Su Hong Chen

What’s your favorite work of architecture in the world?

It’s hard to pick a favorite, but I will say I am a big fan of Tado Ando and Steven Holl’s work. The emotion they’re able to imbue in their work is poetic, akin to that found listening to a great piece of music or our fondest memory of being in nature.

What’s your favorite movie?

Gattaca – not because of the gene predetermination, that part is unsettling, but what Ethan Hawke’s character represented: unrelenting determination to overcome, and a refusal to let society define who you are. I am an idealist and believe that we all can define ourselves through our hard work, determination, and strength.

What’s your favorite book?

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith. Imagine an immigrant girl growing up in Brooklyn, reading this, and becoming transfixed with the protagonist and her family’s ability to thrive through adversity (and the beautiful symbolism of the tree). This book left a big impression on a younger me.

What are your passions outside of work?

Food is my number one but long runs in the park, hiking, and camping are near the top of the list. The ethereal moments that occur when out adventuring are indescribable and addictive, and we’re lucky enough to live in the Bay Area where the abundance of natural diversity is a constant joy.

If you weren’t an architect, what would you be?

I’d combine a few interests/passions: I would be a psychologist, devoted to the arts, with an urban farm to keep me busy.

Why did you choose to live where you do?

I chose to live in the Inner Richmond district of San Francisco, it’s the ideal quiet pace for myself and my college sweetheart. Golden Gate park as our vast backyard, quick hop up to Mt. Tam for our weekend hikes and adventures and close Clement Street for all my ethnic comfort food cravings.

 

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