Went to a workshop yesterday that I was reluctant to attend as it was about HAPPINESS. 
After 10 minutes I still doubted myself whether or not this was wasting my time.
Being Chinese, we rarely talk about happiness or love – just like the way we don’t ever mention sex, either. Is that because 1.3 billion people simply take it for granted, one may ask? 
But, of course it is not – it is because we are all well trained in our behaviour by our families and society. 
Since childhood, I have been told that if you stand out from a crowd and you will be crushed one day. 
A good child must always listen to their parents and, particularly, grandparents.
When I started school, I was told how to become a good pupil and especially never to irritate your teacher by asking too many questions! 
Finding a job is just the first step of success and I needed to be smart to ensure that I secured a proper long term career which meant holding back feelings and trying always to please your colleagues and bosses by smiling and nodding your head. 
And when you get married one day, your child and husband will naturally come on the top of your priority list. 
Now you can tell that ‘being yourself’ and ‘being happy’ has never been the priority of Chinese life. 
Before yesterday, I held a very dogmatic view about happiness: I thought that talking about happiness was a bit naïve and weak because as long as I worked hard at what I love (being a designer) then happiness would automatically follow. 
Now, I am huffing and puffing at myself for being so naïve…
It has suddenly occurred to me that over the last 30 years I have blocked myself from being really genuinely happy. Luckily, this workshop has helped me to unplug that blockage!  
So make a choice to be happy, then you will be more positive, flexible and imaginative which will lead you to form better 
relationship with people around you. 
I know you don’t have to be popular to be successful but being happier will tend to make your existence a greater success. 
Regarding holding back the feelings, I can tell you from my personal and professional experience, that the Japanese are the worst which may explain why they have such a high suicide rate. 
They tend to have a very narrow and severe view of living – which also results in their entrenched workaholic-ism.
So, at the very least, be very happy that you are neither Japanese nor Chinese!
Note: happiness is elusive and there is a huge variety of individual perspectives; don’t try to impose a universal prescription to your own happiness. Get the concept right, and the benefits will follow.

The Hepworth, Wakefield​

I had been contemplating to visit the award-winning Hepworth Gallery in Wakefield Gallery for ages.

I love visiting galleries and museums and, as an architecture and urban designer, I draw inspiration from paintings, sculptures and installations – and most are free entry. And my little one can always have safe, spacious and stimulating places to explore.

The Hepworth had been on my visiting list for a long time, not because of it is named after, and houses much work of, the late English artist Barbara Hepworth or that it has a really good collection of Henry Moore’s sketches and bronze sculptures but because it is one of David Chipperfield’s most outstanding buildings (albeit with a £35m price tag).

As is my won’t, I slept through most of the car journey so when we had already arrived in the town centre and were almost there, my eyes opened.

To be frank, the townscape of Wakefield really isn’t that pretty. It appears to be a typical post-industrial town characterised by the dominant form of last century bridges and a series of meaningless, low rise and more often than is comfortable, abandoned buildings

We found the visitor’s car park over the (minor) road from the gallery by following the somewhat erratic signage.

On exiting the car we simply crossed the road and were guided across a long, modern footbridge towards the gallery with ever-increasing excitement!


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The View from North West / photo by Tia TianTheHybridMill-The Hepwroth-wakefield-grey.jpg

The Footbridge Over the River / photo by Tia Tian

And here it is; the scale of the building is warm and comfortable and, even though it is accentuated by the use of coloured in-situ concrete, you really don’t catch the coldness.

The building is exposed on all sides without being defined by road or river and the building form is without any dominant façade.

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The View From Foot Bridge / photo by Tia Tian

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The Site Plan / photo from

The composition is a tightly integrated – expressed through various irregular blocks – and the forms are driven by the internal layout of the gallery spaces.  Their volumes are unique and together they coalesce as if a single space.


The Courtyard View from Foot Bridge /  photo by Tia TianTheHybridMill-The Hepwroth-wakefield-entrance.jpg

The View to the Entry / photo by Jonathan Ladd

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Building Study Model  

The building is in two stories. The first floor is primarily for exhibitions, both fixed and peripatetic.  The reception level (ground/entry level) contains the shop, cafeteria, auditorium and learning studio as well as offices and back-of-house areas including the archive, storage and loading bay.

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Building Ground  and First Floor Plan / photo from


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The Exhibition Area at First Floor / photo from

Entering the building I was pleased by the use of the natural light and the framing of the windows on the upper floor.

The architectural/design ambience does not impact at all on what is displayed inside. And the eight irregular block-forms create a very natural and peaceful space for the works and for the visitor to wander (and wonder) around.

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 The Exhibition Area at First Floor / photo by Tia Tian

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The Art Work / photo by Tia Tian

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An (anti-sculpture) Toy Doll over the canal / photo by Tia Tian

See your dream, long before you’ve built it!

The CGI visual of a standard unit of a student accommodation in Sheffield. 
We’ve  designed & a created to market to potential investors

Whether you are thinking of building your own grand design, opening a new restaurant, establishing a retail shop or you are in the process of re modelling a competitive product for your market, the innovation of CGI rendering could enable you to visualise your dream, long before it’s built.

Can CGI visuals improve your chance of success? The answer is YES – and here are 3 key reasons why:

  •  Crystallise your ideas
  •  Engage your audience and gain feedback
  •  Save time and predict costs

You may have a great imagination and it may be clear in your mind, but there will always be gaps between your imagination and reality. 2D sketches, Photoshop collages and reference images are a great starting point however professionally rendered 3D images will provide you with an ultra-realistic mock-up of your dream, so you can make those all-important final touches before you’ve even started. Take it out of your mind and see it in real time on your screen.

Receiving feedback is one of the key elements to the success of your project. Being able to present photo-realistic visuals of your ideas so that everyone such as clients, family and friends, can see them as clearly as you, enable you to gain valuable feedback.

Professional CGI comes in 4 stages; model building, material texturing, lighting and rendering. The model building can help you deliver your ideas to the builders, decorators and craftsmen to stipulate your required detail. With the addition of CAD drawings, you can work with your contractor to calculate more accurate costs and timescales for each of the stages of work.

If you would like to know more about how CGI could benefit you and your project, get in touch using the details below:

Tia Tian


T/ 0125 461 9706 

M/ 0750 310 8535