app design

Client: Beijing National Center for The Performing Arts

Challenge: Digital strategy

My role: Digital Strategist 

Agency: Zheng Bang

April 2015

Beijing, China


Designed by Paul Andreu, the National Center for the Performing Arts is an iconic place in the heart of Beijing, and the cultural landscape of China. It is a home for arts both western-- Orchestras, Ballet--and eastern--Beijing Opera, Kabuki.  There is always an eclectic blend of the most spectacular, powerful pieces, waiting to be heard. But so few people, globally and domestically, are aware of this island. We were tasked to develop an app strategy to popularize NCPA by expressing its vision, “art changes life.”

Life changed by art

Art stands out as one of the few remaining places to answer deeply human questions of love, truth and beauty. As Chinese society remains dominated by materialist values, many people of all ages, classes and creeds find themselves strongly drawn to these humanizing meanings of art. But these meanings are often hidden in symbolism, embedded in the tone of a violin or a dancer’s flourish. To understand, they must first be decoded. We envision the app as a dictionary for the audience, a set of shared keys to access this secret world. This would be the pivot towards popularity: for something to be loved, it must first be known and understood. The educational approach was the clear solution.

The app can be consulted to find interesting facts, fueling curiosity and appreciation for the artistic insights. It also has a section with short educational videos, which are integrated with a calendar of the NCPA’s upcoming events and performances.

Expand the borders of the online world

In addition to connecting on mobile platforms, we also wanted to encourage patrons to enjoy the physical grandeur of the NCPA. We envisioned sponsored events that would feature a new and specially created cocktail -- The Beijing Opera. This would be done in partnership with Maotai Baijiu (茅台酒), the most well known brand of traditional Chinese liquor. While the client expressed strong interest in this idea, the implementation has so far been postponed. I am still looking forward to drinking a Beijing Opera sometime soon.


Art can change your life too. Here it is the app store.