LEGENDARY INTERVIEW

Design Legends ("DL") had the distinct honour to interview legendary designer Ziye Wu ("ZW") for their original perspective and innovative approach to design as well as their creative lifestyle, we are very pleased to share our interview with our distinguished readers.

DL: Could you please tell us a bit about your design background and education?

ZW : Mix Architecture was founded by three partners in 2016 based in Nanjing, China. We 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.

DL: What motivates you to design in general, why did you become a designer?

ZW : The three founders of Mix Architecture studied architecture at university, and then we became professional architects after years of learning and practices.

DL: Did you choose to become a designer, or you were forced to become one?

ZW : I Choose to become a designer.

DL: What do you design, what type of designs do you wish to design more of?

ZW : The majority of our works includes renovation projects, plus village projects, hotels and public architecture. 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.

DL: What should young designers do to become a design legend like you?

ZW : Watch, experience and think more.

DL: What distinguishes between a good designer and a great designer?

ZW : A good designer can meet the client's needs, adn a great design can make a history.

DL: What makes a good design a really good design, how do you evaluate good design?

ZW : Whether it has solved the problem.

DL: What is the value of good design? Why should everyone invest in good design?

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.

DL: What would you design and who would you design for if you had the time?

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.

DL: What is your secret recipe of success in design, what is your secret ingredient?

ZW : Adjust measures to local conditions and simplify the complex problems.

DL: Who are some other design masters and legends you get inspired from?

ZW : It must be He Garden in Yangzhou. I like oriental space form, where architectural form is weakened and hidden in the "artificial" nature, which is rich in living and literati feelings. Different from other traditional Chinese gardens, there is a two-story cloister in He Garden, and it has some modern architectural space treatment there. For a Chinese architect who is deeply influenced by modern architectural concepts, He Garden is a special case of Chinese architecture.

DL: What are your favorite designs by other designers, why do you like them?

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.

DL: What is your greatest design, which aspects of that design makes you think it is great?

ZW : Currently, it is Jiangshan Fishing Village Rernovation project. In this project, mirror surface is used on the connection between the old and new materials, which fulfill the idea of contrast and boundlessness of the old and new in space experience and design logic. It presents a good result at last.

DL: How could people improve themselves to be better designers, what did you do?

ZW : 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.

DL: How do you define design, what is design for you?

ZW : Design is a creative solution which brings diversified sense of participation and immersive experience to the end users.

DL: Who helped you to reach these heights, who was your biggest supporter?

ZW : Mr. Zhang Lei, my teacher in Nanjing University. Two of my partners are students of Mr. Zhang, and we all once worked in his studio. His thinking method has influenced us a lot.

DL: What’s your next design project, what should we expect from you in future?

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.

DL: How does design help create a better society?

ZW : In my opinion, architecture is a conservative and comprehensive discipline. Its development is based on the development of disciplines such as culture, science and technology. Therefore, the meaning of architecture is to materialize the change of world. It plays the role of expressing the change of life.

DL: What would you like to see changed in design industry in the coming years?

ZW : In the current stage, the development of the Internet brings broader thinking and information explosion, which I think has greatly affect people's lives, and thus affect the construction field.

DL: How long does it take you to finalize a design project?

ZW : It usually takes about a month to design an object from beginning to end.

DL: When you have a new design project, where do you start?

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.

DL: What is your life motto as a designer?

ZW : Adjust measures to local conditions and simplify the complex problems.

DL: Do you think design sets the trends or trends set the designs?

ZW : I think trends set the designs. Design is a way to showcase the changing world.

DL: What is the role of technology when you design?

ZW : Technology makes design more effective and ensures more posibilities for design idea.

DL: What kind of design software and equipment do you use in your work?

ZW : Most are traditional tools like AutoCAD, Sketch up, Rhino and handmade model.

DL: Which people you interacted had the most influence on your design?

ZW : My design team members.

DL: How do you feel about all the awards and recognition you had, is it hard to be famous?

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.

DL: What is your favorite color, place, food, season, thing and brand?

ZW : My favorite color is black.

DL: What makes your day great as a designer, how do you motivate yourself?

ZW : My day is mainly about work. And I think design is very interesting, and every day is unknown and uncertain.

DL: When you were a little child, was it obvious that you would become a great designer?

ZW : I decide to become a designer only after years of study in univesity and practice in society.

DL: What do you think about future; what do you see will happen in thousand years from now?

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.

LEGENDARY DESIGNER

ESTABLISHED IN 2016 BY 3 PARTNERS, MIX ARCHITECTURE IS A DESIGN FIRM BASED IN NANJING CHINA. ITS DESIGN SERVICE COVERS ARCHITECTURE, PLANNING, INTERIOR AND LANDSCAPE WITH AN INTERNATIONAL PERSPECTIVE. WITH THE HOPE OF BUILDING BRAND-NEW SPECIAL EXPERIENCES FROM A DIFFERENT POINT OF VIEW, THEIR DESIGN EXPLORES IN DIVERSIFIED FIELDS SUCH AS EMERGING INDUSTRY, URBAN RENEWAL AND RURAL REVIVAL, THUS, TO CREATE THE MOST IDEAL SPACE FOR SOCIETY. THEIR RECENT RENOVATION PROJECTS ARE WELL KNOWN AND WON AWARDS LIKE: 2018 ABB LEAF AWARDS, DESIGN FOR ASIA AWARDS, THE AMERICAN MASTERPRIZE, ETC.


Jiangshan Fishing Village Renovation

Jiangshan Fishing Village Renovation by Ziye Wu


Sun Shed Renovation

Sun Shed Renovation by Ziye Wu

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