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DORIS SUNG, Assoc. AIA

Assistant Professor, USC School of Architecture

Founder & Principal, dO|Su Studio Architecture
M.Arch. Columbia University, B.A. Princeton University

  • When did you first realize you wanted to become an architect?
    The moment I decided NOT to go to medical school, was the moment I decided to become an architect. I think I was in denial for many years.
  • Who has inspired you and/or influenced your career the most? And how?
    Many of my ideals and goals were set in graduate school, fueled by close relationships with my peers. Since then, the target has been changing and moving, but the standard was established early. To this very day, I rely heavily on my female colleagues. Without them, I would not be where I am.
  • What are your recommendations for increasing diversity in the workplace and within the design process particularly?
    No one should be made to feel that they need to conform to traditional labels or roles. Somehow, we need to make the system more flexible and progressive. How about a new type of rating system?
  • As a woman, what are your thoughts on the Los Angeles region as a place to work?
    It's a great place to work. There are so many exciting things happening in L.A. I just wish they were closer together. Maybe someday with self-driving vehicles it will be the showcase city instead of the city with a terrible mass transit system. Then distance would be truly meaningless.

About Doris Sung, Assoc. AIA:

After receiving her B.A. at Princeton University and M.Arch. at Columbia University, Doris Sung worked in various offices in cities across the U.S. before arriving in Los Angeles in 2001.  She developed her research focus while teaching at University of Southern California (USC), the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc), University of Colorado and the Catholic University of America.  In 1999, she opened her office, dO|Su Studio Architecture, and soon received many AIA and ASID awards for her work, including the prestigious accolades of AIA Young-Designer-of-the-Year, ACSA Faculty Design Award, R+D Honorable Mention from Architect Magazine and [next idea] award from ARS Electronica.  Currently, she is working on developing smart thermobimetals and other shape-memory alloys,  unfamiliar materials to architecture, as new materials for the "third" skin (the first is human flesh, the second clothing and the third architecture).  Its ability to curl when heated allows the building skin to respond for purposes of sun-shading, self-ventilating, shape-changing and structure-prestressing.  Her work has been funded by the national AIA Upjohn Initiative, Arnold W. Brunner Grant, Graham Foundation Grant, Architectural Guild Award and USC ASHSS and URAP Awards.  Her TEDxUSC is will available online.

Last updated: 29-Jan-2015 02:20 PM
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