Interview with Ling Chen


Winner of Architecture Design Awards

Award Winning Designer Ling Chen shares insights

 
 
 
 

Interview with Ling Chen at Tuesday 14th of August 2018:

DL: Could you please tell us a bit about your design background and education?
LC : studied in Wuhan University of Technology and went on his study in Paris 1st Architecture College. I joined WSP in 1999 and now is director and principal designer and was elected one of the ten greatest architects in China by “New Real Estate” in 2005. Awards: Chicago Athenaeum International Architecture Award 2009; German Bauwelt Architectural Award (2005); Chinese Architectural Award (WA2004); Prize Chinese Architecture, 2004; Innovation Rewards of Architectural Design and Layout (2006); Prize of Layout Design, Prize of Monomer Design, Prize of Architectural Style Design in “Century Architecture” (2006). Representative works Old Downtown in Tianjin, Center Area of International Automobile City Shanghai; Mei Long Town of the Gedmale Group in Shenzhen; Rongyu Residence Suzhou; Xindi Center Hefei; Mixed Development Wuhan; Chamber at Legacy Garden Beijing;New Capital Airport Hotel Beijing; Sun City in Shijiazhuang;South Lake Residence Wuhan;Tianyi Mansion Zhengzhou, etc

DL: What motivates you to design in general, why did you become a designer?
LC : My mother gave birth to me in Shanghai when she was on a business trip. Then I came back to Beijing with my grandmother to live with my parents when I was one and a half years old. Four people of three generations were packed in a 15 square meter single dormitory allocated by my parents. My grandmother and I shared a single bed widened by wooden boards. The first private space belonged to me was a drawer in the upper right corner of the desk. Starting from carefully laying out my drawers over and over again, the dream of designing a comfortable home gradually emerges. My dream now is to design a beautiful city in the future. That’s why I wanted to be a designer.

DL: Did you choose to become a designer, or you were forced to become one?
LC : It was definitely my freewill, being a designer is like a dream come true and to give me possibility to create more dreams.

DL: What do you design, what type of designs do you wish to design more of?
LC : I am an architect and I design architectural/urban projects the most. I prefer to design urban/city projects and I would love to have as many as possible.

DL: What should young designers do to become a design legend like you?
LC : I don’t really think I am a legend, I am still learning day by day. However, I would love to give some advice to young designers, follow the fashion, try to lead fashion and stick to your own thinking.

DL: What makes a good design a really good design, how do you evaluate good design?
LC : What I consider first is if it will make a contribution to the city and a good design should give users room for recreation.

DL: What is the value of good design? Why should everyone invest in good design?
LC : A good design will make contributions to the whole human society and of course everyone should invest in it.

DL: How could people improve themselves to be better designers, what did you do?
LC : It is a simple but important design skill to go to the project site and walk around. In Paris, you walk around looking at your house and your neighbor's house from different angles and figuring out the right material and location for each element on the facade. In China's new cities, you often have to endure the heat, boredom, obstacles and so on during walking, which will surely influence your progress, these experiences can let you think about how to make a real change in the city's design. It is important to do it from the perspective of pedestrians, not from the perspective of UAVs.

DL: If you hadn’t become a designer, what would you have done?
LC : Well….I never think about it, maybe I was born to be a designer and it was meant to be.

DL: How do you define design, what is design for you?
LC : Design is like putting everything together in one thing, you get what you see, you hear and what you think about together as a whole to make a little world for everyone to enjoy.

DL: How do you think designers should present their work?
LC : There shouldn’t be any limitation or rules about it, every designer has a unique way to present their own work.

DL: What’s your next design project, what should we expect from you in future?
LC : Maybe a city in Space.

DL: How does design help create a better society?
LC : To make contributions to the city and thus it can help create a better society.

DL: Do you think design sets the trends or trends set the designs?
LC : Either works, trends might set the design as some designers might willingly follow what is popular at the moment. However, a good design could also set the trend as a good design type should be spread.

DL: Irrelative of time and space, who you would want to meet, talk and discuss with?
LC : I would like to talk with Jane Jacobs about what the owners' committee should pay attention to.

DL: How do you feel about all the awards and recognition you had, is it hard to be famous?
LC : The process of participating in the awards is memory and learning experience. I didn’t mean to become famous, just want to encourage myself and the team.

DL: When you were a little child, was it obvious that you would become a great designer?
LC : Yes it was. My mother gave birth to me in Shanghai when she was on a business trip. Then I came back to Beijing with my grandmother to live with my parents when I was one and a half years old.Four people of three generations were packed in a 15-square-meter single dormitory allocated by my parents. My grandmother and I shared a single bed widened by wooden boards. The first private space belonged to me was a drawer in the upper right corner of the desk. Starting from carefully laying out my drawers over and over again, the dream of designing a comfortable home gradually emerges. My dream now is to design a beautiful city in the future.

DL: Please tell us anything you wish your fans to know about you, your design and anything else?
LC : Just to remember we created an ideal city model called the Walkable City and I love it so much.