Manfred Yuen is the founder of GROUNDWORK. He holds a number of positions, including architect, columnist, guest host of radio programs and university lecturer. With the multiple identities, he persists in pursuing his design dream and the spirit of pioneering. His design combines humanity and aesthetics, giving different life to buildings.
Since founding Groundwork in 2007, Manfred Yuen has been seeking a design path of his own. He won the title of “The Next-Generation Architect of World Architecture” as one of 45 featured international architects aged under 40. In 2011, he was selected one of the “40-under-40 Design Talents/Asia” by Perspective Magazine. In 2013, he won the Spirit of Hong Kong Award. In 2014, he won the title of “Hong Kong Outstanding Volunteer”, “CEO OF THE YEAR” granted by South China Press Group, and was included in Asian Chinese Leader Directory. His strongly innovative works and architectural projects are distributed in a number of countries and regions around the world.
Life is full of ups and downs. After 30 years of success in life, Manfred Yuen suffered a chain of setbacks and even fell into debt at the beginning of his entrepreneurship. When he was in idleness, his elders introduced him to a volunteer organization to help more than 500 households of impoverished elderly people renovate their houses.
Born into a well-to-do family, he experienced the brutal reality and hardships of people during the period. He started to realize that instead of just focusing on the cold architectural forms, materials or scales, architects should give more focus to the creation of what can be offered by buildings, that is, happiness.
Take a goldfish bowl for example. Architects tend to focus on how to design it only while ignoring the water in it. Hence, whether it is the innovation in stalls that preserves street culture or the building toys that allow all people to gain relaxation and happiness, he is performing his duties and fulfilling his mission required of an architect in practice step by step.