Xue Xue Institute
In Mandarin Chinese, "Xue" means "to learn." In Tapei, ever since September 2005, there has been a place set up on purpose in order to promote learning in two specific and complex areas: creativity and culture. The Xue Xue Institute was founded in the Neihu district of Taipei by the husband-and-wife Lin and Lilin Hsu. As the first private entity in Taiwan conceived as a creative center, it is an ambitious project that pursues four main objectives. These are to give Taipei an economic boost through cultural education, to position it as a "creative city" thanks to its transformation into a magnet for talent, to emphasize the value of culture and aesthetics in the new creative economy, and to provide an opportunity for personal growth and enrichment. According to its web-site, "the Xue Xue Institute will serve as a platform for the realization of this vision of the future of Taipei, bringing together the most talented people in the fields of culture, creativity, style, philosophy, science, and economics in order to create an innovative educational experience which will guarantee that Xue Xue's impact is meaningful and widely felt"
The ambitious projects include book publication, educational texts, and journals, as well as consultancy services for marketing, brand management, events, and research on the various industries involved with culture. Among the subjects are color, creativity, branding, cooking and the kitchen, design, digital media, entrepreneurship, fashion, global culture, marketing, music, philosophy, spatial perception, and spirituality. The attention devoted to aesthetics is obvious even in the headquarters, located in Neihu Technology Park, which overlooks the Keelung River. The building has ten floors, and the interiors are the creation of el5, a design firm from Frankfurt which chose the minimalism of the white color and the oak wood. The atmosphere is itself a source of inspiration. The spaces are conceived in such a way as to promote a lively atmosphere full of interaction and learning. Floors three through six contain twenty-seven classrooms with comfortable areas for reading in which one can find a full range of books that go from architecture to art and from design to cooking. In addition to the four libraries, there are two classrooms for music, one lecture hall, a cooking lab, and a restaurant. One interesting thing is that the cooking lab has two large ovens, refrigerators, and stoves. It can, together with the restaurant, be rented for parties and wedding banquets.
Moleskine takes part in this stimulating venture with a customized notebook that is eclectic in the same way as the surroundings. It is available in several versions (cahier, notebook, and memopocket) and it is on sale in the Xue Xue Institute bookshop.