DOT always loves to explore Asia. China is, undoubtedly, one of the most fascinating countries for innovation in the world. ChongQing is probably the largest city in the world (yes, we know, China is full of surprises), so the real estate sector is a big problem.

Chongqing, with a population of approximately 35 million and a territory of 824,000 km2, it is a city by the mountain and river with unique urbanism and a gateway to the least developed region of southwest China. Its main challenges as a city include a great capacity for innovation and environmental sustainability, but as we discovered, people are concerned about living conditions and social inclusion.

Ms. Huang, founder of The Chongqing ZhiHeng Market Information Advisory Ltd, realized the relevance of Design Research’s approach as a participant in a DOT training program in Beijing.

Moreover, ZhiHeng’s main clients, real estate developers from Chinese megacities, are constantly seeking a deeper understanding of human behavior that traditional research tools can no longer fulfill. Competition is fierce in the real estate business and companies need to redefine their value proposition for both commercial space owners and renters. This is the point at which we come into play.

How can a company based on market research transform into a service innovation consultancy?

DOT was challenged to design and conduct research to understand the needs and aspirations of JINKE PROPERTY GROUP CO. LTD clients in ChongQing and propose meaningful service solutions for communities. Meanwhile, a team of 15 ZhiHeng employees were trained to develop capabilities in Research Design, Product-Service Systems Ideation, and Prototyping.

We believe that Hábitats are the intersection of people, territory, real state, and trends. People need living experiences, online and offline channels and brand concepts towards a more humane, connected and sustainable future.

The following diagrams show the specific process that we have defined for Hábitat Design and the main disciplines that must be taken into account.

The service concepts that we designed had the objective of going beyond a small improvement in the level of facilities / structures / spaces. As results can be mentioned:

  • Service systems capable of improving real-time interaction between people and territory in the Communities.
  • Initiatives that support community mobilization by merging online and offline platforms.
  • Products and services that create a clear identity of the Community and increase the sense of belonging.
  • Possibility for the inhabitants to establish innovative businesses within the communities and the creation of units of mutual care to improve social welfare.