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Interview with Shengzhe Shen

Home > Designer Interviews > Shengzhe Shen

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

Interview with Shengzhe Shen at Saturday 12th of June 2021
Shengzhe Shen
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?
SS: Before I went to university, I tried to be a musician. Because of an accident later, however, my fingers couldn't play the piano smoothly any more. I began to study the "frozen music".

FS: Can you tell us more about your company / design studio?
SS: “Zen-in”, it means intervention and concealment in Chinese, just like our attitude to architecture. We focus on the impact of architecture on the environment and living.

FS: What is "design" for you?
SS: Design is to create a multi-level unity.

FS: What kinds of works do you like designing most?
SS: Traditional and contemporary art.

FS: What is your most favorite design, could you please tell more about it?
SS: It's Zenstay hotel at this stage. Please pay attention to the related reports of A-Design Award and Competition.

FS: What was the first thing you designed for a company?
SS: Office.

FS: What is your favorite material / platform / technology?
SS: Concrete.

FS: When do you feel the most creative?
SS: In dreams.

FS: Which aspects of a design do you focus more during designing?
SS: Function, form, spirit: unified or not.

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when you design?
SS: Exciting.

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when your designs are realized?
SS: Happy.

FS: What makes a design successful?
SS: Investigation and immerse

FS: When judging a design as good or bad, which aspects do you consider first?
SS: Function, form, spirit: unified or not.

FS: From your point of view, what are the responsibilities of a designer for society and environment?
SS: Society and environment are unity of opposites. Architecture designers should face them at the same time and try to reconcile

FS: How do you think the "design field" is evolving? What is the future of design?
SS: The "design field" has been being subdivided inside and crossover outside. There will be more individual designers in the future. Each one will have his excellent points and become the main force together as a whole in the design field.

FS: When was your last exhibition and where was it? And when do you want to hold your next exhibition?
SS: June 2020, the Opposite House in Beijing. Coming soon.

FS: Where does the design inspiration for your works come from? How do you feed your creativity? What are your sources of inspirations?
SS: Inspiration comes besides architecture,which could be a movie, a painting or a conversation. I'm not sure about the exact sources. But I have to get more information from various aspects and comprehend by analogy.

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?
SS: Regional keeping and artistic intervention. It started from the time I studyed in the Central Academy of Fine Arts. During that time, I often went to remote villages with artists for research and practice. While feeling the local culture and style, I also began to try to improve it through artistic means. And keep the old and new growing together.

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?
SS: Beijing China.

FS: How do you work with companies?
SS: keep calm and sincere.

FS: What are your suggestions to companies for working with a designer? How can companies select a good designer?
SS: Every one, no matter a designer or a company boss, should always be calm and sincere.

FS: Can you talk a little about your design process?
SS: Architectural design is a complex process. I'm afraid it couldn't be told by a little words even if 500 characters.

FS: What are 5 of your favorite design items at home?
SS: IKEA bookshelf, round LED droplight, TOTO automatic toilet, Huge sofa for work, DIY computer.

FS: Can you describe a day in your life?
SS: Every day is a new day.

FS: Could you please share some pearls of wisdom for young designers? What are your suggestions to young, up and coming designers?
SS: Sorry, I'm also young.

FS: From your perspective, what would you say are some positives and negatives of being a designer?
SS: If you like it, it's all positive and vice versa.

FS: What is your "golden rule" in design?
SS: God is in the details.

FS: What skills are most important for a designer?
SS: Skill to deepen.

FS: Which tools do you use during design? What is inside your toolbox? Such as software, application, hardware, books, sources of inspiration etc.?
SS: I have no toolbox. But I think electronic devices and the Internet have become increasingly important and useful for design.

FS: Designing can sometimes be a really time consuming task, how do you manage your time?
SS: Deal with trivia quickly, then focus on solving key issues.

FS: How long does it take to design an object from beginning to end?
SS: 1 to 2 years.

FS: What is the most frequently asked question to you, as a designer?
SS: How can it be deepened?

FS: What was your most important job experience?
SS: Follow my supervisor to study and practice in remote villages of China.

FS: Who are some of your clients?
SS: Some private owners and publicans.

FS: What type of design work do you enjoy the most and why?
SS: I enjoy challenging the work which restrictive condition is harsh. Because the difficult point may bacome the bright point usually.

FS: What are your future plans? What is next for you?
SS: As the old Chinese proverb says, " A journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step."

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

FS: Do you have any works-in-progress being designed that you would like to talk about?
SS: Architectural design is a work that consumes a lot of communication time. At the beginning of contacting proprietors, we usually spent much more time to prove that other methods may not work. With the deepening of our understanding, most proprietors could thank for our patience and responsibility and stick to the right choice.

FS: How can people contact you?
SS: arch@zen-in.cn

FS: Any other things you would like to cover that have not been covered in these questions?
SS: That‘s all. Thank you very much.


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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