Eric and Anna Gustafson Residence, Designers Jiani Yao and Xinran Chen

Yao, Jiani
Chen, Xinran
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Eric and Anna Gustafson have purchased a residential lot near Lake Minnetonka, in Waysata, Minnesota. They have hired Jiani Yao and Xinran Chen to develop a four-thousand square foot house plan, reflecting their client’s interests in history, global cultures, and modern technology. Eric is a hockey coach and Anna is a museum curator. Their children are grown, but are frequent visitors. Eric’s mother, Elsa is recovering from cancer and will be staying with the family for a few months while she recovers. Methodology included systematically researching client preferences and special needs, and also examining the building site. The team determined that the Gustafson’s desired a mixture of two different Asian styles, Chinese and Japanese. In addition, Elsa may require wheelchair use and children desire bedroom suites. The team’s design concept is based on the Japanese tatami grid system and incorporates a traditional Chinese style ceiling frame and multiple custom designed furniture, lighting, and finish elements. Integrating Chinese and Japanese historical elements with contemporary construction, created harmony and unity in the home. To accommodate Elsa’s needs, the team developed interiors according to ADA and Universal Design guidelines. The design process has broad significance in that it reflects a global world where interior designers have the dual responsibility of maintaining accuracy in traditional designs of various cultures, while reinterpreting designs to suit contemporary use. Though there is no standard approach, as this project demonstrates there are multiple solutions.