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Designers offer a glimpse of future

    A local design college has given a futuristic look to a street in an old downtown residential community.

    The College of Design and Innovation of Tongji University has lined up innovative stores, workshops, labs and eateries — most of them run by startup companies and students of the college — on the street in the Anshan Community in Yangpu District.

    The street, which is named N-ICE2035 and translates into Neighborhood of Innovation, Creativity and Entrepreneurship toward 2035, gives the residents a chance to explore and experience unique restaurants, offices, entertainment venues that are built with new materials, including robots and artificial intelligence.

    The project, a joint work of the college and the Siping Road Subdistrict, aims to find a new way to renovate and protect old residential neighborhoods. If it proves popular among both residents and entrepreneurs, the idea will be expanded to other local communities.

    The Aroma Art lab, for instance, combines various scents of plants and flowers that reportedly helps in treating bad cold and relieve anxieties. A cafe called Timemore uses traditional Chinese ceramics for coffee pots and cups. A smartphone application can calculate the best flavor that users may like and guides them to make the coffee manually.

    “The college aims to change people’s lifestyle and improve the living environment of communities with creative design,” Lou Yongqi, the dean of the college, said.

    The project is part of the city government’s micro-revamping effort to improve the living standards of old communities while trying to retain the traditional layout and lifestyle of the neighborhoods.