Manhattan's Chinatown is an ethnic enclave that has evolved into a cultural symbol of New York City's Chinese community. It provides a connection to the homeland for Chinese Americans and offers tourists a window into Chinese culture. Vernal Equinox: Reimagining Chinatown is a publication dedicated to studying this community. It reveals cultural appropriation, digital divides and barriers, trust and belonging within Manhattan's Chinatown, and offers possible solutions from the perspective of graphic design to bridge the gap between this community and modern life.
Design can be used as a tool for social research and problem-solving. This publication uses Manhattan's Chinatown as a case study to analyze and propose corresponding solutions. For instance, in response to cultural appropriation, the typeface Kantone is used to incorporate Chinese cultural symbols into Western typefaces to provide a new perspective for audiences to rethink the relationship between Chinese and Western cultures and to initiate an equal dialogue. Digital product design CTNHUB reflects how service design can help the Chinatown community achieve digital popularization by analyzing different stakeholders and user pain points to address the "digital divide" faced by Chinatown. The interactive device, Digital Clock, reconfigures the concept of Chinese time to increase community involvement and a sense of belonging to bridge the cultural gap between generations. In general, this project approaches the issues from a graphic design perspective, with the aim of bridging the gap between the Manhattan Chinatown community and the mainstream society through design thinking.