This summer, the team,Helping Farmers with Tongji’ Practical Actions,of the College of Architecture and Urban Planning of Tongji University went to Longyan City, Fujian Province, to carry out summer social practice activities. They gave full view to their professional strengths of innovating the packaging design of agricultural productswith local characteristics, enhancingits popularity, and makingsubstantial contributions to the local poverty alleviation and rural revitalization strategy.The team consisted of one doctoral student, six master’s students, eight undergraduate students, and two instructors.
Affected by this year’s pandemic, many agricultural and livestock products have become unmarketable, which has impacted the production and life of low-income families greatly.Longyan Agricultural Development Co., Ltd. (a public welfare enterprisehereinafter referred to as the “Company”),has provided a positive signal for local farmers by carrying out collection and storage services.The team members visited the Agricultural Product Direct Selling Center and Agricultural Innovation Space of “HONG GUTIAN” brandestablished by the Company to promote the sales of local characteristic agricultural products, including the “HONG GUTIAN” Agricultural Product Exhibition Hall, agricultural maker space, online celebrity live streaming room for agricultural product sales, and etc.Furthermore, they listened to the Innovative Training for Exhibition and Sales of Agricultural Products organized by the Company,gaining a deeper understanding of the innovative sales mode.
After much communication and exchange, the practice team reached a friendly cooperation with the Company.The Company’sstrong power in infrastructure and product resources was combined with the professional advantages of the College of Architecture and Urban Planning of Tongji University and thesoft power exhibited by the team members.The two sides took the Innovative Packaging Design of Agricultural Products as the breakthrough point to reveal the story of the products, enhance its value through design, and improve the quality and appearance of agricultural products, and thus promoting the development of local agriculture.
After conducting a field study of agricultural productswith local characteristics, the practice team decided to target Longyan ChangtingHetian Chicken (named after its production in Hetian Township, Changting County, Fujian Province) as a sales product, and divided it into two series of cooked food and chilled-for-packaging design. Starting from the historical and cultural background, the team conducted a comprehensive, detailed investigation and summary of the production environment, historical origin, material preparation, and production process of the ChangtingHetian Chicken. It is known as one of the “World’s Five Famous Chickens” and “Precious Poultry.” It is also popular for its tender meat, suitable fat, and rich protein.
During the Kaiyuan Era (713–741 AD, one of the golden ages of Chinese history) of the Tang Dynasty, Hetian Chicken was selected to be sent to Chang’ an (the capital of the Tang Dynasty), and was known as the Warrior of Gamecock or Cockfighting. In addition to Hetian Chicken, Hetian Township also has 18 ancient ancestral temples which are regarded as local treasures.Lessons learned from their research and findings, the team extracted “HetianCockfighting” and “Ancient Ancestral Temple” as the design elements of the “HONG GUTIAN” brand, and carried out the packaging design process with Chinese red color-matching dish patterns.After completingtheir packaging design, cultural storiesof the local brands will be told to the general publicthroughdiversified publicity modes as WeChat Official Accounts and e-commerce live streaming.In addition, the mode of “agricultural productswith local characteristics+innovative design+live streaming or e-commerce” will be promoted to enhance the publicity, promotion, and sales of agricultural products with local characteristics, to increase income levels forlow-incomehouseholds, and to contribute professional strength for promoting the local poverty alleviation and development processes, as well asfor implementingthe rural revitalization strategy in Longyan City.
During the summer social practice activities, JIANG Fan, a teacher at Tongji University’s College of Architecture and Urban Planning Youth League Committee, went to Longyan City to attend a symposium. Present at the symposium were: YUEShaofeng, Deputy Secretary of Longyan League Committee, XIEDajie, Dean of Longyan Urban&Rural Planning and Design Institute, WENDongrong, Secretary of Longyan University’sYouth League Committee, and LINXiaoyong, Secretary of Minxi Vocational & Technical College’sYouth League Committee.At the symposium, participants held in-depth exchanges on the development of social practice cooperation between Tongji University and Longyan City, discussed the jointconstruction of a school-local social practice platform, and explored the innovative practical mode of school-local cooperationtoencourage students to contribute to the motherland.