I worked there for a short ‘extern’ (glorified week long office visit). I had met Kongjian on his visit to our school and inquired about spending some time in his office at that time. There aren’t very many english speakers overall, but enough that I could contribute to some extent – worked on a couple of parks and helped crit a charette for a new city master plan. They do take interns, but the process is a bit difficult as there is a delay in the communication. It’s best to have some direct contact with individuals there either personally or through a faculty.
The work environment differs greatly by studio (at the time I was there there were 5) some are very large and you work in cubicles, others are within the BeiDa studio environment (they’ve recently moved) where it was more like an academic studio. Like other high-caliber firms the age range is younger, but the work hours are generally much more reasonable (10~6ish to allow for longer commutes). Everyone is very friendly and very excited about the impact their work has on their country. They are very much pioneers over there and, for China, they are compensated very well.
The communication within the studios is not so difficult but all the documentation and information you’ll be looking at is in Chinese so it’s best to have some knowledge of the language.
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