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Ken’s Diligent Service in Beijing: Day 1

WMF Art Director and prolific blogger Ken Feisel is in Beijing, along with Executive Vice President Henry Ng, meeting with Palace Museum officials to discuss a new visitor center for the Forbidden City's Qianlong Gardens and our continuing collaboration on the gardens' restoration.

Groundspeed: 552 mph. Altitude: 33,004 ft. Outside temperature: -66° F. Time to destination: 10:30. I suppose it's a bit premature to report on my trip to Beijing, but I figured I'd get the introductions out of the way now, so that once I'm really there, I'd be able to cut to the chase and report on my mission.

Henry and I are on our way to the Forbidden City, where WMF recently completed restoring Juanqinzhai, or the Studio of Exhaustion from Diligent Service. Now that the restoration is complete, one of the next phases is to design and install a visitor center, and that's where I come in.

So, along with visiting JQZ (of which I've seen hundreds, if not thousands, of photos) in person for the first time, I'll be photographing and measuring the space where the planned center will be, allowing me to create an accurate virtual model. That model will both allow me to do the bulk of the design from WMF's New York office, and also provide our development team with some visual materials to present to potential funders.

In addition, I'll be meeting folks from the Palace Museum's exhibition and education departments to devise strategies for our collaboration. Plenty to keep me busy for several days, but I hope to find some time next weekend to see a few of the sites.