ON CITIES AND CREATIVITY: A CONVERSATION
Olga Garay-English | Steven D. Lavine | Kelley Lindquist | Eui-sung Yi
Eui-Sung Yi is currently Design Principal at Morphosis Architects and Director of The Now Institute at UCLA’s Department of Architecture and Urban Design. He received his Bachelor of Architecture at Cornell University and his Master of Architecture at Harvard University.
Yi has been involved with academia and scholarship for over fifteen years in Asia and the U.S. His current position of Director with The Now Institute is a 10 year culmination of research initiatives and speculations with Thom Mayne on emerging urban issues confronting major metropolises and disaster-stricken cities.
Yi has co-taught extensively in UCLA with Thom Mayne on urban research projects that ranged from Los Angeles to Madrid. During this time, certain theories of urbanism, including Rowe’s urban narrative, the strategic role of policy and infrastructure and cultural issues as the determinant of the urban condition have continuously engaged his practice and values. Significantly, his team received an unprecedented P/A Award grand prize for LA Now: Vol. 3. His discourse on urbanism continued during his term in Asia where speculations on the most dynamic and unorthodox urban conditions are being created. The recognition and analysis of global cities through a series of new lenses define the future trajectory of his current scholarship.
Yi has maintained diverse academic relationship with other institutions. He is an adjunct associate professor at USC School of Architecture where he served as the Director of the Master of Architecture programs from 2007 – 2010. In Asia, he served as instructor at Inha University where he led the first Korean-Chinese architecture student exchange program with Dalian Technical University. He has also led several collaborations with Tsinghua University and Tongji University in China.
Professionally, Yi has worked extensively in Asia and the US. His 20-year history with Morphosis began in 1992. From 1994-1997, he co-managed the Korean office of Morphosis, where his team oversaw the design and construction of the Sun Tower, first high-rise office to be built in the country. He has won several competitions and wrote the report that advocated for the GSA to adopt sustainable green policies for all future projects. This landmark report paved the way for the conception and realization of the San Francisco Federal Building.
Most recently, he was the Vice President of Design at Chang-jo Architects in Korea. During this period, Yi oversaw the completion of his competition winning Korean Embassy in Tokyo, Japan and the Korean Consulate in Guangzhou, China.
Additionally, Yi has been an AIA National Speaker on Urban Design (Los Angeles) and Sustainability (San Antonio) for two National Conventions. Presently, he serves as an Executive Committee member of Docomomo International, in charge of the 2014 International Conference in Seoul, Korea.
The issue of urbanism continues to thread and anchor all scholarship throughout Yi’s parallel academic and professional pursuits.