Room 310, Building C, CAUP, Tongji Univ.

Research Fields

  • Preservation and adaptive reuse of Historical Architecture Heritage, History of Interior Design

Research Profile

  • advanced interior architect, director of China Institute of Interior Design(CIID), executive editor of. Work as column host for ID+C over 12 years, almost 60 papers had been delivered in architectural and interior magazines. 2002-2004 studied in T.U. Berlin as a PHD candidate supported by DAAD. Monographs like "Preservation and Rehabilitation of Industrial Heritage in Berlin", "The Death and Life of Shanghai Alley Factories" (Coauthor), "A Century of Interior Design(1850-1950)" etc. Now in charge of the research program "Evaluation system and methods on preservation of interior features of historical buildings based on identification and protection of  character-defining elements" supported by NSFC(Natural Science Foundation of China 2013-2016

Current Courses

  • Chinese traditional furniture and its culture (Selected course for undergraduate students)

  • Design strategy on reuse of historical buildings) (Selected course for undergraduate students)

  • Critical history of Interior design (1850-1950) (Selected course for graduate students)

  • Tea culture design (for graduate students)

  • Graduation design (for undergraduate students)

Grands and Awards

  1. excellent advisor in "interior design 6 + 1" 2013 (the first time ) which was initiated and organized by CIID to joint university and enterprise together for graduation design.

  2. excellent advisor of the 11th China environment design prize for graduation design in 2013

  3. "Wen Xue Tang" in Tongji main library won the bronze prize of 2013 China Interior Design Competition.

  4. As the first author, the thesis of "Islamic Tomb Building VS Industrial Heritage-Reconstruction of Multicultural landscape on Luling Temple in Xixiang, Shaanxi province" won the first prize of the fifth Chinese excellent research paper competition in architectural field.

  5. The thesis "Preservation and Revitalization of 'Little White Building' at Woosung Naval Port of Shanghai" was awarded to be "Excellent paper for Chinese architecture" issued by Architectural Society of China

  6. The monograph "A century of interior design(1850-1950)" was awarded a prize of excellent book 2011 for China interior design

  7. The project "restoration and reuse of the former head office of China Merchants Steam Navigation" was awarded the second prize of Shanghai excellent Engineering project  in 2007


  1. Zuo Yan. Preservation and revitalization of industrial heritage in Berlin, Germany. Southeast University Press, 2007

  2. Zuo Yan. A century of interior design (1850-1950). China Architect and Building Press, 2010

  3. Zuo Yan, An Yanqing. The death and life of Shanghai alley factories. Shanghai Science and Technology Press, 2012