What tools Yuwen Peng uses for work/life balance and more
Yuwen Peng 25 years of architectural experience in hospitality, catering, retail and entertainment design has contributed to the development of projects around the world. Working out of CallisonRTKL’s Los Angeles office, his human-centric approach to a wide range of social spaces has resulted in several cross-industry innovations and a long list of notable clients – Wolfgang Puck Restaurants, W Hotels, Lucky Strike Lanes, 7-Eleven Lab, McDonald’s and Starbuck’s Prototypes to name a few. Passionate about the food and beverage industry, Yuwen strives to find solutions that keep restaurants profitable, blur the lines between restaurants and retail, and create spaces where people feel at home. . In the built environment, she is involved in sustainable and community design approaches. According to Yuwen, the more we cross boundaries to ask questions and learn from each other, the more innovation happens.
Today, Yuwen Peng joins us for friday five!
Making art is about going into play mode and not being afraid to make mistakes; I love drawing outside the lines and creating messy textures. It is liberating and liberating. Looking at art always reminds me not to take life too seriously and that it’s okay to make mistakes. Pictured is my own collage made with magazine pages and colored pencils on pizza box cardboard. Without anything specific in mind, just having fun and using my surroundings to explore space, shape, texture and drawing outside the lines. The process is liberating, allowing me to follow my mind in the moment and the overwhelming satisfaction of connecting my mind to the hands.
The faster my life gets, the more I try to slow down and find a place of calm and peace. To combat the hectic days, about five years ago I started practicing meditation. I love playing the Tibetan singing bowl (pictured) during meditation. It’s like a mental detox to give my mind a mini vacation. Once I ring the gong, it turns my mind from reactive self into a pause capsule. From time to time, I will reach the happiness of my inner strength. And the result is always a new, clearer solution or an untapped perspective.
I love the feeling of bowing to the earth and the state of flux. Nothing better than a good sweat to help me sleep, think, move and reset myself. As a child, my mother took me to yoga with her, but I lost the practice growing up. I got back into it after graduating from college; it’s been more than 20 rewarding years. Yoga gave me a reason for a better work/life balance. It forces me to be more efficient at work and finish on time for class, and it will often lead to dinner time with the family. There are so many social benefits of yoga beyond good exercise, like a spiritual connection, a deeper understanding of my own body, and a good night’s sleep! I try to practice 2-3 times a week.
4. Off-road desert
There’s a saying in the outdoor community, “bad roads lead to good tourists, and good roads lead to bad tourists.” When I venture off the beaten path, I see how the vastness of the desert contrasts so much with our smallness as human beings. It creates a pure connection between humans and nature. The bond is very powerful, tender and calm. Pictured is a trip on the Joshua Tree Geology OHV Tour Road where we were forced to go into the wilderness with no reception. There is an immediate escape from the everyday into a new reality. There is only the sound of nature and the rhythm of life. When you can drive and gently feel every bump in the road, you feel like you’re part of the earth. This is the biggest reset for me.
Growing up in my family’s department store in Taiwan, I was raised by a village of friends and neighbors. There was a feeling that everyone supported each other, no matter who we were. I learned a lot about respecting different points of view and running a family business. Since moving to the United States, I have continued the community spirit by hosting regular dinner parties at my house, where my family, friends and neighbors cook meals together from scratch. The slow cooking process, the appreciation of good food and good company is my definition of a good life. Some of our closest friends come from different countries and we travel to different places. We often cook cuisine to celebrate the places we have recently visited. Pictured is a meal from a Mexican friend who grew up in Texas. She played her grandmother, running us like a family assembly line of making salsa, grilling meat, heating tortillas to make TexMex chicken and bean soup.