Oh well.

We then split up, some of us headed to Putuoshan (普陀山), while others went back to 定海区 on 舟山 itself. I went with the group to Putuoshan, which is considered as a sacred mountain in Chinese Buddhism.

At one with the world.

At one with the world.

All you can eat buffet for 10元 at 普济寺. Well, the only dish available was vegetables in soup, which still tasted good.

All you can eat buffet (before the food ran out) for 10元 at 普济寺. Well, the only dish available was vegetables in soup. But it still tasted good.

The rain didn't deter many tourists / visitors from visiting the 南海观音.

The rain didn’t deter many tourists / visitors from visiting the 南海观音.

After the end of the short trip, it was back to sketching and modelling new ideas and refining existing ones (and discarding many more).

What my office desk looked like most of the time. Note the bottles of coffee on the right.

What my office desk looked like most of the time. Note the bottles of coffee on the right. (we didn’t really need them actually, just thought that drinking coffee was kinda relevant to our project : \ )

And summer slowly began to set in… the overcast skies cleared, and the weather became as hot as (or even hotter than) what we experienced back home. The air wasn’t as humid though, so I guess it was mildly bearable for short periods.

Summer brought about some gorgeous sunsets (along with sweltering temperatures).

Well, there were some gorgeous sunsets too.

 

And of course, the compulsory shot of the 宁波 city skyline.

And of course, the compulsory shot of the 宁波 city skyline.

Before we knew it, the weeks had gone by, and it was finally time to leave Ningbo.

Exchanging contacts on WeChat with the designers on our last day of work.

Exchanging contacts on WeChat with the designers on our last day of work.

Unfortunately, our last weekend coincided with the estimated arrival time of typhoon Soulik, so we cancelled our plans, stocked up on food and water, and bunked in in our hotel rooms to brave out the storm.

Fortunately, we didn’t experience any impacts of the typhoon (if you don’t count the intense downpour on Saturday evening), so while we missed out on a final trip around the city, we all managed to return to Hangzhou safe and sound.

And now, back to sketching and modelling new ideas and refining existing ones (and discarding many more) : \

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