IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 39

Photographer: Law Ling Kit, Ajax

can “cross-pollinate,” such as the universally wellreceived Zody chair, he adds that local markets require tailored designs and business strategies, as well as on-the-ground partners. THE CHINA EXCEPTIoN

“clients are very bold in accepting very progressive design of interiors and architecture.”
— Mitch Sawasy, Design Principal, rSA

Designing a large office or hotel in Eastern Europe or South America may differ in degree from taking on the same charge stateside, if not in kind. Whereas that kind of crossborder commission may demand the sensitivity that is a first principle of any good design practice, subtlety flies out the window in China. In 1998 Los Angeles architects Mark Rothenberg and Mitch Sawasy, FIIDA, FAIA, gathered their fellow principals and associates at RSA to contemplate reinvention. “We got extremely good at doing the same thing over and over again,” Rothenberg says of the firm’s interior architecture work theretofore. There was a nascent interest in pursuing architecture and urban planning jobs, and the colleagues were particularly attracted to relevant opportunities in China.

“They were very large-scale and complicated, integrated mixed-use projects and high-rise projects.” Not long after, the partners acquired the studio of a friend with significant business in China. Currently six employees work in RSA’s Beijing office, with another 25 staff based at the American headquarters. Certainly much has changed in the last 10 years, such as the number of English speakers, Sawasy says. Even so, working in China is the 21st-century design equivalent of wild-west pioneering. Rothenberg notes, “Real estate on the scale of China’s experience has not been around very long. The whole capitalist environment hasn’t been around very long. So clients are learning about relationships between different project types and even within a singular project type—how things should function, economic performance, market studies, things we take for granted.” Economic realities are largely lost on Chinese developers, because size, programming, and open-space and parking requirements are dictated by the government. Functional nuances are a low priority, too, because developers have almost uniformly hewn to a speculative business model. Noting there’s greater emphasis on a property’s immediate saleability and image versus its long-term durability when it comes to flipping, Sawasy says, “So clients are very bold in accepting very progressive design of interiors and architecture. The challenge is they don’t always understand how that building is organized or operated. It’s a greatlooking building, though.”

(Top) Project: Shanghai IFC Mall Palace Cinema Location: Shanghai, China Firm: one Plus Partnership Limited, hong Kong Category: Municipal/Public Spaces Award: honorable Mention (Left) Project: Bancolombia Location: Medellín, Colombia Firm: Interior Architects, new york, USA Category: Corporate Space Large Award: Best of Category

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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011

IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011
From IIDA
Contents
Q&A
The Virtuous Circle
Hybrid Professionals
The Consulting Advantage
Trending Research
As the World Turns
MythBusters
Design Decoded
Resources
Viewpoints
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - Cover2
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - From IIDA
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 2
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - Contents
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 4
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 5
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - Q&A
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 7
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - The Virtuous Circle
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 9
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 10
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 11
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 12
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 13
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 14
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 15
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - Hybrid Professionals
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 17
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 18
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 19
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 20
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 21
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 22
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 23
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - The Consulting Advantage
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 25
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 26
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 27
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - Trending Research
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 29
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 30
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 31
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 32
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 33
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - As the World Turns
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 35
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 36
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 37
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 38
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 39
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 40
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 41
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - MythBusters
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 43
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 44
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 45
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 46
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 47
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - Design Decoded
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 49
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 50
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 51
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - Resources
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 53
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 54
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 55
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - Viewpoints
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - Cover3
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - Cover4
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