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Chi Xu


Royal College of Art, MA Interior Design, London, UK. / 2019 - 2021

Beijing University of Chemical Technology, BA Product Design/2015-2019

Work experience:

QC Maker Education Co., Ltd, lecturer,2017-2018/Beijing, China

Beijing Design Week, Design assistant,2017 /Beijing, China


2019, Kortrijk creative week, Kortrijk, Belgium

2020, Work In Process Show, Royal College of Art, UK

Degree Details

School of Architecture


Can a town's changing food culture provide a new identity for its future? When the unique food feature is fading away, and the retail shops struggle to survive, what are the new retail models for the future?

Like most other traditional towns in the UK, Northampton's traditional food culture has been forgotten and lost by locals and replaced by countless fast-food restaurants and exotic food cultures in the high street. 

With many retail stores struggling to survive in the town centre, the project seeks to explore Northampton's changing identity through food and provide bookable dining spaces inside local shops, which the local community can use for parties, celebrations and social gatherings.

In this way, local people will be able to explore and celebrate their local food identity, local business owners will have the opportunity to adapt traditional retail business models to involve more diverse uses of space and income generation.  

Local Intelligence — Traditional Northamptonshire Sauce
Bake Pudden — Traditional Northamptonshire Recipe
Thrummety — Traditional Northamptonshire Recipe
Poor Man's Goose — Traditional Northamptonshire Recipe

The narrative storyboard brings together the essential elements in my research.

The father and daughter are looking for something to eat, but Northampton is filled with Fast food, and foreign cuisine is not authentic. It's not representing Northampton food identity.

The interesting thing is, historically, Northampton bakeries used to be a public kitchen, people didn't have an oven at home in the past, so they took food to the bakery and used the bakery to cook.

Today, Northampton struggled with most people have a kitchen at home, but dining space is quite limited as a growing population of single people live in a bedsit and one-bedroom apartment, so they don't have more space at home to invite people for dinner. 

When dining meet tattoo — The juxtaposition between retails and food will create value and unforgettable memory. Apart from the unusual dining experience, On the one hand, it can support retail stores financially, on the other hand, it's a great opportunity to help the store advertise their brands and services which online shopping can't hold a candle to.
When dining meets tattoo — 1. Empty Bowl 2. The contemporary Chinese version of Northampton's traditional Poor Man’s Goose Recipe 3. Tattoo Bowl - Food has stained the sandblasted parts of the bowl to create a permanent tattoo.

This Axonometric drawing shows three structures, Chinese, Indian and Polish dining spaces. In the centre of the drawing, it shows how they can be dissembled into small pieces to fit inside the van. At the edge of the drawing, it shows how they occupy different parts of the tattoo shop alongside the tattoo artist.

Proposal Ground Floor Plan
Short Section
Long Section

In conclusion, I propose providing dining space for people living in small properties. Inside the dining space, all three different structures are about reinventing and rediscover Northampton's food identity as there are more diverse cultures in Northampton. You learn about it when you are going to space. All in its between, it's a tattoo shop. This kind of juxtaposition can create a memorable dining experience.