Interview with Lu Yun
Briefly introduce yourself and tell us a bit more about your practice. What do you work on? What are the issues you aim to address in your profession?
I am Lu Yun, the founding partner of MUDA-Architects. At present, Our practices are based in Southwest China and mainly focused on public architecture, our recent projects including Xinglong Lake CITIC Bookstore, Garden Hotpot Restaurant, M50 Art Hotel, TCM Museum of Pengzhou, and so on.
What we pursue and endeavor to implement is called “Oriental Spirits & Future Oriented Mindset”: For every project, we hope to explore and reveal its context, such as the cultural heritage, site characteristics and climate conditions, and apply contemporary design philosophy to interpret and present the architecture.
For every built project there are plenty that never leave the drawing board. Would you agree that these unbuilt projects can be a vital part of any architect’s design process? What lessons can we take from unbuilt architecture?
Absolutely, Unbuilt projects are certainly important to the overall design processes, and every draft reflects the critical thinking of the designer. The profound and precise recognition to a project as well as the design capability are developed and enhanced step by step during those kinds of processes.
Do you prefer the competition experience over a commission, generally?
Our projects are mainly commission kind, and this guarantees that a certain number of projects could be undertaken every year, setting a stable and healthy prerequisite to the firm running and developing.
Certainly, we take part in competitions from time to time. Our first built project and the beginning of the MUDA’s recognition, Xinglong Lake CITIC Bookstore was the result of a competition that stood out from over two hundred entries and won the first prize. The propaganda and influence competitions possess certainly would help startup teams like us, providing exposure and opportunities.
What is for you the architect’s most important tool? And what is the power of the architectural imaginary?
The most important tool to the architects is their ideology. Only by preserving firm belief and critical thinking can one adhere to themselves in a complex social contest, nurture their own design methodology and mindset, and thus make steady and successively progress.
When judging a project, which aspects do you consider first?
Its likelihood to be built. To be more specific, I examine and weigh whether the whole design jibe with the site condition and clients’ needs, as well as whether the matched construction team is chosen.
Could you please share some pearls of wisdom for young designers? What are your suggestions to young, up and coming designers?
In this aging profession, I consider myself a rather young architect. But to share my own experience, I would say that holding the keen on architecture and keeping the original roots, are the two essential elements to move forward on this vocation when confronting with complex plight.