Chapman Taylor participates in Roundtable business discussion with UK Ambassador to China in Shanghai

Chapman Taylor has attended an RIBA-hosted Roundtable discussion with the UK Ambassador to China, Dame Barbara Woodward, at the British Centre in Shanghai. Architect Enran Zhang attended the event on Wednesday 29 July alongside representatives from other major UK architectural firms.

The event emphasised the strong business and interpersonal links between architects in the UK and China. We highlighted that 60% of our Shanghai team were educated overseas, more than half of whom studied in the UK. We also spoke about the closely collaborative and mutually supportive relationship between our London and Shanghai studios, which is particularly valuable for many of our prestigious projects in China.

The participants also shared their insights on sustainable design as well as discussing the challenges and opportunities they have experienced in the Chinese market. We spoke about how our 70-strong Shanghai studio expanded in the second quarter of the year despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Zhangjiang Gaoke Office Park

To demonstrate the success of Chapman Taylor’s strategies for navigating the challenges caused by the pandemic, we presented our Zhangjiang Gaoke Office Park project, which the Shanghai studio won during the emergency despite a period of lockdown.

Among other topics discussed were:

  1. Mutual recognition of architect’s qualifications between the UK and China
  2. Visas for young British graduates (Part 1/Part 2) to come to China for work experience, which would enrich the economy and the design community
  3. The embassy’s work helping Chinese students return to their studies in the UK and fast-tracking visas for teachers and tutors coming from the UK to China
  4. The RIBA’s continuous work with the embassy and practices to promote gender equality in architecture
  5. The competitiveness of British practices in China – specialising in certain sectors helps practices to stand out from the crowd, although is also important to have a good working relationship with design institutes and other local practices
  6. The importance of China remaining open to international talent to remain relevant in global markets; the UK Department for International Trade and the RIBA can help highlight British firms and talent in China
  7. The quality of design in China continues to improve significantly and RIBA is working hard to dispel the idea that design in China is not at the same level of design quality as western countries.

Our warmest thanks to Her Excellency Dame Barbara and to the RIBA for hosting us for this very enjoyable and informative discussion.

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