Folding Xi’An is an interaction design done in April 2020 by Yuxuan Zhu and me (Alan Shen). We collaboratively did literature research, put forword a technical solution and finished the storyboard together.

This video is a storyboard (dubbed in Chinese) of FOLDING XI’AN, an underground interaction design. Users go through a travel through time and space when they take an underground in Xi’an, one of the most ancient city in China. Ancient downtown streets, palaces and towers appear on the dark windows of railway carriages when the train is running underground.


People always take delight in talking about the construction of underground in Xi’an. As the ancient capital of thirteen dynasties, a large number of antiques, ruins has been buried deep under this modern city since thousands of years ago. While constructing the undergroud system, many of them are discovered and brought to light again.

We think Xi’an underground is the wonder space which connects modern society with those splendid civilizations thousands years ago. We hope to provide passengers with a journey to travel through the time and experience the magnificence of ancient China.

Elements of Ancient China

We choose three most representative ancient scenes: downtown streets in Tang Dynasty, Daming Palace and The Wild Goose Pagoda. Streets depict real life of common people. Palace represents the supreme of the power of monarch. The pagoda shows Chinese tradition of Buddism. We shifted the view constantly in order to highlight the magnificence of our civilization, making passengers feel personally on the scene.

Technical Realization

Since it’s dark outside when the train is travelling underground, TOLED ( a transparent screen with LED lights embedded in it) is a feasible and relatively low cost option to realize our design. Traditional windows can be replaced by smart TOLED easily.