PLACEText: Hailey Meng

The city is my office.

Xin Dan WeiXin Dan Weixindanwei.jpg

Xin Dan Wei (literally, “New Unit”) — a simple, normal, almost vernacular name. Yet, it miraculously adds a touch of refreshing artistic air to the creative workspace located in a factory building. Not only does it provide a place to work in, it also aims to provide an environment where creativity can flourish as well as a communal space for other cross disciplinary activities. As it satisfies the love of sharing that is a common trait of people in the creative industry, Xin Dan Wei goes beyond being a mere workspace to become a career as well as social network for professionals and entrepreneurs in the design, publishing, architecture and visual arts industries.


Situated at III Shanghai Hub on Yan’an Road in the Changning district, Xin Dan Wei takes up the fourth storey of an old rubber factory and contains just about anything its tenants could ask for within 280 square metres of space. There are all sorts of work stations, two fully equipped meeting rooms, technical support and even a large coffee bar. If you become a member, you could even enjoy exhibitions and the services of a salon. Xin Dan Wei’s environment, according to its founder, is “an incubator for information-sharing and innovation”.


There are four different membership plans to choose from — full time, part time, freelance and affiliate — all which aim to provide a space which one can easily access anytime. Membership fees vary from 10 yuan per hour to 2000 yuan per month and include 24 hour all weather access by fingerprint scan.

Social assistance platform cum green action organization GIGA gave a talk at Xin Dan Wei and introduced a list of members of other social networking platforms , among which were included animators, linguists and a variety of other professions. According to what GIGA’s founder, Xin Dan Wei’s diverse portfolio is what enables them to see the possibility of a new lease of life.


Although it has held various workshops for Dorkbot, TED Conferences as well as the MIT Media Lab, Xin Dan Wei still hopes to support its members’ social networking activities by organizing independent , creative activities. “We don’t need people with good ideas urgently, but we do need potential clients, channels, scope, influence and resources,” co-founder Liu Yan admitted. Indeed, this conviction to bring about cooperation, community and exchange has brought about a whole “new unit”, and since it opened its doors at the end of last year, this work idea has been enjoying popular support.

To Xin Dan Wei, 2010 will certainly be an important year. There are already plans for an online resource-sharing shop, a partnership with the International Space Station as well as various activities in the works.

Xin Dan Wei
Address: No.50 Yongjia Road, Xuhui District, Shanghai
Opening Hours: 9:00-18:00
Tel: +86 139 1692 5435

Text: Hailey Meng
Translation: Evon Too
Photos: Xin Dan Wei

Text: Hailey Meng
Translation: Evon Too
Photos: Xin Dan Wei

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