Secrets of Success for Architects in China: Insights from the Men and Women who Built Modern China

Secrets of Success for Architects in China: Insights from the Men and Women who Built Modern China


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Why should you read this book?

If you are a young, or not so young design professional and you want to not only work in China but downright prosper and succeed then this book is essential.

It’s a distillation of wisdom from the men and women who have been in the trenches and the mud and rebuilt a country. This book is packed with advice, insights, tips and tricks from 25 of the world leaders in architecture and design.

Navigating the hutongs and alleyways of practicing architecture in China will never be easier than by taking on board the collective knowledge of these giants in the industry. Men and women who collectively have enough awards and kudos that would take a warehouse to show them all.

And every single one of the have been doing business in China for up to 30 years.

Insights, tips and tricks and the accumulated wisdom of people who have actually been down and dirty at the coalface.

You will learn:

  • How to create winning strategies for architectural competitions in China – and how to get paid afterwards.
  • How you manage the mixture of staff you will work in China with the minimum of hassle.
  • How to manage cash-flow in a very demanding and different environment.
  • How to work with LDI’s – the Local Design Institutes that every architect in China has to work with.
  • How to work with local developers
  • Insights from a former Director of the Land Planning Bureau in a T1 city.
  • Get surprising vision of what the future holds and where the next wave of work is coming from.

These and literally hundreds more tips and tricks that will make your work in China feel like home.

You are also going to learn hard won advice for doing business here – explanations of some of the unofficial rules that exist in China and without an understanding of them the road is hard and tortuous.

You will learn:

  • What is Guanxi? And it is not what most people think it is but the real idea and how to use it to build networks.
  • The Rules of ‘Driving’ in China and why learning the driving rules teaches you about business.
  • Partners: Why choosing your partners is the single biggest decisions you will make in China and finding out just who are the best partners?
  • Why Boots on The Ground will determine your level of success.
  • How to Walk Slow and Run Fast
  • What is Yin and What is Yang and why this is important in everyday life in China.
  • Why Chops and Seals are so important and how to avoid losing your skin because of not knowing this.
  • How to Eat, Drink and Be Merry

And all presented with dozens of other insights into the way of doing business in the world’s oldest civilization, gleaned from years of experience in China.

This edition has some architects text edits and images revision.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780994581501
Publisher: Digital Frontier
Publication date: 07/12/2016
Pages: 352
Product dimensions: 8.00(w) x 10.00(h) x 0.73(d)

About the Author

About the Author

An entrepreneur from the age of 19, Gavin Crombie has had a wide and varied career.

From the first fish and chip shop in Wellington to a leather manufacturing and retail company, with factories in Pakistan and New Zealand, to finally ending up in China penniless and without a clue.

A few hard years of learning and struggle saw Crombie establish a business consultancy introducing western companies into the Chinese market, companies, such as German industrial gas company Messer Greisheim for whom he negotiated a $40 million USD JV near Chongqing.

Dealing with perhaps 120 different companies over a 6-year period taught Crombie many of the ways and means of doing business in China and how to get your feet out of the hole after you have fallen into it.

In 1999 he established a unique business model based in China to change a traditionally cottage based industry - architectural perspective drawings, architectural animation and model making. Growing to over 450 staff in China in 4 locations and with 31 offices worldwide until that small event called the Great Financial Crisis gave him a great big kick in the behind and reduced his demesne considerably and he now contents himself with around 100 staff and 10 sales offices globally.

Crombie has learned from some of the worst business experiences ranging from raising $400M for a film fund only to see it disappear down a rabbit hole when the time came for the investors to put in the money to spending a few million dollars to establish Green Leaf Film Studios and see it flap around like a bird in the mud after some silly nonsense from a colleague and then close down making Crombie and his remaining colleagues very sad and very wise.

In 2012 Crombie was appointed to the New Zealand Trade and Enterprise Department (NZTE) as a 'Beachheads Advisor' which allows him to try and beat the lessons learned in China into the heads of aspiring New Zealand company entrants into the China market. To date Crombie has worked with over 70 companies in this role, confirming his penchant for advisory masochism.

Crombie earned his spurs actually in the trenches in China - hard won and enlightening experiences that have made him a hardy soul who enjoys more than his fair share of red wine and judging on his girth probably too many of the pies.

After 22 years in China Crombie has to admit that the fun is only just beginning and that he is just graduating from the China School of Hard Knocks with a minor degree and wonders how after 22 years his wife has remained as beautiful as the day he met her and why he is now an ugly sod.

Table of Contents

01__Introduction__P 17
02__The Contributors__P 21
03__Learning the Way of the Dragon / General Business Advice for China__P 29
04__General Summary of Advice / Making It All Work__P 49
05__Images in the Interviews__P 56
06__Interviews__P 57
07__Some Anonymous Comment / From the Contributors__P 348
08__About Digital Frontier__P 350

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