DI: What is the main principle, idea and inspiration behind your design?
ML : The framework of design is based on Ancient Chinese views about formation of Sky and Earth, and the long established concept of the Five Elements which explain natural phenomenon.
DI: What has been your main focus in designing this work? Especially what did you want to achieve?
ML : We focus on applying traditional architectural elements into modern design concepts. By doing so, it also presents the restaurant founder’s culinary philosophy of combining Chinese food ingredients with western chemistry.
DI: What are your future plans for this award winning design?
ML : We hope that through application of these classical Chinese architectural concepts into our designs, we could keep our cultural heritage alive.
DI: How long did it take you to design this particular concept?
ML : It took us 2 weeks to develop and finish the whole design concept.
DI: Why did you design this particular concept? Was this design commissioned or did you decide to pursuit an inspiration?
ML : Our business partner presented us the restaurant’s unique culinary philosophy and we were amazed at the concept and took up responsibility of making interior design for their restaurant in China’s Capital – Beijing. Since the restaurant’s location is adjacent to the Forbidden City, we decided to make a design embodying essence of classical architecture.
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?
ML : Yes, the design has been completed and executed as the interior design of the restaurant.
DI: What made you design this particular type of work?
ML : We always aspire to give new life to classical design ideas and preserve spirit of vintage designs.
DI: Where there any other designs and/or designers that helped the influence the design of your work?
ML : Things and happenings around us are sources of inspirations and ideas. Creative designs of other designers always drive us to improve and excel.
DI: Who is the target customer for his design?
ML : I personally think that each creatvie design attracts admirers from different sectors in the population. All of us always look for advancement and innovations in life.
DI: What sets this design apart from other similar or resembling concepts?
ML : I guess each designer has their own ways of perceiving beauty. What makes this design unique is that it presents our views about beauty and it also embodies spirit of the restaurant founder’s enthusiasm to infuse Chinese dining culture with new energy.
DI: How did you come up with the name for this design? What does it mean?
ML : The name is from the cuisine founder. Mr. Howard Cai.
DI: Which design tools did you use when you were working on this project?
ML : Our design tools are mainly Auto CAD, Adobe Illustrator, 3D Max, Photoshop, Microsoft windows and internet resources.
DI: What is the most unique aspect of your design?
ML : The design is unique in the sense that we try to preserve the disappearing ‘Shiheyuan’ design concept and let it be mentioned and seen in a new face in Beijing which is well-known as a city of cultural heritage.
DI: Who did you collaborate with for this design? Did you work with people with technical / specialized skills?
ML : In most cases, we collaborate with the fitting-out and engineering team to clear all kinds of obstacles, ensuring that the final product and dress-up are in good quality and user-friendly.
DI: What is the role of technology in this particular design?
ML : We use modern materials to withstand extreme weather conditions and big seasonal temperature changes and minimize maintainence work.
DI: Is your design influenced by data or analytical research in any way? What kind of research did you conduct for making this design?
ML : Yes, it is. We reviewed a lot of data about qualities of different construction materials and study historical archives about cosmology, ancient architectural forms and shapes.
DI: What are some of the challenges you faced during the design/realization of your concept?
ML : Main challenges come from extreme weather conditions which delay progress of contruction works. Meanwhile, we re-constructed the sewage system in order to excute our design concept. It was a lenthy process and had important impact on construction cost.
DI: How did you decide to submit your design to an international design competition?
ML : It was a quick decision. We always want to improve and enhance quality of our designs. A’ Design Award is an open platform where designers from around the world can see our design and we get their comments on our design. It helps us understand where we are and we also learn from other outstanding designs.
DI: What did you learn or how did you improve yourself during the designing of this work?
ML : We are inspired by the restaurant founder’s advanced culinary concept and see the zest for creative aesthetics in modern China.
DI: Any other things you would like to cover that have not been covered in these questions?
ML : Yes, one thing we would always bear in mind. We must respect the culture of any population. Provide spacial comfort and offer design solutions to enhance quality of living.