Modern In Denver’ staff photographer James Florio and writer Caroline Joan Peixoto traveled to China to cover a piece for our summer issue. They visited some of China’s most creative architectural designs and met some interesting people in the creative field along the way. Below is an interview with Han Wenqiang who is the Founder and Principal at ArchStudio.
If you are interested in seeing the sites of these photos in person, click HERE to check out our Travel by Design tour!
I was teaching at the university, and I need a space for my students to put their ideas into practical use, to go beyond conceptual design. We began as a small studio, working on renovations and galleries. Soon this led to museums and community spaces, and then it became a full-time business, though I still teach!
Traditionally, Chinese homes are only ever on one floor, allowing inhabitants to receive energy from the qi that passes through the ground to their feet. Because of modernization, people have begun to live in apartments – in the air – and lose their connection to the earth. I want to connect humans to the earth through my architecture, and here, there is already a history of living this way.
I learn from traditional Chinese gardens and courtyards. In these places, they were not only living inside but living outside. You sleep and you grow food in the same place — in your home. Humans were living symbiotically with nature. I take this idea, I follow patterns, I follow the elements, and from there I have the freedom to create.
For me, keeping a balance between work and family is enough. I don’t have big vision: I am satisfied with what is happening right now,
with staying present.
Caroline Joan Peixoto