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Celebrating AAPI Heritage Month at GSAPP

May 3, 2022
On the occasion of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, Columbia GSAPP is highlighting alumni from across its programs whose work spans multiple disciplines across the globe. Scroll down to learn more about the work of Aimee Chang ‘06 M.Arch, Minsuk Cho '92 M.Arch, Johnny Chiu '06 MSAAD, Johnny Din '14 MSRED, Daryl Ng '10 MSRED '01 CC, and Michelle Young '12 MSUP.
Aimee chang

Aimee Chang ‘06 M.Arch

Chang is a New York City-based director of finance and design at the family owned and operated Nine Suns Winery and Houyi Vineyard in Napa Valley. After 14 years in architecture, Chang directed the design and construction of Nine Suns’ new winery, brand identity, and packaging. Chosen to honor their ancestral heritage, Nine Suns is a well-known Chinese myth about an archer, representing the last name Chang. Legend goes that ten sunbirds took turns rising and setting in the sky each day. One day, rising all together, their combined heat scorched the land and destroyed crops. The archer, Houyi, was called to shoot down nine sunbirds, leaving one in the sky to restore balance to earth.

Chang is a licensed California architect and holds an MBA in Wine Business from Sonoma State University, an MArch from Columbia University, and a BA in Architecture from U.C. Berkeley. Currently pursuing a Master of Science degree at Pacific College in Chinese Medicine, she provides graphic design for Five Seasons TCM.

Learn more about Aimee’s work here and here.

Candy chang

Candy Chang ‘07 MSUP

Candy Chang is a Taiwanese-American artist whose work has been displayed at the Venice Architecture Biennale, Cooper-Hewitt Smithsonian National Design Museum, Ogden Museum of Southern Art, and the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Candy Chang is currently the 2022 Innovator-in-Residence at the American School in London. At GSAPP, Candy Chang published the thesis “Strategies for collective neighborhood communication: an examination of outdoor flyers and online forums.”

Here are some links to learn more about Candy Chang:

  • At the American School in London, Candy Chang presented the installation The Nightly News, which features a film-based playback of students’ handwritten descriptions of their dreams. Chang said about the project: “​Devoted to these intensely private yet universally recognizable symbols delivered to us each night by forces beyond our understanding, The Nightly News shows us that we’re all deeply weird creatures bound together by nerves, fantasy, and the unknown.”
  • Candy Chang collaborated with artist James A. Reeves on the public installation After the End at the Green-Wood Cemetery chapel in Brooklyn in 2021. Visitors were invited to write about experiences of loss, which were then collectively displayed on an illuminated altar.
  • Candy Chang spoke about her installation Before I die I want to … at a TEDGlobal conference in July 2012. The installation, sited in her New Orleans neighborhood, invited community members to answer the question “Before I die I want to ___” on an abandoned house-turned-chalkboard.
Johnny chiu

Johnny Chiu ‘06 MSAAD

Johnny Chiu, the founder of JC Architecture, is recognized for his fresh perspective and concept-driven work. He is the first Taiwanese designer to win WAF/INSIDE World Interior of the Year, his other accolades include five Taiwan Interior Design Gold Awards, and Red Dot: Best of the Best.

His provocative and unconventional design works have made him a key figure in defining design in Asia and he is often invited to the jury panel of esteem design competitions such as U.S. International Interior Design Award, New York Pratt Prax_IS award & super jury of World Festival of Interiors: INSIDE. In addition, he has given talks at many significant design events and universities, including Japan’s premier design event, DesignArt Tokyo.

His latest adventures include a train design for Taiwan Railway, Not Just Library, and Taipei Fine Arts Museum Store, and pursuing an Architecture PhD degree from Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology.

With Yenling Chen '03 MSAAD, Johnny founded OUT Travel Scholarship, promoting design exploration for Taiwanese students to see the world. He is also a longtime board member and current President of CAA Taipei.

Minsukcho h

Minsuk Cho ’92 M.Arch

Minsuk Cho was born in Seoul and graduated from the Architectural Engineering Department of Yonsei University in Seoul, Korea before attending GSAPP. In a GSAPP Conversations podcast, Minsuk Cho said about his time in the M.Arch program, “I looked back at my portfolio of six semesters worth of work and I was completely shocked at how each project has related to what I’ve been doing as a practicing architect. It’s really like a preview of my career.” He began his professional career working for Kolatan/MacDonald Studio and Polshek and Partners in New York, and later moved to the Netherlands to work for OMA. With partner James Slade ’92 M.Arch, he established Cho Slade Architecture in 1998 in New York City to work on projects across the U.S. and Korea.

In 2003, Cho founded the Seoul-based firm Mass Studies. The firm is “committed to the discourse of architecture through socio-cultural and urban research and mostly built works that have been recognized globally.” To note, the Daejeon University Dormitory (2018) was mentioned in the 5th edition of Kenneth Frampton’s Modern Architecture: A Critical History, as part of a newly added chapter on Korean Architecture. The firm is currently working on the power station-turned-art and culture venue Danginri Culture Space which Cho referred to as a ‘found fun palace’ in Korea JoonAng Daily. Additional in-progress projects, all selected through competitions, include Seoul Cinematheque, Yang-dong District Main Street, and Yeonhui Public Housing Complex. Recently completed projects include the Space K Seoul Museum of Art (2020) and Pace Gallery Seoul (2022). Active beyond his practice, Cho co-curated the 2011 Gwangju Design Biennale and was the commissioner and co-curator of the Korean Pavilion for the 14th International Architecture Exhibition - la Biennale di Venezia, which was awarded the Gold Lion for Best National Participation. Cho delivered a lecture at GSAPP on April 8, 2015, which was followed by a discussion among Cho and GSAPP faculty Eric Bunge and Amale Andraos.

Photo by Nina Ahn.

Johnnydin h

Johnny Din ‘14 MSRED

Johnny Din is the Chief Executive Officer at CYCAMORE, a real estate platform focused on creating spaces for artists, entrepreneurs, millennials, and global citizens. In an interview with New York Real Estate Journal, Din said the mission of CYCAMORE is “to bring affordability in a city that is not affordable and to solve New York City’s housing crisis.” The platform also collaborates with a local gallery to host an artist residency program. At GSAPP, Din was the MSRED Student Council President, a Pension Real Estate Association Scholar, a Wells Fargo GDS Scholar, a William Kinne Fellow, and a recipient of the Scholastic Performance Award. As an Adjunct Assistant Professor at GSAPP, Din most recently taught the real estate development elective “Financial Modeling Case Studies” during the Spring 2022 semester.

In 2020, Din was recognized by the New York Real Estate Journal as Executive of the Month and by Crain’s New York Business as a “Rising Star in Real Estate.” He is also the recipient of the 2020 Next Generation Award from Connect Media, which recognizes young leaders in the commercial real estate industry who are likely to be influential for years to come.

Daryl ng

Daryl Ng ‘10 MSRED '01 CC

Daryl Ng is the Executive Director of Sino Group, as well as director of several subsidiaries and associated companies of the company, and executive director and deputy chairman of Tsim Sha Tsui Properties Limited and Sino Hotels (Holdings) Limited.Established in the 1970s, Sino Group, is a leading property developer in Hong Kong with more than 250 projects with a total area over 130 million sq. ft. in its investment and development portfolio to date. Its core business encompasses the development of residential properties, offices, industrial and retail properties for sale and investment in China (Hong Kong and Mainland), Singapore and Australia. Sino Group holds 3 key values in its work: Green Innovative Design: respecting the relationship with nature and with one another to create environments that nurture sustainability and balance; Innovative Design: imagining possibilities, celebrate originality, function and craftsmanship to innovate and inspire; and Community Spirit: remembering our roles in society, build bonds and friendships with all around us while honouring our heritage, knowledge and identity.

Ng is an Honorary Fellow of The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and Hong Kong Metropolitan University. At Columbia University, he is a member of the Global Leadership Council. He is a Director of The Real Estate Developers Association of Hong Kong and a Director of The Community Chest of Hong Kong.

Learn more about Daryl Ng here and here.

Mansi sahu

Mansi Sahu ‘11 MSAUD

Mansi Sahu is the co-founder of Mumbai-based StudioPOD, a city planning, urban design, and architecture firm established in 2013. The firm specializes in large-scale mixed-use developments, community master plans, transit-oriented design, urban landscapes, and architecture. Mansi leads the sustainable urban design at StudioPOD in a diverse range of projects from retrofitting/redevelopment in existing cities, mixed-use urban areas, institutional campuses, waterfront developments, and eco-sensitive new developments.

Mansi’s focus lies in creating innovative, sustainable, community driven and dynamic urban places for people, while working extensively with the local communities, city governments, private developers, public agencies, and stakeholders. Mansi has a Master of Science in Architecture & Urban Design from Columbia University, in the city of New York, USA and a Bachelor of Architecture degree from Dr.D.Y.PatilCollege of Architecture, University of Mumbai, India.

StudioPOD most recently collaborated with the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) and Nucleus Office Parks to create One Green Mile, a one-mile stretch of street in Mumbai’s central business district and created safe pedestrian pathways and community spaces for residents. One Green Mile is recognized as one of the first public-private-partnership (PPP) upgrades in urban infrastructure in India. Learn more about Mansi’s important work on the project here.

Jennifer sun

Jennifer Sun ‘02 MSUP

Jennifer Sun is the Co-Executive Director at Asian Americans for Equality, a community development organization that advances racial, social and economic justice for Asian Americans and other systematically disadvantaged communities. Jennifer has spent more than a decade in New York City government advancing economic development and large-scale infrastructure projects in Upper Manhattan, the South Bronx and Southwest Brooklyn and most recently served as Executive Director of Sunset Park at the Economic Development Corporation, overseeing development of 6 million square feet of industrial property along the Brooklyn waterfront, including Brooklyn Army Terminal and Bush Terminal Industrial Park. For her urban planning thesis at GSAPP, Jennifer Sun wrote the thesis “Organizing for community preservation and development: A study of community planning in San Francisco Chinatown.”

Here are some links to learn more about Jennifer Sun:

  • In September 2021, Jennifer Sun was appointed by President Joe Biden as a member of the Community Development Advisory Board.
  • Jennifer Sun was named among New York’s Asian American leaders in City & State New York’s “2021 Power of Diversity: Asian 100.”
  • Asian Americans for Equality recently proposed a transitional housing project in Flushing, which was featured in the online publication QNS in January 2022. Sun is quoted in the article saying, “We want to provide temporary housing resources for families already living and working in the neighborhood and to stay while they’re getting their lives back together again. This is a benefit to small businesses and residents who will contribute to the local economy, and their children will benefit from staying in school.”
Michelleyoung h

Michelle Young ‘12 MSUP and New York/Paris Program participant

Michelle Young is a member of the GSAPP Alumni Board and Adjunct Assistant Professor of Architecture at Columbia GSAPP, founder of the online publication Untapped New York, and a former member of the GSAPP Incubator. At GSAPP, she published the thesis “Community-Based Approaches to the Implementation of the New York State Electronic Waste Recycling Law in New York City.” Young is the author of Secret Brooklyn: An Unusual Guide (Jonglez Publishing, 2017), Broadway (Arcadia Publishing, 2015), New York: Hidden Bars & Restaurants (Jonglez, 2015), and 100 Ways to Make History (New York Public Library), and appears regularly in documentaries and at conferences on urban issues. She has been featured on the History Channel’s The Engineering that Built the World, Netflix’s Stay Here, PBS’ 10 That Changed America, and Smithsonian Channel’s Secret Cities. She is also a board member of the Brooklyn Greenway Initiative.

In 2020, Madame Architect founder Julia Gamolina interviewed Young on the intersection of urbanism and journalism. In the article, Young said, “my mission is to share how people can see their city differently, understand it better, and ultimately become more active participants in how the city changes.” GSAPP recently collaborated with Michelle Young in 2021 to release podcasts on architectural and historic highlights of Columbia University and surrounding New York City neighborhoods. Listen to Episode 1: Untapped New York Explores Morningside Heights and Episode 2: Untapped New York Explores Upper Manhattan.