Interview with yi chen at Monday 25th of April 2016: DI: What is the main principle, idea and inspiration behind your design?
yc : 01. What is the main principle, idea and inspiration behind your design?
The work attempts to present an oriental style not known by a traditional sense. The pattern, beauty in form, and spiritual realm of the oriental stylewere interpreted in our own way before being incorporated in the creation. While the wisdomembodied by the maxim “Simple for explicating one’s ambition, quiet to go far” is echoed everywhere in the space, an allusion is also made to the traditional esthetical thought of “unity of heaven and man”. The artistic layout of a traditional landscape painting, characterized by scattered points, panorama, and suitability for both tourism and dwelling, provides inspiration to the overall space composition. To put it simply, we have tried to draw upon the traditional cultural essence and meanwhile upheld a modern principle of promoting advanced lifestyles and embracing a unity of man and his abode.
DI: What has been your main focus in designing this work? Especially what did you want to achieve?
yc : We have tried to explore the traditional Chinese cultural heritage using a modern modeling language. This was done by continuing an effort to “create an image by being faithful to our own feelings” and to put Zen’s ideas into action.
DI: What are your future plans for this award winning design?
yc : We’d like an opportunity to design another work that promotes harmony between the architecture, its indoor space, and its surroundings.The idea of designing a church also occurred to us.
DI: How long did it take you to design this particular concept?
yc : Three months.
DI: Why did you design this particular concept? Was this design commissioned or did you decide to pursuit an inspiration?
yc : Actually, we’re not as bound by the project owner’s design specifications as by their practical and functional requirements. We have decided on, pursued, and implemented the style out of a strong desire to uphold our philosophy “Spiritual Design, Poetic Expression”. We are driven by culture in each space work designed, attempting to discovering man’s spiritual needs behind the space.
DI: Is your design being produced or used by another company, or do you plan to sell or lease the production rights or do you intent to produce your work yourself?
yc : We have such plans.
DI: What made you design this particular type of work?
yc : We have decided on, pursued, and implemented the style out of a strong desire to uphold our philosophy “Spiritual Design, Poetic Expression”. We are driven by culture in each space work designed, attempting to discovering man’s spiritual needs behind the space. Fenghemuchen Space Design is a place where Western and Eastern cultures converge and blend; it’s a design firm driven by spiritual values.
DI: Where there any other designs and/or designers that helped the influence the design of your work?
yc : Yes, we worked as a team. Muchen Zhang and I were responsible for working out plans, with others tasked to flesh out and follow through them.
DI: Who is the target customer for his design?
yc : All residents in this community.
DI: What sets this design apart from other similar or resembling concepts?
yc : In space design, you have to be simple-minded as well as single-minded, able to effect the idea and the force across the entire space, allowing dwellers to appreciate for themselves the space arrangement, dimensions, texture, colors, and even the aspirations. It is just too natural that such a work stands out.
DI: How did you come up with the name for this design? What does it mean?
yc : It’s named after the community.
DI: Which design tools did you use when you were working on this project?
yc : We made use of the "Dougong" (bucket arch), a structure unique to traditional Chinese architecture. In fact, the use of a timber frame, a variation of the standard Dougong, may be considered the greatest feature of this work. It strikes people with novelty, but people admit to having seen it somewhere before. It is for this reason that we made the timber structure a centerpiece in the space, where it also became the leading technique we used. We managed to create numerous, simple yet fascinating combinations, by varying length and thickness. Once assembled, the timber partitioncould function as a partition wall if used on the façade, and as a hanging piece if used on the ceiling. The final result was a simple, elegant, and distinctly oriental space.
DI: What is the most unique aspect of your design?
yc : “Spiritual Design, Poetic Expression” may bethe most unique aspect of our design. We are driven by culture in each space work designed, attempting to discovering man’s spiritual needs behind the space.
DI: Who did you collaborate with for this design? Did you work with people with technical / specialized skills?
yc : Muchen Zhang and I were responsible for working out plans, with others tasked to flesh out and follow through them. We discussed details on techniques and specialized skills with the constructor during the construction process.
DI: What is the role of technology in this particular design?
yc : The Dougong, a well-designed, oriental-styled timber structure, enhanced the artistic expression of the space.
DI: Is your design influenced by data or analytical research in any way? What kind of research did you conduct for making this design?
yc : We’re not influenced by data or analytical research. Research on the poetic state unique to the oriental traditions, however, did have an impact on our design.
DI: What are some of the challenges you faced during the design/realization of your concept?
yc : Achieving the harmony between a modern Chinese interior design and a modern American prairie villa style had been the greatest challenge we faced. Coexistence of Chinese and Western elements and the concord of the interior and the exterior had been a real trial. Our main concern had been to bring out the unity of the architecture and the indoor space, which was also our way to show respect to the original architecture.
DI: How did you decide to submit your design to an international design competition?
yc : A’ Design Award is a prestigiousprize in international design field. Being part of it would allow more people, either laymen or professionals, from other countries to know about our work. And we expect it to bring in more opportunities for professional exchanges and real projects.
DI: What did you learn or how did you improve yourself during the designing of this work?
yc : We honed our design technique and stripped our design language. A purified search for cultural and spiritual valuesresulted.
DI: Any other things you would like to cover that have not been covered in these questions?
yc : None.