The Dafang Holland Creative Village Project, China – on hold –

Development of Dafang ancient village in rural China.

In 2018 IVEM was invited by the People’s Government of JinXi County to help revitalize the historic countryside and re-develop one of the many villages into an example for other villages.

Chosen strategy

Phase 1. Development of physical space of one selected village (Dafang) for adaptive re-use.

  • Create a cluster of attractive and flexible spaces where Chinese and Dutch creatives from different fields can work together,
  • Create a landmark building that can be used as an icon in visual marketing,
  • Create overnight stay capacity in or near the village,
  • Connect Dafang village to the nearby villages with a network of bicycle roads,
  • Develop a visual branding concept,
  • Organize cultural and creative events focussing on activities where Dutch and Chinese creatives can exchange,
  • Run a national (China) and international marketing campaign, aimed at Millenials.

Dafang Village as it was in 2018


The village was officially opened in early 2020 and attracted 140.000 visitors during the first year. The village and the villagers now organize cultural events, exhibitions and creative workshops for a young and local audience. The income of the local community has since increased manifold.

In 2021 the project was nominated as one of China’s top 5 rural redevelopment projects. More than 100 official delegations visited the village which served as an example of the revitalisation of the Chinese countryside. The architecture of new buildings received a shortlist nomination in the international magazine Designboom, the identity design won a silver award in the Graphics international branding competition.

The project also received a lot of media attention: two documentaries on CCTV (national state tv) and many articles and interviews in local and national media.

IVEM’s role

– Formulating brand and marketing strategy
– Defining and designing the visual identity
– Bringing together the required expertise and human capacity
– The (long-term) project organisation and programming

In this project IVEM closely operates with:

– The China Cultural Media Group
Next Architects, Beijing
Total Design, Amsterdam
SmartLand Landscape Architects, Amsterdam
Linda Vlassenrood Cultural & Educational programming, Amsterdam
The Herman Lamers Art Group, NL

Architecture & landscape design (September 2018 – January 2019)

Chinese documentary on phase 1

Dafang Holland Creative Village at the beginning of spring 2020

Dafang Holland Creative Village opens up