Ziye Wu

Professional in Architecture Design.

About Ziye Wu

Established in 2016 by 3 partners, Mix Architecture is a design firm based in Nanjing China. Its design service covers architecture, planning, interior and landscape with an international perspective. With the hope of building brand-new special experiences from a different point of view, their design explores in diversified fields such as emerging industry, urban renewal and rural revival, thus, to create the most ideal space for society. Their recent renovation projects are well known and won awards like: 2018 ABB LEAF Awards, Design for Asia Awards, The American MasterPrize, etc.

  • Winner of Architecture Design Award.
  • Specialized in Architecture Design.
  • Original Design.
  • Highly Creative, Diligent and Innovative.
  • All Designs
  • Architecture
Jiangshan Fishing Village Renovation

Jiangshan Fishing Village Renovation

Architecture Design


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Interview with Ziye Wu

Could you please tell us more about your art and design background? What made you become an artist/designer? Have you always wanted to be a designer?
The three founders of Mix Architecture studied architecture at university, and then they became professional architects after years of learning and practices.
Can you tell us more about your company / design studio?
Mix Architecture was founded by three partners in 2016 based in Nanjing, China. They try to build new space experience from a different perspective. Their works include new emerging industry, city renovation and village renaissance, creating the ideal space for society.
What is "design" for you?
Design is a creative solution which brings diversified sense of participation and immersive experience to the end users.
What kinds of works do you like designing most?
The majority of our works includes renovation projects, plus village projects, hotels and public architecture.
What is your most favorite design, could you please tell more about it?
It is Teshima Art Museum by Ryue Nishizawa. It differs from the ordinary architecture and it is awesome from its design concept to construction methods and to the space experience.
What was the first thing you designed for a company?
It is an urban renovation project located in Nanjing. The original building is an abandoned building with only the concrete structure. We finally made it a show center of a commercial residential project.
What is your favorite material / platform / technology?
We do not have any specific preference. We are inclined to study the traditional and local materials and technology. We tried to use traditional materials in a new way, or remodel new materials in an old technology. It seems contradictory, but the way to integrate the old and new is what we’re focusing at present.
When do you feel the most creative?
when we examine the site after we understand the client’s demands. There will be a conversation between the designers and the site; sometimes you have realized what’s the best scene to be built when you are at the site.
Which aspects of a design do you focus more during designing?
We focus more on interaction, experience, the logic of construction and the true express of material.
What kind of emotions do you feel when you design?
With a clear logic and restrained emotions, we try to find the solution to problems and make each complex problem easier. The most important part should be shown in the clearest way, so that highlighting the design philosophy.
What kind of emotions do you feel when your designs are realized?
We feel delighted but regretful. It always takes a long time to realize an architecture, so it is a happy and good thing to make it built. However, designers can always find the faulty part of a building, and this regretful feeling inspires us to make better design in the future.
What makes a design successful?
Architectural design is a diversified and social work. So when we judge whether a design is successful, it relates to the function and constructive purpose. It may be economic benefits, social concern or community activation. When the client’s demands are fully met and they got positive feedbacks, we can conclude that it is successful design.
From your point of view, what are the responsibilities of a designer for society and environment?
I think that designers just need to do their own job well. On one hand, the design should inherit tradition and bring a cultural charm to the local; on the other hand, the design should show a better lifestyle and living idea.
How do you think the "design field" is evolving? What is the future of design?
Design is a relatively conservative discipline. The evolution of design is along with the change and update of science and technology. We can’t assert what is the future of design, but it should follow the changing time. We need to consider what the new technologies can bring to human being, and how will they affect us. The meaning of architecture is to convey the change of world to people in the way of designs.
When was your last exhibition and where was it? And when do you want to hold your next exhibition?
We’ re a young design studio, and we haven’t got enough works for exhibition. Hope we have the chance in the near future.
Where does the design inspiration for your works come from? How do you feed your creativity? What are your sources of inspirations?
Most of the inspirations come form accumulation in everyday life. Some are based on the learning on the classic design works, and some other more come from thinking and observation on life and national culture, as well as way of thinking.
How would you describe your design style? What made you explore more this style and what are the main characteristics of your style? What's your approach to design?
We emphasized more on locality and experience, which is more a design idea than style. Because we are a young team, we don’t like to set a particular style. We aim to a diversified way of expression in a relatively complete design.
Where do you live? Do you feel the cultural heritage of your country affects your designs? What are the pros and cons during designing as a result of living in your country?
I live in Nanjing, China. And my partners have lived in other areas of China, where the geography and culture are quite different. our experiences formed our thinking of design. In the basis of eastern thinking mode, It is suited to local conditions
How do you work with companies?
I think communication is every important. It is the most effective way when work with companies.
What are your suggestions to companies for working with a designer? How can companies select a good designer?
Different designers have different design expectation and career plan. Companies prefer the designer whose design expectation is in line with companies’ goal and design philosophy. And companies should meet the designer’s need of career plan. It is a win-win deal.
Can you talk a little about your design process?
Deeply understand the client’s needs, examine the site, have a knowledge of the local culture and requirements on buildings. Then we discuss and work on the design concept with the help of models.
What are 5 of your favorite design items at home?
They are the design assignment of university, my daughter’s painting assignment, my mother’s handwork, a small vase bought in Tokyo and a small model of kettle designed by Frank Gehry.
Can you describe a day in your life?
My day is mainly work. And I think design is very interesting, and every day is unknown and uncertain.
From your perspective, what would you say are some positives and negatives of being a designer?
Being a designer, we can feel the beauty of world better, but design is too close to life. I mean the work and life are connected too closely.
What is your "golden rule" in design?
Adjust measures to local conditions and simplify the complex problems.
Designing can sometimes be a really time consuming task, how do you manage your time?
Make the order of priority according to project stage and problems to be solved. Mark deadlines in the early period of design, so as to control the project schedule.
How long does it take to design an object from beginning to end?
It usually takes about a month to design an object from beginning to end.
What was your most important job experience?
It is my job experience in AZL Architects, which is founded by my teacher Zhang Lei in Nanjing University.
Who are some of your clients?
Our clients include private client, real estate companies and government who need urban renewal demand.
What type of design work do you enjoy the most and why?
I like design works of medium and small public architecture, such as library and art gallery. These projects have less limit on profit and function, so there can be some experimental attempt and renovation.
Do you have any works-in-progress being designed that you would like to talk about?
Based on the feedback village renovation practice, we plan to continue our practice on this field. In the same time, we’ll try digitized wood architecture in some small public architecture, as well as modularization space reconstruction based on 3D printing.
How can people contact you?
You can contact me by email mix_architecture@163.com. And our office address is Room 1111, No. 88, Chuangyi Rd. Jianye District, Nanjing, Jiangsu, China.
Any other things you would like to cover that have not been covered in these questions?
Thanks to the recognition from A' Design Award & Competition. It is a great encouragement to our studio as a platinum award winner. It will encourage us to make more exploration in design in the future.

Extended Interview with Ziye Wu

Could you please tell us a bit about your design background and education?
Mix Architecture was founded by three partners in 2016 based in Nanjing, China. We try to build new space experience from a different perspective. Their works include new emerging industry, city renovation and village renaissance, creating the ideal space for society.
What motivates you to design in general, why did you become a designer?
The three founders of Mix Architecture studied architecture at university, and then we became professional architects after years of learning and practices.
What do you design, what type of designs do you wish to design more of?
The majority of our works includes renovation projects, plus village projects, hotels and public architecture. I like design works of medium and small public architecture, such as library and art gallery. These projects have less limit on profit and function, so there can be some experimental attempt and renovation.
What distinguishes between a good designer and a great designer?
A good designer can meet the client's needs, adn a great design can make a history.
What is the value of good design? Why should everyone invest in good design?
Architectural design is a diversified and social work. So when we judge whether a design is successful, it relates to the function and constructive purpose. It may be economic benefits, social concern or community activation. When the client’s demands are fully met and they got positive feedbacks, we can conclude that it is successful design.
What would you design and who would you design for if you had the time?
I like design works of medium and small public architecture, such as library and art gallery. These projects have less limit on profit and function, so there can be some experimental attempt and renovation.
What is your secret recipe of success in design, what is your secret ingredient?
Adjust measures to local conditions and simplify the complex problems.
Who are some other design masters and legends you get inspired from?
It must be He Garden in Yangzhou. I like oriental space form, where architectural form is weakened and hidden in the "artificial" nature, which is rich in living and literati feelings. Different from other traditional Chinese gardens, there is a two-story cloister in He Garden, and it has some modern architectural space treatment there. For a Chinese architect who is deeply influenced by modern architectural concepts, He Garden is a special case of Chinese architecture.
What are your favorite designs by other designers, why do you like them?
It is Teshima Art Museum by Ryue Nishizawa. It differs from the ordinary architecture and it is awesome from its design concept to construction methods and to the space experience.
What is your greatest design, which aspects of that design makes you think it is great?
Currently, it is Jiangshan Fishing Village Rernovation project. In this project, mirror surface is used on the connection between the old and new materials, which fulfill the idea of contrast and boundlessness of the old and new in space experience and design logic. It presents a good result at last.
How could people improve themselves to be better designers, what did you do?
We are inclined to study the traditional and local materials and technology. We tried to use traditional materials in a new way, or remodel new materials in an old technology. It seems contradictory, but the way to integrate the old and new is what we’re focusing at present.
How do you define design, what is design for you?
Design is a creative solution which brings diversified sense of participation and immersive experience to the end users.
Who helped you to reach these heights, who was your biggest supporter?
Mr. Zhang Lei, my teacher in Nanjing University. Two of my partners are students of Mr. Zhang, and we all once worked in his studio. His thinking method has influenced us a lot.
What’s your next design project, what should we expect from you in future?
Based on the feedback village renovation practice, we plan to continue our practice on this field. In the same time, we’ll try digitized wood architecture in some small public architecture, as well as modularization space reconstruction based on 3D printing.
How does design help create a better society?
In my opinion, architecture is a conservative and comprehensive discipline. Its development is based on the development of disciplines such as culture, science and technology. Therefore, the meaning of architecture is to materialize the change of world. It plays the role of expressing the change of life.
What would you like to see changed in design industry in the coming years?
In the current stage, the development of the Internet brings broader thinking and information explosion, which I think has greatly affect people's lives, and thus affect the construction field.
How long does it take you to finalize a design project?
It usually takes about a month to design an object from beginning to end.
When you have a new design project, where do you start?
Deeply understand the client’s needs, examine the site, have a knowledge of the local culture and requirements on buildings. Then we discuss and work on the design concept with the help of models.
What is your life motto as a designer?
Adjust measures to local conditions and simplify the complex problems.
Do you think design sets the trends or trends set the designs?
I think trends set the designs. Design is a way to showcase the changing world.
What is the role of technology when you design?
Technology makes design more effective and ensures more posibilities for design idea.
What kind of design software and equipment do you use in your work?
Most are traditional tools like AutoCAD, Sketch up, Rhino and handmade model.
How do you feel about all the awards and recognition you had, is it hard to be famous?
Thanks to the recognition from A' Design Award & Competition. It is a great encouragement to our studio as a platinum award winner. It will encourage us to make more exploration in design in the future.
What makes your day great as a designer, how do you motivate yourself?
My day is mainly about work. And I think design is very interesting, and every day is unknown and uncertain.
When you were a little child, was it obvious that you would become a great designer?
I decide to become a designer only after years of study in univesity and practice in society.
What do you think about future; what do you see will happen in thousand years from now?
Design is a relatively conservative discipline. The evolution of design is along with the change and update of science and technology. We can’t assert what is the future of design, but it should follow the changing time. We need to consider what the new technologies can bring to human being, and how will they affect us. The meaning of architecture is to convey the change of world to people in the way of designs.

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