Design Legends ("DL") had the distinct honour to interview legendary designer Zhang Jinyu ("ZJ") 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?

ZJ : I was born in China and started my architectural learning journey at South China University of Technology. I then started studying graduate architecture at the Polytechnic University of Milan. My career began with the end of undergraduate. I entered the Guangzhou IAPA company internship, and continuously participated in a series of design competitions and personal commissioned design. At the same time, his works have participated in many architectural model exhibitions. I have been exposed to design work from many different fields, and my design ability has grown. Years of study and practice made me more firm in the road of architectural design.

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

ZJ : The love of new things and the pursuit of quality of life made me understand that art and design can also strongly affect life. I hope my design can give more users benefits or reflection.

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

ZJ : No one will be forced to choose design, this is a profession driven by passion.

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

ZJ : I design architectural projects and also have some interior designs. I hope to be exposed to more green building design tasks.

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

ZJ : Focus on design issues. Most young people will be attracted by rich social resources. I hope I can create more resources instead of enjoying them.

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

ZJ : I think it's probably the time invested to make them different.

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

ZJ : Good design does not happen overnight. It requires teamwork and constant polishing. But the result is really strong and clear. A good design does not require too much textual explanation, it has moving power in itself.

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

ZJ : Value comes from influence, and a good design comes from the cultural and economic influence of society. When social development radiates to design, design also reflects the needs of society. A high-quality demand is what we hope to see.

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

ZJ : I hope to design for the urban marginalized groups. Listening to their demands for living environment can improve social instability in some ways.

DL: What is the dream project you haven’t yet had time to realize?

ZJ : My future home.

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

ZJ : My secret is to absorb more new knowledge, and many aspects of knowledge make your design not narrow, paranoid, and arrogant.

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

ZJ : I was influenced by many architects in Italy. For example, Gio Ponti, a multi-talented designer. His work reflects the excellent level and taste of Italy after the war.

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

ZJ : Furniture design, an item that a person has to touch every day. Shows the needs of many human bodies.

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

ZJ : Interior design. The style of interior design is not just about people, it sometimes affects the city's interface and environment. It is a linked space.

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

ZJ : More contact with the excellent party, the excellent design on the ground is the good design.

DL: If you hadn’t become a designer, what would you have done?

ZJ : I may be a writer or a script creator. I like a complete story and word game.

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

ZJ : The design process defines the behavior of design. Our unique and professional way of thinking can make the living environment of human beings have the taste of the times. We live in the contemporary, understand the contemporary, and create the contemporary.

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

ZJ : I think it is my excellent teacher and the books I read. The inspiration for dialogue and words is huge.

DL: What helped you to become a great designer?

ZJ : It is the sense of responsibility of modern people, which may be a bit heavy. But design should not only be about beauty and function, but should be a cautious spirit.

DL: What were the obstacles you faced before becoming a design master?

ZJ : I often face my own excessive caution. I often question the power of design, but my enthusiasm for design has caused me to set off again and again to achieve better design.

DL: How do you think designers should present their work?

ZJ : We should cater to the development of advanced technology and be more intuitive and effective.

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

ZJ : It is a student dormitory project in Porto. I will engage in more sociological housing renovations and try to reinterpret the cultural heritage of some old times.

DL: What’s your ultimate goal as a designer?

ZJ : Make my design more influential.

DL: What people expect from an esteemed designer such as yourself?

ZJ : People have high expectations for designers, but I hope that what I do is more practical and confronts social issues rather than escaping into the world of my own style.

DL: How does design help create a better society?

ZJ : As young architects, we have more time and newer knowledge. It should be used to transform knowledge and technology into powerful design forces.

DL: What are you currently working on that you are especially excited about?

ZJ : I am learning to program, hoping to build my own website and show my work systematically.

DL: Which design projects gave you the most satisfaction, why?

ZJ : Some academic research designs in schools, the concepts of these designs are interesting. Although most of them have not been put into practice, they reflect the growth of my thinking.

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

ZJ : The development of the Internet and new media has forced architecture to answer. Augmented reality technology makes people no longer need to go out to feel the city and space, we need to design more attractive works.

DL: Where do you think the design field is headed next?

ZJ : It is necessary to alleviate serious urban environmental problems. I live in cities most of the time, and the process of urbanization requires more thinking.

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

ZJ : Usually from one month to one year, depending on the scale of the project.

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

ZJ : I usually look for inspiration from related text or film and television works.

DL: What is your life motto as a designer?

ZJ : More powerful, simpler and more beautiful.

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

ZJ : Good design determines the trend, and poor design follows the trend.

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

ZJ : Technology is the condition for implementing design, and the development of technology is also slowly innovating the concept of design. We need to always pay attention to technological reform.

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

ZJ : Usually bim system and parameterized software.

DL: What is the role of the color, materials and ambient in design?

ZJ : These three elements are the basic components of the design, and they are combined through concepts. Different designs can strengthen one of them to impress people. My sensitivity to colors and materials makes me enjoy exploring many new possibilities.

DL: What do you wish people to ask about your design?

ZJ : I do n’t want people to be confused about my design and do n’t know how to use it. The design full of doubts is not good enough for me.

DL: When you see a new great design or product what comes into your mind?

ZJ : I will consider his future and growth.

DL: Who is your ideal design partner? Do you believe in co-design?

ZJ : Teamwork is necessary. If a partner is needed, I hope he can put forward a new point of view that is different from mine.

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

ZJ : Probably my boyfriend, we often discuss many issues that others seem boring. But the discussion process is very interesting.

DL: Which books you read had the most effect on your design?

ZJ : linArchitectural theory books, such as Changing Ideals in Modern Architecture, 1750-1950 by peter collins, such historical books made me think a lot about changes in the times.

DL: How did you develop your skills as a master designer?

ZJ : Read more, learn more, and keep an interest in new things.

DL: Irrelative of time and space, who you would want to meet, talk and discuss with?

ZJ : The last human in the end of the world.

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

ZJ : Of course I am happy. But fame is not my life plan.

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

ZJ : I like colors with high brightness. A warm place in the south. Sweet food, spring and summer, no logo fashion.

DL: Please tell us a little memoir, a funny thing you had experienced as a designer?

ZJ : I once interviewed the architect Pascal Flammer, he is very conservative and cute, we also sent him calligraphy from China.

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

ZJ : Probably the time I invested in it. Inspiration always appears during non-working hours, and we need to write down him at all times.

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

ZJ : I think I haven't become a great architect yet, but no doubt, I hope to design excellent buildings.

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

ZJ : Like I said, I still have confidence in the future, maybe humans will survive in a different form.

DL: Please tell us anything you wish your fans to know about you, your design and anything else?

ZJ : My email cheetazhang@gmail.com



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