Wayfinding in Beijing

Why and how are the local and global connected in urban graphic wayfinding systems?

How have the meaning, function and appearance of Beijing’s graphic wayfinding systems changed since 1840?

What role did Beijing’s graphic wayfinding systems play in shaping Beijing’s identities at different periods?

What is the complex and manifold relationship between the local and the global as reflected in the changes in the functions and appearances of Beijing’s graphic wayfinding systems?


Beijing, as the capital of China, has undergone a radical transformation from the fall of the last Empire – Qing (1912) to the establishment of the People’s Republic of China (1949). This thesis examines the oversimplified one-way theory of the global-local dichotomy, in which the global power of the West is overwhelming and constantly dominant, and the local system of non-Western countries is passive and fragile. It probes into the political and cultural significances behind the changes of the graphic wayfinding systems of Beijing.


Read about the research here


Project team

Researcher: Dr Lingqi Kong Supervisors: Dr Robert Harland and Dr Malcolm Barnard