We’d like to take the opportunity to introduce you to one of our Honorable mention winner for our "Milan Navigli Canal Challenge" competition – Zhuo Yang from China!

Zhuo Yang from China

I am a student from Sichuan Agricultural University in China, majoring in Environmental Design. Also an Environmental Design blogger with ten thousands of followers. Besides being a student, I am also an art teacher for children, trying to learn and study how to combine fine art and design.

Brief information about the projects that you/your company have been involved with. For instance, what scale have you focused on/preferred, any significant projects where the company/ individuals have been involved?

I have participated in national competitions in China related to landscape gardening and have my own patent for the design of agricultural installations. I also did the visual identity design for Sichuan Agricultural University and developed the user interface for the APP.

What does architecture mean to you and what is the role of an architect in your society?

Architecture for me is representative of the culture of a region. In China, the rapid urbanisation in the past decades has led to serious homogenisation. But now there are many excellent architects like Wang Shu, who tap into Chinese cultural characteristics and traditional regional lifestyle and architectural forms, and fully consider the Genius Loci and place identity in architecture, landscape, and urban design. In my opinion, the role of architects should be social responsible, their design work should reflect local culture, history, lifestyle and demands of all stakeholders. This idea also inspired me in this design competition.

Why do you participate in architecture competitions?

I entered this competition because of my passion for the city of Milan and my desire to go to Politecnico di Milano for further studies at the postgraduate level. The cultural history of this city since Renaissance period is so fascinating to me. In Italian, the word ‘rinascimento’ means rebirth and revival. Thus, when i found this design competition online, I was immediately attracted. It makes me wonder that what can I do for this city through environmental design, to revitalise Navigli Canal and surrounding neighbourhood, and bring back the history and traditional lifestyle of this city.

What advice would you give to individuals who struggle to decide whether it would be beneficial for them to participate in architecture competitions?

Be bold and participate! It's a great experience to be able to participate and compete with other designers around the world. The process itself could be precious and valuable for people who have ambition to further pursue the course of design. Architecture competitions provde great opportunities to invovle in various kinds of design projects with vast different backgrounds. 

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