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Interview with Yuting Zhang

Home > Designer Interviews > Yuting Zhang

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

Interview with Yuting Zhang at Friday 20th of May 2022
Yuting Zhang
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?
YZ: I was born in the old city of Beijing, my dad was an architect and my mom was a professor in the field of industrial design. So it’s kind of natural to me to want to be a designer. I was really curious and fell in love with painting from my earliest childhood. I also like literature, history, culture, and science. Being an architect is a great career to have all my interests combined through placemaking. I went to Tsinghua University to study architecture, pursued a master's degree in urban planning after it, and then came to Harvard to study architecture in urban design in 2015. I practiced as a licensed architect in Boston since then.

FS: Can you tell us more about your company / design studio?
YZ: I started Studio Re+N in 2022 with my friend Shimin Cao whom I met during my time at Harvard GSD. Studio Re+N is a multi-disciplinary studio based in Boston and Texas and is deeply engaged with local issues of public space, history, identity, and place-making. Our work combined formal exploration, experimental collaborative methods, and applied research in architecture, urban, and landscape. Re+N is a combination of Reinterpretation, Reenvision, Reengage, and embracing endless opportunities. Our design focuses on formulating spatial strategy from the urban environment and its ever-changing conditions, delivering a unique identity while reinterpreting the existing urban and rural fabric, respecting the historical and cultural context with sensitivity, and specifying distinct human experiences.

FS: What is "design" for you?
YZ: Design is everything. As a designer, I have the benefit of not only designing for the great public, but also designing my own way of living.

FS: What kinds of works do you like designing most?
YZ: The projects have a great driving force from the public realm and how people experience the space. And projects that rise from their own urban and cultural context.

FS: What is your most favorite design, could you please tell more about it?
YZ: David Chipperfield is one of my favorite architects. His renovation of Friedrich August Stueler’s Neues Museum is really inspiring. Rather than restoring the museum to its previous condition or building an incongruous modern addition, Chipperfield stitched together the extant architectural fragments with simplified concrete interpretations of the missing forms. He crafted a unique response to every space, restoring what could be preserved, infilling as necessary, and thoughtfully integrating contemporary building systems. The quiet interventions restore the museum’s massing and spatial sensibility to capture the beauty of the original structure without replicating what was lost or fetishizing the ruins that remain. This is a thoughtful approach I have implemented into my own projects.

FS: What is your favorite material / platform / technology?
YZ: Brick, Wood, Glass, Steel, Stone

FS: Which aspects of a design do you focus more during designing?
YZ: User’s experience through place-making and the design narrative and storytelling.

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when you design?
YZ: There’re ups and downs in the whole design process, the excitement when some of the design ideas come with a great spacial experience and the frustration when some of the design concepts can not be carried out due to technical aspects.

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when your designs are realized?
YZ: My biggest pleasure as an architect is to see the design got realized, and people are happily exploring the place.

FS: What makes a design successful?
YZ: Great balance on practical aspect, vision, functions, creativity and budget.

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?
YZ: I grew up in a courtyard house in the old city of Beijing. This has a great impact on my practice and ideology as a designer, and the reason my design focuses on the dialogue between old and new, and the reinterpretation of the existing context and culture.

FS: Could you please share some pearls of wisdom for young designers? What are your suggestions to young, up and coming designers?
YZ: Be patient and believe in yourself. Being an architect is a lifelong journey and you will always find something you don’t know along the path, and you have to learn every day to grow.

FS: What is your "golden rule" in design?
YZ: Less is more with strong storytelling.

FS: What skills are most important for a designer?
YZ: Creativity, initiation, empathy, and coordination

FS: What are your future plans? What is next for you?
YZ: Continue practicing as an architect and urban designer, expand the studio and get involved in more community and social aspects.

FS: Do you have any works-in-progress being designed that you would like to talk about?
YZ: I'm working on a coffee shop design in Iceland.

FS: How can people contact you?
YZ: zhyuting68@gmail.com


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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