Mystery of the Rabbit Factory

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Next to an idyllic village on the hills of Catalonia lies a towering dormant bio-factory building that had not been touched for more than ten years. The villagers call it “the rabbit factory”. The building left today is the most typical set-up of a factory complex sitting quietly in a regulated green-belt zone a few … Continue reading

Factory Harvest Festival

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Like any other Chinese organisation, my joystick factory operates in the world of Guanxi transactions of gift-giving. This time last year, my friend at the factory, Xiao Fang invited me to a moon-cake gifting trip. This was a fantastic excuse to snoop into other factories, shipping companies, packaging merchants…how could I possible have resisted? I … Continue reading

Farmification

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Half a year after my first stay in the joystick factory in Shenzhen, I returned to it again this time with a proposal to help them keeping their factory community when joystick demands fade. I persuaded the factory owners to let me try out Farmification – using farming to keep the factory family together when … Continue reading

Play Farm for Factory Workers

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One evening, as I was wondering through the natural forestation surrounding the factory area, I came across what was best described as a farming “village”. It felt surprisingly genuine, maintaining an unusual dignity across a 10 minute walk from the bustle of the factory snack streets and the temple worshipers. I was as enticed. Soon … Continue reading

Joystick Factory: The Hills Are Alive

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In the first few days of my severe jet lag, I would wake up at dawn to climb the mountains to quiz the monks on philosophy before the temperature became sizzling. I became quite familiar with my favourite character here. She’s quite an inventor herself, check out her tin-foil wrapped straw hat. That’s what I … Continue reading

Joystick Factory: Tranquil Factory?!!

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The most noticeable thing about the Joystick factory is that it’s situated at the base of a well-known tourist attraction. Feng Huang mountain has a locally celebrated buddhist temple, attracting thousands of people each day, especially during spiritual festivals. It’s surreal to wake up in an industrial site with all the right noises but the … Continue reading

Joystick Factory: Romance, Marriage, Family

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Migrant workers work away from home. They work, eat and live together. The everyday hardware we use is made with love, literally. A smugly married 23 year-old lady informs me that office romance is as common as pot-noodles, before reminding me that I’m already quite the ‘old maid’. The factory world holds its own rules … Continue reading

Joystick Factory: Playing at Night

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The mouse factory outside my window releases its workers from their night shift. The background noise raises a notch as I realise that workers were reclaiming their space and enjoying their existence. I follow the light and catch workers burning fake money to their ancesters in a small purpose-built shrine. I’m told that this only … Continue reading

Joystick Factory: Street Soap

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A culture of watching soap opera on the street has emerged from a specific social economic condition. Most migrant workers only use lightweight tools for communication, so normally have no access to television or computers. This cost-free social entertainment has become a stable of their personal lives. Dark back streets of the industrial areas are … Continue reading

Joystick Factory: Battle of The Guitar Heros

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The hard-core boardroom of Geekdom and familiar play-gems, displaying specialised toys and slightly altered legends. This is where Christmas wishes come true, at low, low prices. The factory owner confessed that his biggest problem to date is the emergence of low-fuss iPad generation, before reappearing with a beam and challenged be to form a rock … Continue reading

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