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Alumni Conversations:
Michael K Chen

Wed, Feb 17    12pm

Craft, Collaboration, Civics
New York City-based architect Michael K. Chen will speak about serving communities through design. This event is co-presented by Columbia GSAPP and CAA Arts Access.

Michael K. Chen ‘01 M.Arch is a co-founder of Design Advocates and principal of Michael K. Chen Architecture (MKCA). Michael will present recent work by the group and his own firm’s civic-minded projects, and discusses the potential of citizen science, collaboration and craft and how these can serve both communities in need and the public good. Nash Taylor, GSAPP Class of 2022, will facilitate the conversation.

The GSAPP Alumni Conversations series is proudly sponsored by the GSAPP Alumni Board.


Michael is the co-founder of Design Advocates and principal of Michael K. Chen Architecture (MKCA) with offices based in New York City. He studied architecture at the University of California, Berkeley and at Columbia University, and now teaches design studios and seminars at Pratt Institute School of Architecture. Michael previously taught at UC Berkeley, Cornell, Columbia, and the Parsons School of Design. He is the recipient of grants for independent research from the Graham Foundation, Pratt Institute, Columbia University and the Van Alen Institute, and was the 2004 John Dinkeloo Fellow at the American Academy in Rome. The firm can be found on Instagram at @mkcarchitecture.

Design Advocates is a collaborative, nonprofit network of independent design firms and individuals who work together with small businesses and organizations in disadvantaged communities to adapt their spaces and operations to COVID-19, and beyond. The group was a spotlight honoree at the 2020 American Institute of Architects and Center for Architecture’s Common Bond Gala, where they were recognized for having “exemplified outstanding leadership in creating a more just and equitable future.”