INTERNATIONAL DESIGN - Designing for International Communities  

INTRODUCTION:  International practice with Western Perspective 

With over 30 years of international-design experiences it is clear that when invited to design in a foreign culture based upon relevant high-design experience it comes with a large responsibility.  Where the client is seeking to modernize to join the world stage, create jobs with revitalization of urban core, or innovate with new assets one must consider the context within the culture one is designing.  Each project requires a unique design solution in placemaking, building architecture, or the creation of memorable experiences.  How to create sustainable solutions required a strong understanding of the client, client goals, and innovative design process that will lead to exceptional outcomes. 

 

COLLABORATIVE UNDERSTANDING: Listen, Learn, and Shared Learning 

Often times communication becomes the most significant challenge in understanding the client goals and objective prior to establishing an approach, design, and successful outcomes.  It takes a strong ability to listen and be willing to learn new things in new cultures.  One cannot jump to quick solutions based upon one’s own perspective.  Listening and shared learning is the key. The most successful communication and mutual understanding occurs when both parties are willing to share with mutual respect and be open to learning new things specific to a region or culture.   

 

PROJECT GOALS:  Defining Cultural Context

As an international architect being invited to design in a foreign country one may bring their building-type expertise, design creativity, and/ or technical knowledge for similar design challenges.  Often this is to validate a product with a brand expression of design excellence either by commission or design competition basis.  However, it is not as simple as duplication of prior successful projects.  Each project and design challenge comes with its specific programmatic requirements, environmental factors, and other limitations.  Limitations may be site specific, budgetary, availability of cost-effective materials, or access to construction trades.  One key element in creating project goals for a successful project is cultural context.  What does this mean?  This means indirect factors defined by cultural values, behaviors, or beliefs will largely impact consideration of design solutions.  

 

DESIGN INTERVENTIONS:  Sustainable Innovation

With a strong understanding based upon the factors outline above one may begin to create the design problem, conduct research, and conduct design explorations testing strong ideas.  In nine times out of ten the most successful design solution is a blend of specific local culture and western design solutions.  Each design must be relevant and understood by the culture it is seeking to support, inspire, and/ or innovate.  Sustainable architecture is best formulated in this way. 

 

DESIGN OUTCOMES: Transformational Case Study 

Atelier Ryder has benefited by over 30 years of international design commission and design competitions.  It has put hundreds of design solutions to the test often in different ways.  The following case studies help to provide some insight into lessons learned from designing for international communities. 

The Grove at Farmers Market - Los Angeles, California 1996

PLACEMAKING CREATES RETAIL SUCCESS – MORE ANNUAL VISITORS THAN DISNEYLAND 

 

Shanghai International Business Center, Shanghai, China 1981

INTEGRATION OF WESTERN DESIGN AND CHINESE CULTURE WINS COMPETITION + ADDITIONAL PROJECTS

 

Mokdong Mixed-use Development, Seoul, Korea 1983

STRONG DESIGN TEAM WINS FUTURE MARKETPLACE BUT NOT PROJECT 

 

Daelim Ttukseom Mixed-use Retail Center- Seoul, Korea 2005

STRONG DESIGN INNOVATION – GREEN – LOCAL CULTURAL DESIGN – MADONG - CLIENT DECISION MAKING MATRIX 

 

Sacramento Riveredge Masterplan - Sacramento, California 2006

DESIGN EXCELLENCE GAINS OPPOSITION FAVOR AND CITY PLANNING APPROVAL 

 

Incheon Stadium (Competition) – Incheon, Korea 2007

BEST DESIGN SOLUTION NOT BUILT – ONE OF FOUR DESIGNS BUILD BASED UPON CONSTRUCTABILITY

 

Sanya Olympic Bay Master Plan, Sanya, China 2009

BEST DESIGN WINS SOMETIMES IMMEDIATELY – NEW YORK PR AGENCY CAN SELL RESIDENTIAL! 

 

Hamad Medical Center Emergency Annex, Doha, Qatar 2013

DESIGN INNOVATION WINS DESIGN CONFIDENCE ON COMMISSION - SUCCESSFUL COMPLETION

 

Shenzhen District 03 Mixed-use, Shenzhen, China 2015

BEST DESIGN LOSSES - LOCAL TEAMING MISTAKE ON COLLABORATION  

 

Sri Lanka Affordable Housing Master Plan, Colombo, Sri Lanka 2018

DEVELOPMENT TIMING LOST - CLIENT ENGAGEMENT TOO LATE