gooood team interviews creative individuals under 35 years old from all over the world, some are pioneering founders, 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.11 introduces Xia Murong (28 years old), More: Mur Mur Lab on gooood
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gooood x Mur Mur Lab 夏慕蓉
夏慕蓉（90年生）的建筑历程 ： 江南 — 上海 — Mur Mur Lab
Journey of Architecture: from Jiangnan to Shanghai, to Mur Mur Lab
I was born and grew up in Gaochun, Nanjing, where is a small and quite town and people could easily run into their acquaintace on the street.My family thought that architecture was a craft that was good for a girl to learn.However, my father felt that urban planning is more suitable for girls while I prferred architecture which is cooler. Eventually I studied hard and was admitted to the Architecture School in Southeast University, which is close to my home.
It is hard for me to define what architecture is until now. I learned basic architectural vocabularies like space, structure, detail, material, equiptment, etc. in school. Though in my mind it is only about building a house. When I was in Grade three, teachers outside school began to teach in professional courses and that’s when I met Mr. Yu. Though I did not take his lessons, I answered his questions during presentation and felt something unique in him. Thus I took intern in his studio after postgraduate recommendation and the idea of “building a house” became stronger and stronger in my mind. As a result, I came to Shanghai soon after I got my Bachelor Degree and started my architect career.
▼mur mur lab 工作室和夏慕蓉工作场景，office of mur mur lab, Xia Murong is working together with others
直到现在，成立了自己的建筑设计工作室Mur Mur Lab. “魔都新月”——瑞虹新天地的月亮湾项目是工作室尝试的第一个装置项目，没多想，就去做了。还挺幸运，这一年做出的项目许多人喜欢，在谷德也有“Mur Mur Lab”的专辑. 最近还正准备伙同同样成立工作室不久的小伙伴们做个联展，以后还会一期一期做，这个展览系列叫“Mur Mur Planet”。小地方待惯了，即使在大城市待待时间久，也很期待那种互相抱团取暖的温暖，这大概也是做“Mur Mur Planet”的初衷。我们当时有一群小伙伴，假期都会自动聚到一块。
Now I founded my own architecture studio Mur Mur Lab and A New Moon in Shanghai was our first project. It was an installation project in Ruihong Tiandi. Though it was our first time to do installation project, we just went for it without thinking too much. During this year of Mur Mur Lab, we are lucky to complete some interesting projects and have our office tag on gooood. Recently we are preparing to set up an exhibition named Mur Mur Planet with friends who have just started their own business. It is the initial idea of Mur Mur planet to enhance the connection between me and my friends.We could gather together by this chance and I plan to make it a series.
Favorite Architects and Artists
I like Sato Ooki, Sejima，Nishisawa，Fujimoto and Ishigami, though it is hard to say they strongly effect me because I have never deeply engaged with them. I have to say that the four years studying with Mr. Yu have changed me a lot and I am trying to shake off his influence now. My partner Li Zhi also have significant influence on me. We could communicate on different dimensions and help each other to progress.
In a period, I appreciated long houses designed by the Vietnamese, which reminded me of movies produed by the Indians. They are bold to express their thoughts in the projects, even though it is sometimes very low-tech. They would not hide what they are and the natural and authentic feeling makes their work beautiful and moving. There’s nothing more important than expressing one’s own form and true emotion.
I went to see the works of Gormley a few days ago. The connection of human body showed in his work aroused a responsive chord in my heart. What I am trying to approach in my design is also to build up relationships with people. Women always have fine sentiments and it might have something to do with the fragmented feelings I shared.
Changes after being a Mother
在生娃之前，我就有对自己身份认知的困惑，生完弯之后，这种困惑一点没减少。比如，自己除了建筑师还是什么？我也是最近才对自己是妈妈这个身份有种可以handle的感觉，而我在这个过程中，也慢慢开始有点找到做Mur Mur Lab的感觉。弯弯和Mur Mur Lab的成长几乎是同步的，李智常说，我们是养了两个娃。
I was in a puzzle about my identity before my baby was born and it has not decreased since then.I keep asking myself what I am except for an architect. In fact, I did not quite handle the identity of being a mother until now and I have been slowly finding the feeling of operating Mur Mur Lab during these days. You could say that both Wanwan and Mur Mur Lab are our children and they grew up together.
▼孩子和工作一起成长，child and studio grow up together
有了娃之后我开始看很多绘本，绘本的世界真的蛮精彩，奥斯卡有一些动画就是根据绘本改编的。《The SNOW LION》这本绘本里有两段描述是这样的：“The walls were white, the ceilings were white, even the doors were white”;“There were lots of places for Caro to explore. But she wished she had someone to play with.” 白色是我很喜欢的一种状态。什么时候好我觉得自己的设计能有这样的场景感，pure，又丰富。那就够了。我们会用“典雅的趣味性”来形容Mur Mur Lab的设计。所以要说影响，那就是潜移默化，然后越来越清晰。
I began to read picture books after I had child and I found it was wonderful. Some Oscar wining animations were rearranged from picture books. I like the following descriptions in The Snow Lion: There were lots of places for Caro to explore. But she wished she had someone to play with. I like white color and I hope that one day I could design such a pure scene with diversity. It is the elegant amusement we use to describe our works. I think the effect is unconcious and it would be more and more obvious in the future.
▼夏慕蓉的部分绘画作品，drawings by Xia Murong
Love in Creating and Dreaming
I enjoy the excitement of creation. Take a non-architectural project for instance. Once I designed a small stool which could sing. The inspiration came one day when I was taking a shower. People like to sing in the bathroom because the sound effect is better. I suddenly came up the idea of combining this phenomenon with the sound of water into a small stool. I like the feeling of being hit by inspirations. It is the most interesting part of design.
我是一个行动派。成立Mur Mur Lab不是特别成熟计划中的事。工作室现在有点像一个造梦工坊，有我们，参与者，业主……许多人的梦想在里头。17年年底，一不小心做了一个自己的插画展。未来还会遇到许多事情，我会一点点梳理，有可能导向梦想的事情也许我都愿意一一尝试。
I want to build my own wooden house near the sea in my own style.
I am a doer. Founding Mur Mur Lab was not a well planed action and we just made it to see. The studio is somehow like a dream factory filled with dreams of ours and clients. At the end of 2017, I held my own art exhibition and I believe there will be more dreams come true in the future. I would like to try anything that would lead me closer to my dream.
▼Snow Hill-个人插画展，individual art exhibition Snow Hill
如何平衡mur mur lab和Samoon
Balance between mur mur lab and Samoon
没有具体的界限，自己觉得舒服就好。可能最开始会有权责划分清楚开始，包括自己的时间规划也是。一点一点慢慢走向自然而然。李智会经常说，Mur Mur Lab要做自然而然走向自然的叙事性空间。和自己的另一半做一个工作室，是一个不小的挑战。
We do not have a clear line to divide our jobs. We just do what makes us comfortable. There might be clear definations at the beginning, including time management. Step by step, it will become nature of our life. Li Zhi has said the Mur Mur Lab is to make a natural narrative space naturally. It is a big challenge for one person to set up a studio with her husband.
▼夏慕蓉和合伙人李智，Xia Murong with her partner Li Zhi
Attitude towards Comments of Feminine Feature
It is difficult to define what is feminine aesthetics. My client of Zero gallery is a female block print artist and we have discussed about this issue. Feminine character is more like an outlet. Women have various roles in the society and they put heavy pressure on women. Through the outlet of feminine features, we could filter the bad part of life and express the beautiful aspects. Like me, I would paint some interesting paintings to warm myself when I fell unhappy.
▼Mur Mur Lab的部分建筑设计作品，architectural design works by Mur Mur Lab
It is enough for me if the curves, the diverse and affable part of my design would act as a lively illustration and give people a sense of warm. Do not always think about the bad things. This sentence might best express my idea of Feminine Aesthetic.
Initial Point and Core of Design
我和李智有各自的生命力，典雅的趣味性和建筑学几何秩序是Mur Mur Lab不断思考的关键词。建筑学几何秩序是一个内核，典雅的趣味性就像空气中的分子。我们试图创造一种典雅趣味性的范式，以几何秩序为原型探索走向自然的叙事空间。
I and Li Zhi each has our own considerations, which are elegant amusement and geometrical sequence, being the key words for Mur Mur Lab. Geometrical sequence of architecture is the inner core of our design, while elegant amusement spreads into the air like molecules. We are trying to set up a paradigm for elegant amusement by using geometrical prototypes, which could help us to create a natural narrative space.
People are the most important in architecture. I pay much attention in creating daily surprise through interactions between people and space. When we could arrange the dramatic contrasts between us and clients, design and non-design, order and fun in the space, the design is there.
▼以人为核心，满足儿童游戏需求的空间，playing space meeting the needs of children
pepit is beautiful
petit is beautiful并不是直接指向细节、细部的设计，它是一个观念的概念。具体来说，不论项目大小，出发点如何，灵感都可以像一团小火苗一样引发整个设计。Petit是一个法文词，我很喜欢的另一个法文词Brut，意思是有点拙拙的、有艺术气息的手工感，会有点类似我们对细部追求的感觉。
This sentence does not mean the particular design of details. It is a conceptual idea. No matter what scale the project is or what triggers it, inspiration is like sparks of fire that could lead to the final design scheme. Petit is a French word. There’s also a French word I like called brut, indicating the craftsmanship with unadorned art feeling. It somehow explains what I am pursuing in detail.
Rethink of Young Architects from the angle of Young Architect
觉得应该更踏实一点。我们一直致力于建立一套完整的项目管理和品质把控体系，希望可以控制到最后的细节，每次都能做的更好。2017是Mur Mur Lab的第一年，我们的目标就是活下来，然后会慢慢定一些也很朴素的计划。对Mur Mur Lab来说，对建筑学，对设计，对审美的追求是自然而然的事情。它像日常的空气。
I think they should be more down to the earth. We are dedicated in building up a complete project management and quality control system, which could help us to control the last detail of the project, ensuring a better outcome. For the first year of Mur Mur Lab, our aim is to survive. Then we could make some simple plans in our own pace. It is as natural as breathing to chase for beauty in our life.
It is also like fish swimming in the water. (By the way, we designed a fish tank recently). We are swimming in the water of architecture and the aesthetic system and we don’t want to be framed by too many slogans.
Expection for the future
We wish our company could be bigger and flatter. We don’t want to make it a company with strong individual identity. It is better for every member of our studio to express some of his/her ideas in the projects. We hope that it could be beautiful and high-tech at the same time and grow steadfastly.
For myself, I hope that I could keep learning and keep creating elegant amusement.
▼正在推敲设计的夏慕蓉，Xia Murong is going over the design
More: Mur Mur Lab on gooood