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"Our design contains several religious metaphors, like walking on water," says designers Jimmy Li and Susan Lin

Designers Jimmy LI and Susan Lin delve into the metaphorical meaning behind their unconventional Notre-Dame design.

Jimmy Li & Susan Lin

Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I'm Jimmy Li, based in Los Angeles, with my own practice, as Creative Executive in Jimmy Radio Design.

I graduate from UCLA in 2015, with a Master of Architecture, tutored in Greg Lynn Studio. Then I worked in Perkins+Will and Gensler in total for four years, currently I'm a Project Designer with IBI Group.

I'm very interested in applications of advanced technology on architecture, such as robotic fabrication, composite material, digital working flow and dynamic structure. I believe that the beauty of architecture lies in graceful structure, which could be read as wonderful diagram of forces, composed by materials full of nature power.

I'm Susan Lin, base in Los Angeles as well, as a Concept Designer. I specialize in Theme Park Design and Entertainment Design for Movies & Games.

I'm attending Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, majoring in Entertainment Design. Currently, I'm in gap year and working in RhetroActive in Beverly Hills. I work as a concept designer in collaboration with some awesome clients like Ubi Games and Discovery Channel.

My passion is realizing people's wildest dream with my imagination. Hopefully, I might have my own voice in Hollywood, one day.

What inspired you to enter the Notre-Dame design competition?

We were astonished by the fire at Notre Dame, so we decide to do something. When the competition was announced, we said that's it.

When time goes by, we should rethink what a metropolitan landmark means to us. Should it be like what it was, or give us some more inspired things for today? So we have an alternative way to rebuild it, instead of kinda making it up as before. This competition offered us an opportunity to bring this idea into reality.

How does your design celebrate the past and future of Notre-Dame?

Inspired by Bible stories, we should be faithful, like believing we could walk on water as long as we trust God.

In recent years, Paris as a city, has gone through difficult times, as we have all read on news. The fire on Notre Dame this year, indeed makes it worse. Though, we still need to be faithful on the future, with the belief that Paris would be splendid forever as it has been in last 900 years.

Our design contains several religious metaphors, with a Noah Ark form reference, offers people a view facing the metropolitan, to be grateful at what we've got and to be faithful to what's waiting for us.

The design puts a pool on top of Notre Dame, with a walk on water. It's accessible from bell towers and ending with a raising-round-marble-altar. A lower Eden garden with trees is also on top of Notre Dame, but lower than the pool. People can access to it through a ramp. The design is like the Noah's Ark from Street view, sailing on the Seine. The design's experience keeps us faithful and peaceful over all the authority and splendid.

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