Interview with Wenke Lin, BOUNDLESS, China

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Wenke Lin

Wenke attaches great importance to the consideration of physical and external spaces in the design, reinterpreting it in a whole new way.

Interview with the 2021 MUSE Design Awards Winner - Wenke Lin

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

Lin Wenke

Chief Designer of BDSD

Artistic Director of Yulincaotang

Art Director of Ueno Book House

2009-2019 Chief Designer of Guangdong Huanning Decoration Group

Chief Designer of BDSD


Elite of “Voice for China Design”International Design Forum 2019

10th IDEA-TOPS cultural space design -- International Space Design Award Annual Outstanding Work Award of JINTANG PRIZE -- China Interior Design 2019

40 UNDER 40 China Design Outstanding Youth Award

Kapok Design Awards China -- Most Beautiful Art Space Design Award 2020

Gold Award of professional group, the Bauhaus Award International Design Competition 2020

Gold Award of Design for Asia Awards 2020

Bronze Award of Interior design in IAI Design Award

Design philosophy:

Interior design is a comprehensive art, which not only requires us designers to be knowledgeable and knowledgeable, but also to be good at summarizing and refining. We need to find elements and symbols from life to better reflect the culture. Modern interior design is a comprehensive design of the interior environment, including both the visual environment and engineering-related issues, as well as the physical environment, such as sound, light, heat, as well as the atmosphere, mood and other psychological environment and cultural connotation content. Only by injecting the natural atmosphere and the emotional colors of life into the living room can we make the space more alive.

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

When I was a child, I liked to draw. Although the works are not outstanding, but are bold and lifelike. To encourage me, my parents enrolled me in art classes and got a big boost. When I entered the university, many students did not know how to choose a major, so I enrolled in interior design according to my hobby, thus embarking on the road of interior design.

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

BDSD is an organization specialized in providing comprehensive services for home and commercial design, with a high standard and high level elite design team.

Our services cover diversified fields such as architecture and gardening, interior design, soft furnishing, lighting design, and etc. With rich design experience, industry-leading design concepts, excellent and advanced design management, and innovative design creativity, we provide exclusive and distinguished personalized services for our cooperative clients. Over the years, with keen insight and forward-looking perception, the studio has accurately grasped the changes in international design trends and human housing needs, continuously influencing and improving the professional level of interior design, and contributing to the healthy development of the industry.

Every morning, I come to the office to have a breakfast and a cup of coffee, and then prepare for a morning meeting to conduct a landing tracking for each project, improve the company's internal design case matters, and promote the progress of each design case of the company.

The main work every day is to plan new themes for new cases. When you are not busy, you can understand the market dynamics and development trend, grasp the design direction, and achieve the advanced design concept for the company. According to the assistant's arrangement, we will receive one consulting client every day and meet 1-2 designers in the afternoon to discuss the design trend, after which we will go to the construction site to dock the project and coordinate with other departments to make the related work go smoothly.

4What does “design” mean to you?

I rarely “design”anything in my student time because I spent almost time coping with the teacher's tasks. But Now I attach importance to everything around me. From ignorance to initial understanding, I realized that "design" has a kind of attraction. I don't know when I started to have a house in my heart, but it's a house that touches my heart. Interior design is a creation, in a way similar to a writer writing a novel or a painter painting. Now I can't live without design, and everything I do represents my growth.

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

I prefer designs combine practicality and aesthetics, which are two fundamental elements of good design and one cannot be without the other. For example, Beiyu Ming’s design philosophy in the Suzhou Museum. The landscape and architecture with strong traditional Chinese symbols and a sense of the times, makes it the most modern Chinese landscape.

6To you, what makes a “good” design?

Good design is not just visual enjoyment, and it must be felt and experienced. Design is not art, art is abstract, designers have rules. Good designers are innovative, pragmatic and aims to serve people.

7Describe your design style and its main characteristics.

I pay special attention to the extraction, transformation and abstract reconstruction of cultural elements. I extract the applicable materials and make them into the material for my own creation. At the same time, these extracted elements are transformed and abstracted. Based on the image, I reconstruct traditional Chinese art by combining modern composition consciousness. I use modern concepts and aesthetic qualities to reinterpret and discover the essence of tradition, find the interface between Eastern and Western cultures, and then effectively integrate them with the design work to form a design work with traditional cultural flavor.

8Tell us about your design process.

In the design project of this competition, I have attached great importance to the consideration of physical space and external space in the design. In the original interior space, the comfort of living was significantly reduced by the shortcomings of narrow and long aisles, insufficient daylight, small size of living room, unobvious functional partitions, and small size of kitchen. The design has removed the shortcomings of the original structure. The relationship between each space has been reinterpreted with the method of axis symmetry. Especially in the reception area and the dining area, the spatial vision of the two areas has been connected flexibly. Moreover, with the tactful use of the ceiling structure and screens, "separation" and "connection" between objects have been created and a highly unified visual effect of space and time has been achieved. Chinese-style spaces often bring feelings of heaviness and depression. While closely following the theme of Chinese tradition, this design case lays special emphasis in the creation of a sense of spirituality and translucency in the spatial layout. Whether it is the ingenious use of the herringbone roof, the unique design of the column, or the innovative arrangement of hollow partitions, all of them have rendered a sense of spirituality and translucency.

At the same time, the furniture with bright lines and soft colors echoes with the elegant curtains with light colors, adding a sense of comfort and lightness, and subtly dissolving the limitations of the architecture's interior and exterior spaces. Through bold use of floor-to-ceiling windows, lattice windows, and small windows, which combines with the indoor patio, this design has not only introduced natural light into the house, but also extended the natural scenery into the house. By shrinking the beauty of the world in the space and containing the scenery of four seasons in the house, this design has realized “scenery in the house” and “people in the scenery”, which demonstrates the pleasure and satisfaction of "sit and watch the swirling clouds, listen to the blooming flowers ".

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

The special feature of this case is to hide the elegant realm between the mountains and waters. The Chinese courtyard is concealed in the Chinese community. The unique thinking based on nature but above nature, promoting the tradition but not confined to it, has built an oriental courtyard where people and nature live in harmony.

By taking advantage of the environmental characteristics of the Huizhou school building complex, while promoting the traditional Chinese architectural culture and creating the aesthetics of oriental moods, the scenery is introduced into the room and the scene is introduced into the heart, resulting in this new Chinese courtyard residence that is "made by man, but like god’s production". Inherited from the Huizhou style, the new Chinese style focuses on the harmony between man and nature.

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?

I am very happy to participate in this design competition, which is my experience and growth. It is gratifying and satisfying to win this competition. And, preparation for and whole process of the competition was a wonderful memory and I am very happy. This award is a great recognition and encouragement to our team.

In the process of starting the business, we divided the focus of the attack, multi-faceted deep level to strengthen communication, all-round to strengthen the implementation of the assessment. In the future, we will also continue to refine ourselves in practice to become a team with effective communication, strong coordination, thorough execution and capable of fighting hard battles.

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?

The special feature of this case is to hide the elegant realm between the mountains and waters. This hot spring villa in Huizhou Zhonghai Tangquan, with an area of nearly 300 square meters, fully integrates the essence of the design of the unity of heaven and man. The Chinese courtyard is concealed in the Chinese community. The unique thinking based on nature but above nature, promoting the tradition but not confined to it, making an oriental courtyard where people and nature live in harmony.

Huizhou, Guangdong province is well-known as “the whole city by the fine hills, and half by the lake, is bound”, and has become an ideal place for many people who have seen all the prosperity of the world and are looking for a place for spiritual conversion. The owner and his wife have traveled all over the world and enjoyed all the prosperity of the world. At the highlight of their life, they keep their roots and long for a Chinese courtyard where they can put their thoughts for half a lifetime. By taking advantage of the environmental characteristics of the Huizhou-style architectural complex, the couple has been able to promote the traditional Chinese architectural culture and create an oriental aesthetic, while introducing scenery into the house, resulting in this new Chinese courtyard residence, which is "made by man, but like god’s production".

This case is an unrepeatable design work of natural landscape as one.

12What was the biggest challenge with this project?

Architecture, gardens and interiors must all be integrated with nature.

13How has winning an Award developed your practice/career?

Since childhood, I have held a strong curiosity about design, which originates from the influence of my father's engagement in planning and construction on me. When I was a child, I was often spontaneously attracted by some high-rise and iconic buildings. I was reluctant to leave from these buildings for a long time. My obsession with architecture has infiltrated in me intense passion for designand has motivated me to cherish dreams for space design.

Emphasizing space planning and visual effect in creation, I uphold the design concept of paying attention to space planning and use, emphasizing function, and creating gorgeous visual effects. I attach great importance to the overall expression of spatial structure and interior decoration. After dividing the functional area as a whole, I lay more emphasis in the internal response of the facade and the plane. Therefore, in this design, according to the different functional areas, I made a new plan for the original spatial structure of the building, formulating a harmonious and unified cultural atmosphere through the cultural background wall in the restaurant and the cultural stone wall in the leisure area. With innovation as my focus, I am committed to taking design as a lifelong career. Sticking to my dreams for art, I am willing to accept new things.

I also like to apply some new materials when designing. On the basis of requirements of Party A, I tend to add some relevant natural and cultural elements. In the future, I hope to become a space architect who pursues natural forms and whose designs can be integrated into life and nature.

14What are your top three (3) favorite things about our industry?

Get involved, find inspiration, travel.

15What makes your country specifically, unique in the design industry?

Chinese design elements, and braveness to create and try impossibility .

16Where do you see the evolution of design industry going over the next 5-10 years?

Since the reform and opening up, with the development of the economy, social progress and the improvement of people's living standards, people have developed from the original pursuit of material things to the pursuit of spiritual life, and all the consumption concepts and consumption methods have undergone great changes. Interior design has naturally become an important reflection of the change in the concept of consumption, and interior decoration has become one of the important ways of consumption.

17If you were a student entering this industry or an aspiring MUSE Design Awards submitter, what advice would you give them?

Art is not the same as design. Although most designers are art students, but art and design are very different. The essence of art is to express oneself and emotions, while design must take into account others, and its essence is to solve the problem between people and objectives. A rule to be followed in both architectural design and interior design. In some ways, design is a service industry. The biggest thing design and art have in common is that they both work with the same language - the visual language. So, do designers need to know how to draw? No. However, designers cannot be without aesthetics.

18What resources would you recommend to someone who wants to improve their skills in the design industry?

I Recommend 8 books on design, covering scheme layout, storage, soft assembly, color matching, lighting design, design style elements, etc., increasing the weight of knowledge. From the practical use to refine design elements, these books help designers to be able to quickly and accurately express the understanding and thinking of design.

"The Challenge", "2020 China Interior Yearbook", "Tasteful Mansions", "Practical Guide to Interior Design", "Residential Space Layout and Dynamic Line Optimization", "Interior Design Node Manual", "The Complete Book of House Type Remodeling", "Illustrated Lighting Design.

19Who has inspired you in your life and why?

The mentor who has inspired me the most is Kengo Kuma, a renowned Japanese architect. I have been especially inspired by his design project of "Sunny Hills Japan", which is a dessert shops of pineapple cakes (a popular dessert in Taiwan). The systematic construction method he used reminded me of woven bamboo baskets. Kengo Kuma made use of the wooden structure to build up a network of slats, enclosing a space of 297 square meters. Usually, two wooden strips cross to form a two-dimensional structure. However, in the process of wrapping the entire facade, he combined 60mm x 60mm wooden frames into a three-dimensional structure, forming a 30-degree angle between each other. The wooden grid lets the sunlight into the room naturally, while also preserving necessary privacy. After returning to China, influenced by my study experience in Japan, I created the "Yulin Thatched Cottage", a space for tea-drinking. Through the application of natural materials such as thatch and bamboo, the indoor scene is made under the shade of the trees, so as to better achieve a serene and peaceful atmosphere.

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

Doing the hard thing is rewarding.

Winning Entries

HE-JING | 2020

HE-JING | MUSE Design Awards

The special feature of this case is that it conceals the landscape elegance among the landscapes and hides the Chinese courtyard in the...
(read more at MUSE Design Awards)


BOUNDLESS is an award-winning interior design studio based in China.