About Wu Gang

Founder and principal architect of WSP ARCHITECTS, Wu Gang graduated from Master of architecture program of Tongji University & Master of architecture program of Karlsruher Institut für Technologie in Germany. Gang is the professor of Architecture College of The Chinese University of Hong Kong, tutor of masters, external tutor of graduate students of Huazhong University of Science and Technology, member of Architects Regional Council Asia, deputy chief executive of National Federation of industry and Commerce Design Alliance, deputy CEO and distinctive town consultant of National Real Estate Manager Alliance,the initiator of the international Chinese American architect club, the founder of the Architects Inn group, China, the expert consultant on urban development in Yilong new area. Gang was selected as one of the most influential architect in China in 2004, awarded the most influential designer in China's real estate industry in 2008 and honored Readesign China Architectural Design Award in 2015.

Interview with Wu Gang

Wu Gang ("WG") interviewed on Tuesday, 14 August.

Could you please tell us about your experience as a designer, artist, architect or creator?

WG : I got my Bachelor’s degree in Landscape Architecture, in Tongji University, and Master in Architecture, Technical University of Karlsruhe, Germany. Work experience: 1994 Architect in Architecture Department, Siemens Real Estate Management Co.,Ltd. Munich, Germany, Head designer and project leader of Asian projects,1997 Partner in WSP Architects and Engineers Munich, Germany,1999 Principal Designer and General Manager in WSP Beijing, China. The works and papers of me have been widely published in various professional magazines and public media and exhibited in Dutch Design Week 2008, Architectural Biennial in Beijing 2004, China Modern Construction Exhibition in Duesseldorf, Germany 2003 and WA Chinese Architecture Award in Beijing 2002. Under my leadership, WSP ARCHITECTS has been awarded the title "Most Valuable Design Institute of China 2008-2009". I am the member of AA Asia, and I am also elected as one of the Ten Greatest Architects in China" in 2005, and one of the "100 Most Influential Chinese Architects" in 2004. I serve as associate professor at the Department of Architecture of The Chinese University of Hong Kong and the visiting professor of the architecture department in NanJing University and Southeast University.

How did you become a designer?

WG : I have been thinking about urban construction for 30 years, our design is better or worse for human beings. This is related to my grown experience. I grew up in the scenic village at the foot of Yellow Mountain. There are only tens of thousands of people in the old city. The leisure and comfortable style of life has been deeply imprinted in my memory. Now that the cities are getting bigger and bigger, but they have lost the basic sense of spatial beauty, I hope they return to what they should be. Handling a harmonious and orderly environment has a profound effect on our architecture.

What are your priorities, technique and style when designing?

WG : First of all, we will think about what basic needs we can functionally meet for the project users - "customers’ customers" and then upgrade these basic needs, such as integrating diverse experiences to enrich and improve the quality of their lives.At the same time, thinking about how to help customers to enhance their market competitiveness, strengthen the cost-effectiveness of the project, landing and technical realizability.Of course, we will also consider whether we can meet the needs of the above two types of people professionally, constantly challenge ourselves, deny ourselves, and continue to communicate with customers. On this basis, we will complete the continuous innovative design and make an infinitely close to perfect solution. We call this "interactive design".

Which emotions do you feel when designing?

WG : I've been thinking about whether the whole construction industry can become more rational when the economy is developing smoothly, whether the construction activities of the society can consider people and cities more, and I will be very happy if the construction practice can develop in such a direction.

What particular aspects of your background shaped you as a designer?

WG : I like challenges and I am very optimistic and positive, have the positive attitude to learn new things.

What is your growth path? What are your future plans? What is your dream design project?

WG : From the point of view of urban design, we have recently figured out how to create a city that is suitable for Chinese people, including the texture, space, function of the city, and so on. I have also made some attempts, such as the Shimao Tiancheng in Jinan, Shanghai Anting Science and Technology Harbor, are all hoping to use some appropriate size of small block texture, to break the pattern of large and disorderly blocks. In architectural design, more and more deeply consider how to use China's own technology, for the Chinese people, to design a truly suitable architecture for our time. I also worked with my partners to think about how to organize a design-oriented team that is competitive in China.

What are your advices to designers who are at the beginning of their career?

WG : We will try to provide better soil for architects who love architecture and help them grow.

You are truly successful as a designer, what do you suggest to fellow designers, artists and architects?

WG : There are two most important aspects. First of all, you must love architectural design. A bank clerk may have no passion for his work, but he can work from nine to five, but design is a relatively special industry, as an architect, it is difficult to succeed if he/she does not love the industry i. We value a person's work attitude and see if he/she really wants to be an architect. In addition, we will also pay more attention to the basic skills that young architects learn in universities, such as the ability to analyze problems logically, the hands-on ability, and especially the creativity of design.

What is your day to day look like?

WG : Every day is a different day to me, I always keep myself fresh.

How do you keep up with latest design trends? To what extent do design trends matter?

WG : By always learning the new things and keeping up the pace with the time.

How do you know if a product or project is well designed? How do you define good design?

WG : As long as it makes contribution to the society, I would consider it as the a good design, a good design always sparkles.

How do you decide if your design is ready?

WG : To designers, a 100% perfect design is like never even exists. You always want to make it better and you always think you can make it better. So for me I would stop at the point when I think it is 90% perfect, in that case I would feel satisfied with the project and still I left a space for the design to grow.

What is your biggest design work?

WG : Well I guess it will be in the future….even though I’ve done many big projects and I am satisfied with them, I always expect the next one to be a more exciting one.

Who is your favourite designer?

WG : There are too many great architects and I learnt a lot from them, it’s really hard to say which one is my favorite.

Would you tell us a bit about your lifestyle and culture?

WG : I grew up at the foot of Yellow mountain, got my bachelor’s in Shanghai and my master’s in München. I worked in Germany and then I come back to Beijing and work all over China. Those different cultures together benefit me a lot, they’ve given me a broader view as a human being and as an architect, which lead me to better designs.

Would you tell us more about your work culture and business philosophy?

WG : The essence of the design is to arrange a mechanism of communication and cooperation, stick to design is what I am insist on.

What are your philanthropic contributions to society as a designer, artist and architect?

WG : What I’ve done in return is to do good designs that benefit the society, and to give young people more opportunities in their careers.

What positive experiences you had when you attend the A’ Design Award?

WG : The process of participating in the awards is memory and learning experience. I look forward to winning the prize, to encouraging myself and the team.

Wu Gang Profile


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