Interview with Fu-Chu Hsu, G Design, Taiwan

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Fu-Chu Hsu

Fu-Chu creates designs that demonstrates the characteristics of a given space, revealing the true nature of it to survive the refinement of time.



Interview with the 2021 MUSE Design Awards Winner - Fu-Chu Hsu

1Please give us a brief bio of yourself and your design background.

When I participated in the university entrance exam in 1990, we didn’t get to choose but were assigned to different schools and departments according to our grades. I was assigned to the Landscape Architecture programme at the Chinese Culture University. We didn’t know much about this industry, and that’s the general atmosphere in Taiwan at that time. I received training mainly related to environment ecology, spatial design and aesthetic practice.

2What made you become/why did you choose to become a designer/artist?

I exhibit enthusiasm in art and crafts at a young age, and I received much positive feedback and encouragement while developing this interest.

When I was studying landscape architecture in school, I also took optional courses related to architecture. I enjoy the combination of knowledge and aesthetic practice and putting them to work. Since then, I realized that I would be devoting my life to this line of work.

3Tell us more about your business/company, job profile, and what you do.

The profession of our company is mainly related to the discipline of design, including urban design, landscape architecture, interior design, and facade design and management. Our core principle is to produce aesthetical spatial design and detailed construction drawings.

4What does “design” mean to you?

Reasonable arrangements for elements is what made a good design.

5What’s your favorite kind of design and why?

A simple design that could demonstrate the characteristics of a given space. Only designs that reveal the true nature of space could then survive the refinement of time.

6To you, what makes a “good” design?

A good design should be able to plan the needs of its users appropriately, possess multifunction facilities, capable of expressing cultural connotations, contain pure aesthetic, and enable the continuum of living memory.

7Describe your design style and its main characteristics.

Cultural and historic style. Through the composition of space and use of material, I attempt to exhibit the local attributes, demonstrating cultural characteristics unique to the location and the possibility of maintaining the residents' living habit.

8Tell us about your design process.

My design process involves four main steps. The base analysis is the most crucial aspect. In addition to the structure of urban texture and natural environment features, we spent a significant amount of time researching local cultural resources and peculiar humanity events.

For each particular cases, we perform multiple base study after compiling the needs of the users. Our response to the environmental features will naturally emerge from our mind as the content of design through this process. Our team professionally convert the design from concept to physical product. After we complete each case, we collect feedback as a reference to future designs.

9Do you think your country and its cultural heritage has an impact on your design process?

The country I live in highly values family ethic and relationship among neighbors. Therefore, consideration regarding these factors can be constantly seen in my design. Taiwanese people are very enthusiastic about life and are willing to share the goodness they have with others. I appreciate every member's thought and contribution with respect to our team members and the persistence over our shared core value. For me, design is a series of comprehensive decision-making processes.

10Congratulations! As the winner of the 2021 MUSE Design Awards, what does it mean to you and your company and team to receive this award distinction?

The projects we choose to enter the 2021 MUSE Design Awards all have their uniqueness and challenges in different aspects that form specific challenges on design. Through these cases, we strengthen our design ability as preparation for our future adventures. In the following part, I will illustrate the design concept and the challenges we face during the design stages of each case.

Winnovation

The clients of this case could have designated the location as a high-profit commercial site, but instead, they choose to arrange it as a friendly space that could be used by non-profitable. With ecological art and humanity as the core of their development principle, the challenge of this case is to combine interior space with the exterior landscape and provide a compound space that is organic and flexible on a plot that is limited in space. We have chosen this case due to its achievement to create a space with multiple functions and demonstrate the beauty of humanity.

The main challenge we face surrounded the maintenance of flexibility of each space under reasonable and coherent arrangement while preserving the openness and connection between separate areas and the continuation of the theme of the exterior landscape.

Through design, we purse the answer regarding the application of the aesthetic value of oriental landscaping on the gardening landscape with rich greenery. With this opportunity, we attempt to incite the conversation between architecture and landscape, organizing ecology, humanities, and arts exclusive to multi-function exhibition halls.

The Drainage of Jade

The product position of this case is a low-key luxurious modern minimalist, art and literary mansion. The challenge is to retain the privacy of the residences while maintaining the user-friendly open space area, which is caused by retreated building line. Arbor was introduced to the design to establish a minimal but aesthetic atmosphere with a high amount of greenery and multiple layers of plantations. Multi-level and multi-circuit planning and design techniques successfully integrate the aesthetical humanity landscape and the traditional form of a village into the community to continue the humanistic living environment.

Realm of Eastern Literati

The challenge of this case is to fulfil the client’s intention on the product positioning of this case. The goal is to create a humanistic mansion design with the impression of an oriental courtyard. To achieve this effect, the effective use of the user-friendly space created by the retreatment of the building line on a base surrounded by roads in three directions is implemented by introducing large arbours, creating a humanistic and artistic field with high greenery coverage and multiple layers.

This project adopts the three spatial philosophy of traditional oriental courtyard: the utilization of void, the enclosure effect of space, and the layering and graduation effect of space. The clever use of design technique, including scenery borrowing, compares virtual and reality, sparseness and density, and symbolism. The integration of cultural awareness into space is done by combining these techniques with the arrangement of scenery movements. The design succeeds in transforming a metropolitan area into a location of sustenance for modern people to return to the life of literati.

The target group of residents for this luxurious collective housing are those who can accept fashionable style and recently enter the elderly stage of life. Therefore, how to extend the visual depth of the landscape on a ‘’L’’ shaped land that is both narrow and short in dimension, and configure it into a sophisticated residential space with rich layers and interesting spatial feature, and the incorporation of street view is the challenge of this case.

We attempt to use linear geometric design and multiple layers of landscape to enhance the visual depth of the site. The contrast between the virtual and the real challenge the critical thought of the viewer, thus achieving the spatial effect which exposing the interdependence of virtual and real, and the order of sparseness and denseness. Our effort results in the successful creation of a humanistic and artistic complex residential housing rich in exquisite and abstract spatial aesthetics.

11Can you explain a bit about the winning work you entered into the 2021 MUSE Design Awards, and why you chose to enter this project?

This work is typical, and it represents the main preferences of the elders. This work also represents our traditional spirit, and has been successful in commercial purposes as a show room. It not only shows the characteristics of the area in chromatics, ergonomics, spatial layout and atmosphere, but also solves the problems of future aging society.

12How has winning an Award developed your practice/career?

After being recognized by international awards, we became more trustworthy to the clients, and they are more inclined to accept our method and presentation theory behind our design.

13What are your top three (3) favorite things about our industry?

Three of my favourite aspects of this industry are the ability to comprehend through design, the realization of creativity, and receiving kind feedback from users.

14What makes your country specifically, unique in the design industry?

There is a saying we have in Taiwan, that ‘’The most beautiful scenery is our people’’. Our philosophy of life is to strive for our common interest and share the outcome that arises. We are driven to create designs that are innovated and met the need of humanity.

15Where do you see the evolution of design industry going over the next 5-10 years?

In the future, amongst the disciplines in the design industry will not be a clear distinguish line. From architecture, product design, landscape architecture to preserving cultural resources, we will be working, sharing and generating design concepts as teams. The ideas and design attitude raised in the early 21st century, such as consideration to sustainability, energy-saving, and retracing the territory of nature, will continue to exist.

16If you were a student entering this industry or an aspiring MUSE Design Awards submitter, what advice would you give them?

Don’t limit yourself to vague concepts, but express your design result clearly through drawings and text.

17What resources would you recommend to someone who wants to improve their skills in the design industry?

We live in a vast world, and it is vital to absorb knowledge and practice our skills continually. We can train ourselves through the analysis and case study of high-quality cases, such as those receiving MUSE Design Awards.

18Tell us something you have never told anyone else.

When I encounter a designer’s block, I close the windows and doors, crank up the speaker's volume, and listen to music to uplift my spirit.

19Who has inspired you in your life and why?

I enjoy reading and admiring natural scenery, and those are the things that inspired me. Through reading, I understand the emotion and sensation at the deepest of the human mind. I savour the natural scenery in life. The flicker of sunlight, the swing leaves on tree branches, the shadow of tree and flower on the wall forming beautiful patterns, watching the sunset, listening to the raindrops, experiencing the seasonal changes. Projecting life experience such as these into spatial context is the design concept I strive to implement.

20What is your key to success? Any parting words of wisdom?

For each and every adventure, the more frustration we encounter, the more courageous we will be at the end. In short, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.



Winning Entries

The Drainage of Jade | 2021

The Drainage of Jade | MUSE Design Awards

To create a living environment surrounded by trees, and to make the residential space be embraced by the forest, the design team tried...
(read more at MUSE Design Awards)

Winnovation | 2021

Winnovation | MUSE Design Awards

Inspired by aesthetics of eastern cultural gardens, the overall layout of the base focuses on creating an axis that balances the space. Other...
(read more at MUSE Design Awards)


G Design


G Design is an award-winning architectural design studio based in Taiwan.

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