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Interview with Ziye Wu

Home > Designer Interviews > Ziye Wu

Editor Frank Scott (FS) from DesignPRWire has interviewed designer Ziye Wu (ZW) for A’ Design Award and Competition. You can access the full profile of Ziye Wu by clicking here.

Interview with Ziye Wu at Thursday 23rd of May 2019

FS: Could you please tell us more about your art and design background? What made you become an artist/designer? Have you always wanted to be a designer?
ZW: The three founders of Mix Architecture studied architecture at university, and then they became professional architects after years of learning and practices.

FS: Can you tell us more about your company / design studio?
ZW: Mix Architecture was founded by three partners in 2016 based in Nanjing, China. They try to build new space experience from a different perspective. Their works include new emerging industry, city renovation and village renaissance, creating the ideal space for society.

FS: What is "design" for you?
ZW: Design is a creative solution which brings diversified sense of participation and immersive experience to the end users.

FS: What kinds of works do you like designing most?
ZW: The majority of our works includes renovation projects, plus village projects, hotels and public architecture.

FS: What is your most favorite design, could you please tell more about it?
ZW: It is Teshima Art Museum by Ryue Nishizawa. It differs from the ordinary architecture and it is awesome from its design concept to construction methods and to the space experience.

FS: What was the first thing you designed for a company?
ZW: It is an urban renovation project located in Nanjing. The original building is an abandoned building with only the concrete structure. We finally made it a show center of a commercial residential project.

FS: What is your favorite material / platform / technology?
ZW: We do not have any specific preference. We are inclined to study the traditional and local materials and technology. We tried to use traditional materials in a new way, or remodel new materials in an old technology. It seems contradictory, but the way to integrate the old and new is what we’re focusing at present.

FS: When do you feel the most creative?
ZW: when we examine the site after we understand the client’s demands. There will be a conversation between the designers and the site; sometimes you have realized what’s the best scene to be built when you are at the site.

FS: Which aspects of a design do you focus more during designing?
ZW: We focus more on interaction, experience, the logic of construction and the true express of material.

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when you design?
ZW: With a clear logic and restrained emotions, we try to find the solution to problems and make each complex problem easier. The most important part should be shown in the clearest way, so that highlighting the design philosophy.

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when your designs are realized?
ZW: We feel delighted but regretful. It always takes a long time to realize an architecture, so it is a happy and good thing to make it built. However, designers can always find the faulty part of a building, and this regretful feeling inspires us to make better design in the future.

FS: What makes a design successful?
ZW: Architectural design is a diversified and social work. So when we judge whether a design is successful, it relates to the function and constructive purpose. It may be economic benefits, social concern or community activation. When the client’s demands are fully met and they got positive feedbacks, we can conclude that it is successful design.

FS: When judging a design as good or bad, which aspects do you consider first?
ZW: Whether it has solved the problem.

FS: From your point of view, what are the responsibilities of a designer for society and environment?
ZW: I think that designers just need to do their own job well. On one hand, the design should inherit tradition and bring a cultural charm to the local; on the other hand, the design should show a better lifestyle and living idea.

FS: How do you think the "design field" is evolving? What is the future of design?
ZW: Design is a relatively conservative discipline. The evolution of design is along with the change and update of science and technology. We can’t assert what is the future of design, but it should follow the changing time. We need to consider what the new technologies can bring to human being, and how will they affect us. The meaning of architecture is to convey the change of world to people in the way of designs.

FS: When was your last exhibition and where was it? And when do you want to hold your next exhibition?
ZW: We’ re a young design studio, and we haven’t got enough works for exhibition. Hope we have the chance in the near future.

FS: Where does the design inspiration for your works come from? How do you feed your creativity? What are your sources of inspirations?
ZW: Most of the inspirations come form accumulation in everyday life. Some are based on the learning on the classic design works, and some other more come from thinking and observation on life and national culture, as well as way of thinking.

FS: How would you describe your design style? What made you explore more this style and what are the main characteristics of your style? What's your approach to design?
ZW: We emphasized more on locality and experience, which is more a design idea than style. Because we are a young team, we don’t like to set a particular style. We aim to a diversified way of expression in a relatively complete design.

FS: Where do you live? Do you feel the cultural heritage of your country affects your designs? What are the pros and cons during designing as a result of living in your country?
ZW: I live in Nanjing, China. And my partners have lived in other areas of China, where the geography and culture are quite different. our experiences formed our thinking of design. In the basis of eastern thinking mode, It is suited to local conditions

FS: How do you work with companies?
ZW: I think communication is every important. It is the most effective way when work with companies.

FS: What are your suggestions to companies for working with a designer? How can companies select a good designer?
ZW: Different designers have different design expectation and career plan. Companies prefer the designer whose design expectation is in line with companies’ goal and design philosophy. And companies should meet the designer’s need of career plan. It is a win-win deal.

FS: Can you talk a little about your design process?
ZW: Deeply understand the client’s needs, examine the site, have a knowledge of the local culture and requirements on buildings. Then we discuss and work on the design concept with the help of models.

FS: What are 5 of your favorite design items at home?
ZW: They are the design assignment of university, my daughter’s painting assignment, my mother’s handwork, a small vase bought in Tokyo and a small model of kettle designed by Frank Gehry.

FS: Can you describe a day in your life?
ZW: My day is mainly work. And I think design is very interesting, and every day is unknown and uncertain.

FS: Could you please share some pearls of wisdom for young designers? What are your suggestions to young, up and coming designers?
ZW: Watch, experience and think more.

FS: From your perspective, what would you say are some positives and negatives of being a designer?
ZW: Being a designer, we can feel the beauty of world better, but design is too close to life. I mean the work and life are connected too closely.

FS: What is your "golden rule" in design?
ZW: Adjust measures to local conditions and simplify the complex problems.

FS: What skills are most important for a designer?
ZW: A clear think system and sensitive perception and judgment.

FS: Which tools do you use during design? What is inside your toolbox? Such as software, application, hardware, books, sources of inspiration etc.?
ZW: Most are traditional tools like AutoCAD, Sketch up, Rhino and handmade model.

FS: Designing can sometimes be a really time consuming task, how do you manage your time?
ZW: Make the order of priority according to project stage and problems to be solved. Mark deadlines in the early period of design, so as to control the project schedule.

FS: How long does it take to design an object from beginning to end?
ZW: It usually takes about a month to design an object from beginning to end.

FS: What is the most frequently asked question to you, as a designer?
ZW: Why do architects always wear in black?

FS: What was your most important job experience?
ZW: It is my job experience in AZL Architects, which is founded by my teacher Zhang Lei in Nanjing University.

FS: Who are some of your clients?
ZW: Our clients include private client, real estate companies and government who need urban renewal demand.

FS: What type of design work do you enjoy the most and why?
ZW: I like design works of medium and small public architecture, such as library and art gallery. These projects have less limit on profit and function, so there can be some experimental attempt and renovation.

FS: What are your future plans? What is next for you?
ZW: We hope that more better projects can be built in the future.

FS: Do you work as a team, or do you develop your designs yourself?
ZW: We work as a team.

FS: Do you have any works-in-progress being designed that you would like to talk about?
ZW: Based on the feedback village renovation practice, we plan to continue our practice on this field. In the same time, we’ll try digitized wood architecture in some small public architecture, as well as modularization space reconstruction based on 3D printing.

FS: How can people contact you?
ZW: You can contact me by email mix_architecture@163.com. And our office address is Room 1111, No. 88, Chuangyi Rd. Jianye District, Nanjing, Jiangsu, China.

FS: Any other things you would like to cover that have not been covered in these questions?
ZW: Thanks to the recognition from A' Design Award & Competition. It is a great encouragement to our studio as a platinum award winner. It will encourage us to make more exploration in design in the future.


FS: Thank you for providing us with this opportunity to interview you.

A’ Design Award and Competitions grants rights to press members and bloggers to use parts of this interview. This interview is provided as it is; DesignPRWire and A' Design Award and Competitions cannot be held responsible for the answers given by participating designers.


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