Jie Zhang recently joined the firm’s ranks of registered architects. Today we celebrate her accomplishments.
Jie joined Payette in 2015 after obtaining her M.Arch at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She was the recipient of the Alpha Rho Chi Bronze Medal, American Institute of Architects Certificate of Merit as well as multiple independent research fellowships. While at Payette, Jie has played an integral role in projects such as the Amherst New Science Center, currently under construction, the Lafayette College Integrated Science Center and the recently completed Harvard Memorial Church Renovations. She is an active voice in internal design critiques and served on a pro-bono team for Saint Boniface Hospital in Haiti.
Coming from Beijing, China, Jie also holds a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture and Economics, with Distinction, from Yale University. Prior to Payette, she contributed to Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects, Henning Larsen Architects, SHKP Properties, Atelier Jean Nouvel, NADAAA, and CNRPD. In her free time, she is a frequent design critic at east coast schools of architecture, runs a design platform and is widely published.
What inspires you?
The realities that seem conventional or quotidian when isolated, but powerfully revolutionary when in synthesis. Think: bell + clock = alarm clock; smartphone + taxis = Uber; hospice + kindergarten = intergenerational housing!
What is the best part of your job?
I am fascinated by the process in which an idea becomes reality and exudes a real-life impact. Being able to make it happen, especially with limited resources and while maintaining design integrity in the face of practical challenges, is what makes good designers, great.
What is the most important thing you’ve learned so far?
That no field is static and learning is a life-time journey. Realizing that we should strive for becoming masters in learning, instead of masters in XYZ, will not only boost confidence (nobody knows everything and will know everything), but will also promote growth.
The sky is the limit: if you could design or redesign anything, what would it be?
I redesigned the US Embassy in Beijing for my M.Arch thesis. My dream project would be what Khan did in Bangladesh, Le Corbusier in Chandigarh, or Niemeyer in Brasilia.