Placemaking and the Dali Erhai Lake Science Education Center

The Dali Erhai Lake Science Education Center is an integral part of the campaign to tell the story of Erhai Lake in Yunnan, China. The lake had remained one of China’s most pristine until pollution pushed the lake toward a eutrophic state at which point conservation efforts were employed to restore the lake from Class IV water to between II/III with continuing improvements to date. The story of this lake, pollution, and restoration are the defining foundation of the center’s narrative. The center is a beautiful example of placemaking (Fleming, 2007) using user-experience design to tell the story of conservation through architecture, narrative, and inhabitation of built space. The center’s exhibits include examples of a variety of user-experience design principles created through multimodal, interactive displays. Through an analysis grounded in placemaking, this study explores the means whereby the Dali Erhai Lake Science Education Center functions as an integral part of the provincial environmental communication campaign.

This article can be read in full on the journal’s website or downloaded here.

McArthur, J.A. (2020). Placemaking and the Dali Erhai Lake Science Education Center: Environmental communication through user-experience design. China Media Research, 16 (3), 6-25.

Funding for travel to the Dali Erhai Lake Science Education Center was part of a LIASE Fellowship, a Furman University travel study funded by a grant from the Luce Foundation to explore China and the environment. Special thanks to the fellowship co-leaders, Dr. Kate Kaup (Politics & International Affairs and Asian Studies) and Dr. Dennis Haney (Biology), both of Furman University, for their expertise in the planning and facilitation of the fellowships.

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