Xu Tiantian, architect (Photo provided to China Daily) In Pingtian village Xu found the worst house, which was inhabited by the poorest family with a rundown cowshed and a pigsty. It was due to be demolished, but Xu decided to turn it into a village center. She designed show space in it, displaying farming tools used in Pingtian, a performance stage and upstairs two rooms offered as homestay for tourists. "I chose this dilapidated house to change the way locals think and to inspire confidence in their city," she says. "If the interior of even the worst house can be turned into something attractive, then other old houses in very poor shape can also be restored." It worked, and many locals visited the center and started to renovate their old houses. Xu regards the role of an architect in rural development as being that of a doctor, someone who diagnoses ailments and then offers remedies.