2023 Winner

Mr Tao Zheng

Title: Founder/Architectural Designer
Company: WAY Studio
Design Philosophy:

Embarking on my professional journey, I encountered a multitude of new challenges, which intensified the need for continuous learning and reflection. While my previous work primarily focused on materializing innovative architectural concepts, transitioning to independent practice prompted me to ponder the fundamental questions of why architectural design is pursued and how it is defined. Consequently, for each project, we establish clear objectives and intentions to reinforce the purpose behind our designs. The influential philosophical concept of ""????"" (the unity of nature and man) from Chinese philosophy has significantly shaped our core design philosophy. This concept intriguingly converges with Western naturalism and humanism, emphasizing that our designs are rooted in nature and the transformation of natural elements. As contemporary Chinese architects, our primary aim is to explore how to coexist harmoniously with nature, infusing a touch of wild imagination while preserving the traditional spirit of innovation and emotional expression. Currently, we are in the early stages of our exploration, dedicated to understanding the essence of human existence on this planet. Our vision includes reshaping China’s urban design landscape, transitioning from wholesale Western emulation to emotionally-driven Eastern innovation. The journey ahead is both long and challenging. In recent years, WAY Studio’s work has garnered widespread recognition, including prestigious awards such as the ICONIC 2022 Awards, 2022 A+ Awards Special Mention, RIBA 2021 Ancient Tree Hotel Design Awards, BUILD Cultural Project Awards, IDPA International Vanguard Awards, and LuxLife Pioneer Designer Awards. Nominations for prominent design awards from well-known platforms like Goood, ArchDaily, and Dezeen have also been received. As a young architect under the age of 40, I eagerly anticipate acknowledgment from industry experts, which will serve as a driving force for our firm’s continued growth and inspire us to explore even more design possibilities in the future.