Talking Practice: Lyndon Neri and Rossana Hu

Photo of Lyndon Neri and Rossana Hu

Photo by Jiaxi Yang & Zhe Zhu

In this episode of Talking Practice, host Grace La interviews Lyndon Neri and Rossana Hu, partners and co-founders of Neri&Hu Design and Research Office, and the John C. Portman Design Critics in architecture at the GSD. Lyndon and Rossana reflect on the beginnings of their personal and professional partnership, and the deep significance of founding their practice in Shanghai. Discussing the risks and rewards involved in starting a practice in a foreign city, Lyndon and Rossana provide insights into their working dynamic and the ways in which they leverage China as a laboratory for product design and architectural production. Presenting an inside glimpse into the logistics of their office, they stress the importance of moving beyond an “idealized practice” by experimenting with different business models. As practitioners working across multiple scales, cities, and industries, they articulate their attempts to balance tactility and diagrammatic thinking while leveraging the unique cultural contexts of their practice.

Lyndon and Rossana also describe the ways in which their practice serves as a catalyst for the revitalization of China’s depopulated rural villages, and how their work with adaptive reuse projects lies at the core of their relationship with developers. For more on Lyndon and Rossana’s work in adaptive reuse, check out their fall 2019 option studio.

Lyndon Neri and Rossana Hu are partners and co-founders of the Shanghai-based Neri&Hu Design and Research Office, and the John C. Portman Design Critics in architecture at the GSD. Lyndon and Rossana are known internationally for their work in adaptive reuse projects, including the Waterhouse at South Bund, the Aranya Art Center, and the Tsingpu Yangzhou Retreat. Working across disciplines in industrial and product design, they are also the creative directors of the furniture brand Stellar Works and founders of Design Republic, a retail brand and online platform that showcases the work of internationally renowned designers. Lyndon and Rossana are the recipients of the Elle Décor International Design Awards, and have been inducted in the U.S. Interior Design Hall of Fame. They are currently teaching a studio at the GSD entitled “Reflective Nostalgia: Alternative Futures for Shanghai’s Shikumen Heritage.

About the Show

Developed by Harvard Graduate School of Design, Talking Practice is the first podcast series to feature in-depth interviews with leading designers on the ways in which architects, landscape architects, designers, and planners articulate design imagination through practice.  Hosted by Grace La, Professor of Architecture and Chair of Practice Platform, these dynamic conversations provide a rare glimpse into the work, experiences, and attitudes of design practitioners from around the world. Comprehensive, thought-provoking, and timely, Talking Practice tells the story of what designers do, why, and how they do it—exploring the key issues at stake in practice today.

About the Host

Grace LaGrace La is Professor of Architecture, Chair of the Practice Platform, and former Director of the Master of Architecture Programs at Harvard University Graduate School of Design.  She is also Principal of LA DALLMAN Architects, internationally recognized for the integration of architecture, engineering and landscape. Cofounded with James Dallman, LA DALLMAN is engaged in catalytic projects of diverse scale and type.  The practice is noted for works that expand the architect’s agency in the civic recalibration of infrastructure, public space and challenging sites.

Show Credits

Talking Practice is produced by Ronee Saroff and edited by Maggie Janik. Our Research Assistant is Jihyun Ro.  The show is recorded at Harvard University’s Media Production Center by Multimedia Engineer Jeffrey Valade.


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