Be proud of yourself, be proud of what you do

Hi everyone, first of all, congratulations! I feel great to be back here,although my company is not far from GSD at all.

I am pretty surprised when I was invited to give this speech, because I still feel like I’ve just graduated. But actually it has been two years already.

Just a short intro about myself, I graduated from GSD in 2013 from the Mdess technology program, and since then I have been doing my company called Modelo, it is an online 3d design collaboration and management platform.

Today, I would like to talk about two things, the first is about our country. In China, our generation have been placed in a very interesting moment, because of the one child policy and the boost of economy in China for the last twenty years, our generation has the luck of being able to get more financial support from our families and the government, and later on probably in another 15–20 years,we will need to support them back,which will probably be a huge pressure on everyone of us. But I would still argue we are quite lucky cause in the age of career development and education, we have much better supports than our previous generation does. That’s why we can see many Chinese students come to the states for study, that’s why I can talk about this with many of you today. So given this great opportunity, what does it mean, and what should be do?

Shall we come here to get the golden coating of studying abroad? or shall we learn knowledge and let the rest of our people know what’s happening in the world.

Shall we come here to hang out with our own people? Or shall we make friends from all over the world, learn from them and share with them our culture and the beauty of our country.

Shall we come here to copy things back to China for business, or shall we bring knowledge back for innovation.

Personally, I would prefer do things more meaningful, at this special time, with this special opportunity.

Be proud of yourself, open your mind and embrace the world.

The second thing I would like to talk about is architecture. I’ve studied architecture for almost ten years. Only since I graduated from the best architectural design school a couple of years ago, I find myself stopped pursuing architecture.

What we are doing now at Modelo is more about the other side of the table, not on the client side, but providing services to designers and architects, so they are our clients and you might be our clients too. Being at such position and dealing with people from all around business, finance, management, engineering fields, help me better understand our discipline — architecture. I once had the bad impression of architects not being payed well, working for extremely long hours,which are still true and miserable sometime, but if you think about the nature of architectural design, we as architects are always pursuing a huge dream of building what we believe that could last for decades or even centuries ,and being able of influencing generations of people, that’s a big dream, and it’s quite beautiful! So to achieve such dreams there must be trade offs. that’s where the miserable part come from. But you should be aware that not everyone has the chance to work on something that could potentially fulfil their dreams and something that’s innovative and attractive as architecture.

So be proud of your discipline and be proud of what you do.

Let the others know how wonderful it is to pursue architecture, and let them know how our design will bring value to their business and their daily lives. If we all speak for our discipline and the value we generate, we could make it even better.

Once again, I would like to say congratulations to all of you, and I wish everyone a delightful and wonderful career. Thank you.