From China to Dresden and back
It was all in the timing. Gong Chen completed his university studies just as Deutsche Werkstätten was seeking to expand into the Chinese market. Gong, who grew up in a village 100 km from the city of Wuhan, first studied mechanical engineering in Shanghai, before moving to the Technical University in Dresden (2009 – 2015) to complete a degree in lightweight construction technology. Just as Gong was finishing his studies, first plans were drawn up in Hellerau exploring the potential for Deutsche Werkstätten to enter the Chinese market. Right from the start it was clear, how valuable a native Chinese speaker – and qualified engineer! - would be for the company.
Gong Chen joined Deutsche Werkstätten in 2015 and spent the first two years in the Research and Development department. Since 2017, he has been working together with Holger Gehl in the newly founded DW China business unit exploring and developing potential projects and clients in China. There is no doubt about the market potential. As Gong explains, a Chinese client who has been educated in the West cannot be satisfied with the quality of the interiors currently produced in China. The problem is the lack of alternatives, they often have nothing to compare with. Gong Chen has a big job on his hands, he will have to do a lot of talking to potential clients and above all to designers and architects to explain what sets Deutsche Werkstätten apart.