Global view of design and architecture

Yang Di
Daniel Uribe is founder of dup architects. Although he's been in Shanghai for a decade, the studio is very new and fresh, with different types of design and architecture projects.
Yang Di
Global view of design and architecture
Courtesy of Daniel Uribe / Ti Gong

Daniel Uribe

Who is he?

Daniel Uribe is founder of dup architects. Although he's been in Shanghai for a decade, the studio is very new and fresh, with different types of design and architecture projects.

Tell us some of your works, and name the one you are most proud of.

Most of my life experience is in China, and I'm glad I have had the opportunity to work in many different cities in the country. I have also worked on projects in Mexico and Spain, which gave me a great understanding of the different approaches to design on each continent.

Here in China, I am very proud of a project I did (still on paper, but hopefully built soon) while working for EXH design. It's a school in the Tibetan area of Sichuan Province, and it took us two days driving from Chengdu to reach the site. The location is very remote, and the availability of resources, labor and materials was a real challenge.

The project was special because it had to be done using only local construction techniques. We were not asked to build a beautiful project, but instead to reimagine the best school the local people could have using the resources available, which is what made the experience unique.

We forgot about all superfluous considerations and focused on reimagining the best school for the real users.

A very different project but most recent was the food and beverage hub on Yanping Road done with Ortiz Leon architects. This project was interesting for the process of its design. The clients were three good friends of mine, and they were involved in every detail of the project – from the initial meeting until the last construction site visits. This allowed us to have a very close and open relationship. Design meetings weren't client presentations, but were a group of passionate people trying to design the best places we could have. I believe that is the key above all for a good project.

Global view of design and architecture
Courtesy of Bonica / Ti Gong

The recent project by Daniel Uribe was the food and beverage hub Bonica.

What project are you currently working on?

After finishing Bonica, La Mezcaleria and La Barra tucked off Yanping Road, I have started working on some other F&B projects in Shanghai with very special clients: completely different targets but trying to replicate the same design process.

Describe your design style.

Recently, I have started working on smaller scale projects – interiors for hospitality and even some furniture pieces – that made me realize that my style or approach to design isn't something visually identifiable, but rather a consequence of always using the same design tools regardless of the task or scale.

My training as an architect and thorough research are what influence my work the most, even when doing interiors. I will always value the quality of the space and construction methods before any visual considerations are taken into account. I believe the real luxury is the space.

Where are you most creative?

For me, it's more a mental than physical place. I am most creative when alone, when there are no people calling or tons of messages on my phone waiting to be returned. I work best when I'm able to disconnect from all issues to focus on one project at a time. I think creativity is not a series of moments of inspiration, but a thorough process of reviewing and improving an idea many times.

What does your home mean to you?

Home, for me, is that space where I am able to be alone and disconnect from everything, but at the same time the space where I can meet and enjoy the people I care about. The design of a dwelling space departs from that idea, and it can be as complex or simple as the complexity of the dweller life.

What do you collect?

Any natural junk I find during my trips – stones, branches – it can be anything.

What will be the next big design trend?

I believe trends are more diverse each time, and I hope every time they will be the result of the specific needs and context of each project. Right now, I think China is the place in the world where there is more exploration using different materials and design languages. I believe this is going to bring very interesting results in the near future that will be replicated in other parts of the world.

Special Reports