Official and unofficial culture coexisted and cycled in the built environment of Wudaokou, manifest in two different worlds. In one world, the previously hidden public realm became increasingly visible, activated by vital bottom-up efforts which were then adopted by supportive government policies. And in the other world, a series of restrictive policies and economic development resulted in the subsequent retreat into and intensification of interior worlds. One of these worlds may be more dominant than the other at a particular time. If one were to turn the volume up on one of these perspectives, they could better understand the tension between the official and unofficial cultures, and the cycles that push the cultures back and forth.