Under 35 – Shi Lun

232 days travel around the world without flights.

Project Specs


gooood团队采访世界各地 35岁以下的年轻创意人,他们有的是创业者,有的是业主,有的是普通职员。我们探访众生百相,记录这个时代年轻人的面貌和真实状态,欢迎您的推荐和建议。
第27期我们采访了曾经用3000美元环游美国,2017年无飞行环游世界,现在创立了拾叁建筑的 史伦(联系邮箱:lshi@ltu.edu)。

gooood team interviews creative individuals under 35 years old from all over the world, some are pioneering founders, some are clients, some are ordinary practitioners. gooood is trying to record the authentic living and working states of this era. Your recommendations and suggestions are appreciated!
gooood Under 35 NO.27 introduces Shi Lun (contact: lshi@ltu.edu), founder of 13 architecture, who had travelled through the USA with 3000USD and finished a global journey without using flight line.

出品人:向玲 / Producer: Xiang Ling
编辑:陈诺嘉,武晨曦,刘丹阳,张学,韦紫昭,历剑 / Editor: Chen Nuojia, Wu Chenxi, Liu Danyang, Zhang Xue, Wei Zizhao, Li Jian




Experience of Shi Lun







Why you choose to study architecture and insist on the architectural design field?


First of all, I like building house with blocks when I was a little kid. Then drawing is my continuous hobby since I was a little kid. For example, when I was in third grade, I traveled to areas in south of Yangtze River with my mom during when household cameras were not massivelypopularizedand we used diary and hand-painting to record everyday experience. When I came back home from traveling, I still remembered the space and the scene. I tried to depict and make it reappear by drawing. The processof reexperiencing all my memory, helpedme to involve myself in those scenes again. When trying my best to make the scene details reappear and further enrich them, I found I waspursuing a more accurate perspective relationship during which process there was a combination of rational deduction and perceptual memory, which was very attractive to me. Therefore, there were all my paintings of pavilions and weeping willows beside the embankments which I saw on that vacation in my textbooks during my whole fourth grade.

▼史伦小时候在杭州旅游的日记,Shi Lun’s travel diary in Hangzhou

初中以后,我开始描绘对未来城市的幻想:假想出一块地形,从无到有规划出铁路、街道、商业区等,还设想一个空中的视角,把这座城市的三维鸟瞰图画出来……高中得知一个名叫“建筑学”的专业,可以集打小的所有热爱于一身。于是我开始奋起直追, 高考幸运地如愿以偿,从此,生活、职业和爱好融合一体,没有界限。也注定,“建筑设计”这个融汇了执着热爱、努力追求和生活乐趣的领域,让人不忍心轻易偏离。

After middle school, I have started to draw my own imagination of the future city: imagining a terrain first and then planning railways, streets, business districts, etc., after which imagining an aerial perspective to draw a three-dimensional city in a bird’s-eye view…In high school, I suddenly knew a major called “architecture” which exactly mixedall my favorites together. So I started to study hard for entering the architecture department, luckily, I realized my dream in the college entrance examination. From then on, life, occupation and hobbies were integrated together without boundaries. It is also doomed that the field of “architectural design” which combined persistence, love, pursuit and life pleasure made me insist on the architectural design and its related fields.

▼史伦小时候画的图(右)与现在画的图(左),early drawing works (right) and recent works (left) by Shi Lun



Besides the design, what does travel and travel record mean to you? What impacts they bring on your life, view of social and view of design?


▼史伦的环球旅行经历,travel experience of Shi Lun around the world 动图截取自央视视频《Full Frame Close Up- Drawing The World》

Travel is a process where perspectives and conditions constantly update, especially when we walk alone in a strange environment, opening up all our senses to accept environmental information. At this moment, one’s sense is more acute. From both natural and cultural aspects, the large difference always helps people to have some unique perspectives. Travel record is very natural, since when being touched by beautiful things, people always want to record them in case of forgetting. As time passes by, there is a complete travelling record. However, travelling is a relatively special way to help us to experience things which are far away from us in an intense time. When an architect continuously experiences such beautiful things, the lines and colors he draws will naturally become a comprehensive reflection of all his experiences.

▼旅行中不乘坐飞机,travel without flights 动图截取自视频《Full Frame Close Up- Drawing The World》


▼在旅行中遇到不同的人与风景,encounter different sceneries and people during the journey 动图截取自央视视频《Full Frame Close Up- Drawing The World》

All our experience will strengthen our existence and then be presented to the world through our work. Therefore, for presenting better design work, the architect certainly needs to live a richer life and see a better scenery. In addition, the meaning of travel has enabled us to have a more intuitive understanding of the world and to understand ourselves and everything around us better, as well as rules of the world. Therefore, it’s not only about design, but also a way of perceiving that everyone who is curious about the world will like.

▼在旅行中感受不同国家地区的文化与生活,different life and culture experience in different countries during the trip



Travel and Inspiration



Why do you want to start a new global tour? From the idea to the practice, how long did you prepare? How did you choose the 13 countries and plan routes for this trip?


I remember I had a conversation with gooood four years ago when 《Journal American Architecture》was just published, I met many unknown fields. Since then, I found that I could “communicate with the world through my work” by traveling, writing and sharing besides architecture design. Also, therefore, I decided to plan a long trip around the world.

▼美国旅行路线(点击这里查看更多),travel route through America (click HERE to view more)



Europe is always a destination where many architectural students desire to travel, also, I always prefer to go to the travel destination by land or waterway (because I would like to experience gradual changes in a progress and refuse to fly point-to-point in the air). Coincidently, the Silk Road across the Eurasian Continent is also a link to witness the communication of civilizations between the East and the West, so I began to plan a land trip from Asia to Europe.

At the beginning of the plan, I was surprised to know the origin of my last name – Shi by accident and I found out that this last name was mostly used by descendants of Sogdians of Central Asia (the main role in the commercial trade on the Silk Road), whose ancestors used to live in Uzbekistan, Central Asia. The fact immediately aroused my strong curiosity about “where did I come from?”, so I decided to explore the disappearing “historical country” in Central Asia and started a long journey from the East to the West step by step.

▼环球旅游路线,travel route around the world



▼从北京去史国的路线,travel route from Beijing to “Kesh”
动图截取自央视视频《Full Frame Close Up- Drawing The World》

Therefore, from the beginning of 2015 to 2017, I began to make an effort to study the history of Silk Road after work and also went to the classes of the Department of History of Peking University frequently to learn about the academic explanations on the “Sogadians” and “cultural changes between the East and the West”, and meanwhile,  my plan of “journey to find the root” was strongly supported by well-known scholars. The whole process of planning travel has gradually deepened my understanding of history and enriched my desire to the mysterious Western civilization.

In that way, according to a series of important trade centers in the history of Silk Road, I began to outline a route which started from Beijing where I lived, passing by my hometown Shanxi, the Western Regions, and “historical countries” to Greece on the map. This route told us a rich story, which could shock us by the power of the integration of different cultures worldwide, and those epitomes of prosperity and vicissitudes of life happening here were reflected on every detail of local people’s life. At the same time, considering the convenience of transportation, the route avoided as far as possible the extreme landforms and climatic areas that were difficult to pass through,  which was eventually found out that the route to “historical countries” was largely coincided with monk Xuanzang’s westbound route.



▼伊朗,极富特色的中东城市,Iran, impressive city in the Middle East
(up)Yazd , (below) Kashan

(up) Istanbul in the dusk, (lower left) Graeme, (lower right) Izmir

The brilliant Islamic civilization in the middle of Eurasia is always desirable, especially through the magnificent Persian architectural art, in which the interpretation of cultural elements from the East and the West can always be found.  Besides, the familiar traces can always be found in the local handcrafts, diet, and language, and this wonderful experience continues westward along the Anatolian Peninsula to the Mediterranean coast.

▼伊斯兰建筑中的独特图案,distinguish patterns in Islam architecture  动图截取自央视视频《Full Frame Close Up- Drawing The World》
(upper left) Ali Kapp Palace, Isfahan, (upper right) the Blue Mosque, Turkey


As the well-known source of western civilization, Athens in Greece was a very important destination in this trip. Because of the time limitation of the European Schengen visa, after Athens, I spend most of the time in Italy, which is famous for its ancient Roman and Renaissance architecture and art. In this country, I walked through the masterpieces of the great masters, recording the feeling of the scene through painting.

 (up) Florence, (below) Vicenza



▼在不同国家的不同体验,experiences in different countries 动图截取自央视视频《Full Frame Close Up- Drawing The World》

I climbed over the Alps from northern Italy and crossed France vertically, then stopped in Paris in the last three days of my visa and boarded a ship crossing the English Channel in the port city of northern France. I stayed in London for several days and left from Southampton, where the “Mayflower” ship sailed 400 years ago. Following the route of European colonial to America, I arrived in New York Harbor after the bumpy storm on the North Atlantic Ocean. After that, I crossed the North American continent, then began from Vancouver, passing the Pacific Ocean, heading the way to my last destination – Asia and back home.

The 13 countries in this trip can be seen as the best solution rather than my choice. After considering the difficulty of visa, the security situation and the feasibility of transportation, these countries are all coincided with the natural form of human communication, migration and livelihood for thousand years. When we tried to plan this trip from the perspective of civilization development, we can see that nothing is accidental. The world pattern of each period in history is a dynamic balance determined by natural landform, resource distribution and climate environment, so the exploration of the travel route is deep backtracking of human history.

▼在不同国家的旅行记录,travel record in different countries 动图截取自央视视频《Full Frame Close Up- Drawing The World》



What surprises do you gain from travelling all over the world?  Do you have any advice to those young architects who want to have an adventure like you?


Many clients knew me from the media report in China and other countries. They were attracted by this trip, contributing to some deep cooperation since the establishment of 13 architecture under the situation where we have hardly ever looked for it. Therefore, I think those young architects should not be afraid of gains and losses, but try to realize their ideas. People will not keep moving forward when they too care about gains and losses.



How do you feel when the buildings in books come into view? Which ways do you like to record those moments?



▼用绘画记录旅行,record the journey by drawing 动图截取自央视视频《Full Frame Close Up- Drawing The World》

We have already got used to the tall buildings after living in big cities in China for a long time, so I didn’t think they were magnificent or great when visiting the famous Empire State Building in New York and the Willis Tower in Chicago for the first time.Nevertheless, when arriving in Florence on the evening train and turning the corner to see the illuminated form of Notre Dame’s Cathedral, I was too excited to breathe at that time – it is a cathedral completely beyond the conventional scale, decorated with exquisite stone patterns, with a profound dome rising into the depth night sky… I had never experienced this feeling from any photos before.

Then, in the morning when there were few people, I sat beside the cathedral, drawing the dome. The process of drawing in front of the building was particularly pleasant, because the scene was observed by the eyes, thought by the brain, and then reached the finger, and the pen tip was manipulatedco-defining the flow of ink on the paper with the scene itself. During this process of presenting the building by sketching, it seemed that I had intense collision and communication with the “Notre Dame Cathedral”, feeling designer’s ingenuity.

▼史伦的部分旅行绘画作品,selected drawings of the travel



Please recommend three places that architecture students should visit and explain respectively.


Considering 13 countries I have been this time, I think Turkey, Italy and Japan are all worth visiting many times. key, which is located in the border area between Asian civilizations and European civilizations, has complicated historical background, presenting rich architectural and cultural landscapes: from ancient Greek theatres to ancient Roman cities, from Ottoman Mosque to Orthodox churches, the endless historical relics and architectural forms constitute a tridimensional architectural textbook. Undoubtedly, Italy, as a country owning many architectural masterpieces from ancient Rome to the Renaissance, is a pilgrimage site for architecture students. In addition, many urban streets and squares are classic samples that are worthy of researching. There is no need to say more about Japan.

Turkey (left), Italy (middle), Japan (right)



If you can plan a long-distance trip again, what kinds of ways of travel and places will you choose? Why?


I think it will be the southern hemisphere, since I have never been there before. Probably, I would leave the country through the Tea Horse Road, heading for India by crossing multiple Southeast Asian countries, then cross the India Ocean to Africa, and subsequently, South America, Antarctica, Australia…And without any doubt, I would not choose the air traffic.


Creative Works



Why did you choose to move to shanghai from Beijing as a new start for 13 architecture? Please tell us your opinions and feelings about Beijing and shanghai separately.





▼史伦镜头下的上海(左)和北京(右),Shanghai (left) and Beijing (right) photographed by Shi Lun

Over the past year, our design projects are concentrated in Zhejiang, Yunnan and Hong Kong, also, the clients are in the southern region. As for the reasons why choosing Shanghai as a new start for our business are that, on the one hand, it can save travel costs to a great extent, on the other hand, it is convenient to rush to the site for solving the problems in time.

Of course, apart from the project situation, the architectural design industries of these two cities are also in distinct styles. Shanghai can provide a better environment to those designers who pursue refinement and high quality, and this city has more extensive market diversification and public acceptance, meaning that people can generally realize the value of design. Correspondingly, designers are also provided with an open and free environment, having a better chance to work on a project, all of which are highly consistent with our project positioning, to a large extent, leading us to move to Shanghai.

Shanghai is a city full of the sense of the design and the order, which is probably because of the highly developed market economy. People are very willing to pay for design and art, which is probably the reason why many independent designers would like to locate in Shanghai. In addition, a complete system of the development, production, process and management of building materials, as well as a professional construction team, can guarantee the perfect presentation of designer’s idea. In these aspects, Shanghai and even the adjacent Zhejiang and Jiangsu all have great advantages.

The reason why we moved to Shanghai is not that we recognize more about their character or values, but hoping to take this opportunity to break the limitations of cities and realize the flexible design.

▼上海工作室天台派对,Party on the roof of Shanghai office



Can you tell us the current situation of staff and projects of 13 architecture?




▼史伦部分设计项目拼图,selected design projects by Shi Lun


▼香港老厂房改造项目方案,renovation of an old factory building in Hong Kong



▼香港老厂房改造项目方案,renovation of an old factory building in Hong Kong



Please tell us something about your current life and work condition.  How do you usually spend your day?  What is your ideal life?


Generally, I will spend throughout the morning in sitting in front of my desk and concentrating on design, and when I’m tired, I will look out of the window to relax and take a look at the Spanish red tile roofs in the sycamore shading downstairs or the decorative flowers on the roof of the old nearby apartment, actually, sometimes these details outside the window also inadvertently inspire the design.

▼史伦从工作室眺望室外风景,views from Shanghai office



At noon, I often walk to the dining hall of Shanghai Library for lunch. After lunch, I will walk along the shade of Gao’an Road to Heng Shan Road and buy some fruits in the vegetable market on Guangyuan Road. Usually, I will take a walk across Huaihai Road to the opposite Wukang Road if the project is not rush. Every day, the after-dinner walk is like wandering in the classical architecture exposition, which also makes architects constantly review their works. Therefore, every time walking back to the desk after lunch, I will optimize programs further combining with what I just heard and thought. This also makes me more convinced that the living environment of architects will directly affect the quality of their design works.

In the afternoon, I usually discuss with various professionals and material suppliers. We had a rough statistic: it only takes less than 20 minutes from our studio to any partner’s office, and it costs no more than 20 yuan to go to the sample exhibition hall of terrazzo supplier or the office of lighting designer, whether by subway or taxi. Sometimes after dinner, I will go to Hengshan bookstore to read books, or have a drink in the Baidai Red Building. One day, I even joined the square dance group in the Xujiahui Park. This is probably the state of daily life during this period since I moved to Shanghai. I guess my ideal life probably means the present moment.

▼在上海工作室工作的史伦,Shi Lun working in Shanghai office



Future Plan


We hope to make design as our own lifestyle and combine with traveling and designing, so as to create works with a unique style. I also hoped that we can continue to devote ourselves to those specialized and high-quality projects. We want to persist efforts in research and innovation and regard design as the pleasure of life, sharing the curiosity of the world with like-minded partners and clients. Besides, we also expect to explore more possibilities for the integration of design, culture and art through design practice.

▼史伦,Shi Lun

Contact: lshi@ltu.edu




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