This series is about everyday people making every day count. We caught up with
Architect, distance runner, and full-stack maker, Joseph Ng. Based in Shanghai, he
gives us his take on keeping up with a creative pace in Shanghai in the bustling city.
What do you do?
I am a designer, maker and architect. Also constantly curious.
What’s a day in your life like?
Coffee and on the move. A tad too much phone staring.
As an avid runner, what keeps you motivated?
Realising that as you get older it doesn't get easier so you might as well aim to go faster. It also helps when you have the support of the global run crew family. In Shanghai I roll with the @DarkRunners (Shout out to Chair!) and in Hong Kong I roll with the @HarbourRunners (which I'm a co-founder of). It's really bigger than just running. It's really doing it #fortheculture and inspiring the community around you.
What’s the transit scene like in Shanghai? How do you get around?
Subway is solid but city share bikes like Mobike is where it's at. It's a game changer for a relatively flat city like Shanghai. You can usually reach a destination just as fast as public transport. You get a quick workout and get to see the city at the same time! That said, always check that the brakes work first before unlocking one.
What’s always in your bag?
- A bike light (always be safe!)
- A zip lock bag (emergency waterproof)
- A light windbreaker (never underestimate A/C in shopping malls and subways)
- An external battery (because the phone is life nowadays)
- A notebook and pen (keeping it old school with ideas and sketches on paper)
Any secret spots to share?
Not really a secret per say, but my neighbourhood cafe Chez Black on Tai An Road. First off, they serve good coffee. The baristas there are chill and the owners Paul and Nicole are good people (shout out to Pepe the dog!). Just good vibes around at the cafe all the time. Sometimes it feels like I'm in a sitcom when I'm there.
As for running in Shanghai, the local municipal government has worked really hard in the last 5 years to make the Huangpu river front fully accessible to the public. Now there is more than 20km of fully connected running paths on either side of the river (with toilets, vending machines and water stations). I prefer to go run on the East side where there is usually less people. It's where I can go and clock in some long miles on a weekend stress free.
What’s your idea of a day well spent?
Coffee first. Then spending a day without looking at a phone, trail running all morning on a crisp fall day with some close friends (bouncing around ideas and scheming on the next project) and then hitting the sauna to relax the muscles and the mind. Followed by good hearty hot pot / dim sum meal with friends.
You can follow Joseph at
Want to know more about Joseph's bag?
Head on here for the Daily Backpack.