Architects' opportunities lie in the background of the great era - an interview with the "build


Popular doesn't mean the best

Chang :Local construction projects are very popular nowadays, but most of them are the behavior of the government and developers. Maybe many farmers are not willing to accept the new construction pattern. They will think that the kitchen should be in the East and the toilet should be outside. What will the designer do?

Yuan Ye: This involves two aspects, one is the design of farmers'houses, the other is the design of rural public space. The degree of freedom of public space design is relatively large, and the real residential design for farmers, to face their needs directly, in addition to satisfying the function, more understanding of rural life in place, for the architects used to design residential buildings in the city, is a challenge.

Of course, developers'investment behavior is still for the return of investment, which is beyond reproach, after all, improving the lives of local farmers is not their obligation. However, if the interests of farmers are ignored in order to make money, it is difficult to realize their investment intentions eventually, so developers must also take into account the interests of both economic and social aspects.

Chang : I heard that some developers will leveling the original houses and then imitating the houses in nearby villages when they get the land. What do you think of this behavior?

Yuan Ye: Chinese people always do things in a fashion, what is lively on what, so in recent years rural construction is very hot, rural development model is gradually similar to the city, this large area of new vernacular building construction is really worrying. Developers strive for efficiency, architects are also, most architects just see others do that they feel they can do, went, and did not really do research in the countryside. Constrained by the nature of service, architects sometimes do things like "helping the dead" so I think the whole traditional construction industry has begun to decline. In developed areas such as the United States and Europe, the contribution of the architectural design industry to the national economy is very small, a bit like artistic design, China is also moving in this direction, but our architect stock is too large, need a wave of sand, leaving those talented, enthusiastic, outstanding talent.

It took a long time for the native land to form its inherent temperament. In a short period of time, a large number of people entered and built some completely unbuilt houses, the consequences would be unimaginable. The rural environment is very fragile, not as strong as the city's capacity, such as Beijing, the environment is so bad, traffic jams, haze, there are still a large number of people left here to live, the city is still running at high speed. The countryside is not allowed. Once the folk customs and natural environment are destroyed, it is hard to repair.

It can be said that the government did not fulfill its obligations, did not build a good rural, although vigorously promote new rural construction, built a large number of buildings, let farmers go upstairs. Peasants go upstairs to get a plane at most, a living area of 1,200 square meters, and the original entire village, the entire natural environment is theirs, in front of the house is a vegetable garden, behind the house is a field, the old man strolled along the roadside leisurely, moved to high-rise all this disappeared. This phenomenon also exists in the city, streets are not residents, the elderly and children can not walk freely in the street to play, only the community public space is relatively better. Now the government proposes to demolish the fence. First of all, I support the demolition of the fence. My doctoral dissertation is about the boundary problem of urban settlements. But the problem involved in demolishing the fence is really complex, not simply demolishing the material fence.

In my impression, large-scale construction of buildings began in the early 1980s in China. At that time, there were few fences in the neighborhoods, and those with fences were also allowed to enter. Later in the era of commercial housing, developers in order to highlight the commodity characteristics of the community, the community closed up as a selling point. Of course, social stratification and unstable social security are also one of the main factors. There are also problems of land system and urban management mode. The introverted national character of the Chinese also plays a role. Closed residential areas are a stage of urban development in China, resulting in social fragmentation, social class differences will naturally be resolved after the expansion, so we must let people from different strata live together through planning, and gradually establish social harmony.

Architectural design and director are interlinked.

Chang : since you think architecture design is on the decline, why did you choose this line at the beginning?

Yuan Ye: My first wish was to be a director. I had the idea of taking the film academy when I took the university entrance examination. But at that time, the film academy didn't enroll students in our school. Then I chose architecture if I wanted to choose a subject which was both literary and scientific. It is also a coincidence that in my second year of high school, I often went to Xinhua Bookstore in our city to read after lunch. I happened to see the magazine Environmental Art, which was the first issue of the magazine, and it was said that the issue was closed only after this issue. One of them was "Movies and Architecture" written by Zhang Yonghe, who seemed to be still a graduate student in the United States. Instantly there was a feeling of immersion, and found that there was a relationship between the two, and then applied to architecture, and like the architectural design. From this perspective, Zhang Yonghe is my first teacher.

Chang :what kind of drama do you like, Chinese, western, traditional or modern?

Yuan Ye: Whether it's traditional drama or contemporary drama or movie, I like it very much, and I draw a lot of design inspiration from it. I think architects often need to use the thinking of a theatre director or a movie director to produce a work. For example, when I designed the Tangshan Earthquake Relics Park, I was designing the memorial wall and the memorial road, and I thought about a picture of a person chasing him or her with a long lens, riding his or her bicycle down the ruins and gradually disappearing through the memorial wall. Director Feng Xiaogang used this scene in "Tangshan Earthquake": an old man riding a bicycle across the memorial wall, the name on the wall gradually disappeared, the old man also gradually disappeared. It's almost the same picture that I had originally imagined. Maybe a good architect and a good director have something in common with each other in artistic creation. If I can choose to be a director again, I must be a good director. (laughs)

Tangshan Earthquake Ruins Park

There is a book called "Towards the Plain Drama" in which the author understands plain drama as an empty stage on which a person walks. Architecture is similar to drama creation, but it is also a refinement of life. The space we design is actually in everyday life, but after we refining, people's behavior becomes less everyday, more ritual. I've always wanted to present a certain sense of storytelling in my architecture. To do a design is to tell a story. I gradually realized that I was actually looking for the original landscape in the process of designing, either consciously or subconsciously.

Chang : I feel like a designer is a passive profession, often asked by Party A to do this and do that modification, then how do you keep your original intention under the request of Party A, tell the story you want to tell?

Yuan Ye: Party A is really too important. I have met all kinds of Party A in recent years. Some of them agree with me psychologically. It is easier for both sides to reach a consensus. Others are different. At this time, we should make some adaptations and make some compromises to tell the story as he likes. We are the brain and brain of Party A, helping Party A to realize their ideas, but also to realize our own ideas, otherwise it would be too bad.

Whether the story can be told well depends on whether the designer's own view of the project is clear, whether the logic is strong, whether convincing. Otherwise, why should Party A listen to you?

Chang :Do you always think clearly about the story you want to tell? Will there be chaos? Are there any stories you don't want to talk about?

Yuan Ye: Every story I tell is clear, and indeed I have encountered stories I don't want to tell, so I just give up. For example, Party A wants to be an official building, and I want to be more simple and natural, this contradiction is irreconcilable, so give up. Some projects I think can continue after adjustment, and then go on, to the end of the difference with their own imagination is too big, do not want to admit that it is their own work. I think most architects have many works that they themselves would not like to admit. (laughs)

People should correctly understand themselves, especially the architects trained under the educational background and knowledge structure of our country. Most of them are gradually trained by a large number of rotten jobs. It is impossible that every architectural work is a fine one.

Opportunities lie in the background of the times.

Chang : As you mentioned earlier, the industry is in a slump and the quality of architects is mixed. So how should architects seek their own development in the future?

Yuan Ye: I think the Internet is a good thing. It disintegrates what we thought was magnificent in the past. Architecture is no longer political. There are a lot of buildings built to meet people's daily life and emotional needs. Medieval architects wanted to design cathedrals. Capitalism developed after the Industrial Revolution. Architects had the opportunity to design buildings like banks and shopping malls. After the rise of the American middle class, Wright designed a large number of villas and small houses. That is to say, architects' opportunities lie in the background of the great era. China's government-funded large-scale public projects are driven by the energy of architects in previous years, and the boom in real estate has made large-scale residential and commercial housing the mainstream of the design market. This phenomenon will change in the Internet age. Construction projects will pay more attention to people's daily life.

I just read an article two days ago, written by Zhao Xiaojun, about the future of the architectural design industry in four directions, I agree very much:

The first direction is to master the product, an architect can invent a software or a certain product, by mastering the intellectual property rights of the product and value-added sales to achieve their own value. The second is creative consulting, acting as the outside brain of Party A, by selling wisdom and ideas to achieve the investors'demands and their own design ideals, while obtaining the corresponding return. But we can not sell our souls. This is the bottom line. We can not do things that help the tyrant. The third is to become an expert in a certain category, such as medical architectural design experts, this need to be creative but not pure creative, need to have a deep research in a certain category. The last one is the regular painter. After all, people still need to work. Personally, I and my studio tend to be in the second and third directions, providing ideological and professional services to help those who are willing to pay for it.