Avoiding the “Chinese hat” syndrome

Jun Park
Jun Park
Feb 18, 2019 · 9 min read

Why your consumer research methods may not travel well

This piece was co-authored with Yuebai Liu and originally appeared in Epic, a platform that promotes the use of ethnography in industry.

Beijing railway station, one of the “Ten Great Buildings” ordered by Mao. Tasked with infusing the drab Soviet style with national character, the hurried architects simply added a decorative tiled roof on top (Photo: Mike Stenhouse via Wikimedia Commons).

There’s a kind of building found across China that combines a Western-style “body” with a rather incongruous Chinese-style glazed tile roof plonked on top. This style of architecture had…