Originally from Beijing, China, Xiaolan's design interests merge old and new, global and local. Her background includes a degree in Preservation Engineering of Historic Buildings at Beijing University of Civil Engineering and Architecture and experience at Studio 3A7 of the Beijing Institute of Architectural Design (BIAD). Xiaolan's Master's thesis, “An Architecture Approach Improving The Living Situation of The Urban Population in Hong Kong,” explores a water-centric redevelopment approach to traditional residential forms. At Tulane, she contributed to the Hotel Hope design build team through the Small Center for Collaborative Design.
Xiaolan has travelled to over 30 countries, and her international perspective contributes to Waggonner & Ball's "Know Where You Are" approach at all scales of architectural and environmental design.