Chinese Architecture Firms Set Sights On U.S.-China Reverse Talent Flow

Aspiring Architects Look Increasingly To China For Career Opportunities

Chinese architecture firm JZFZ's China Modern Pentathlon Games Center in Chengdu, completed in 2009.

Chinese architecture firm JZFZ’s China Modern Pentathlon Games Center in Chengdu, completed in 2009.

As China’s economy continues to develop and the Chinese design industry increasingly matures, design companies in China are starting to reverse the talent flow that has typically moved from China to the United States by travelling abroad in search of new talent.

On April 12, 2013, JZFZ, a major private Chinese architectural design firm, hosted its first U.S. information session and networking event at Pratt Institute in New York. The event drew a packed room of 60 architecture students and professionals eager to learn about the company and potential work opportunities in China. The evening’s presentation included an introduction of JZFZ, its current position in the Chinese architectural scene, prospects for the next 10 years, recent projects, and its intention to recruit design talents with international backgrounds.

JZFZ’s recruiting efforts are part of its strategy to garner an international reputation and help improve design in China. The firm just celebrated its 10-year anniversary, growing from a small local company of 13 architects to a national architectural design firm with 1,300 employees operating in six major Chinese cities, including Beijing and Shanghai.

Architects Yang Hua (Left) and Nianlai Zhong (Right) speak at the recruiting event.

Architects Yang Hua (Left) and Nianlai Zhong (Right) speak at the recruiting event.

The strong turnout for the event was significant for JZFZ as well as for other Chinese design firms as they gain a stronger voice in the international design world. Architectural designers typically rush from China to the United States for education and work experience, but this trend may be reversing as Chinese architectural firms become more forward-looking and global-minded.

Architects with international backgrounds are taking an increasing interest in opportunities in China and in working for Chinese design firms. JZFZ popularity with prospective recruits at Pratt indicates that interest in working in China is strong: approximately 450 U.S. students turned in resumes for the firm’s 20 open positions.

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Architecture & Design, Art & Auction