About Us

Our work strives to enhance our sense of surroundings, identity and relationship to others and the physical spaces we inhabit, whether feral or human-made.

Selected Awards
  • 2004 — Aga Khan Award for Architecture
  • 2009 — Mies van der Rohe Award
  • 2013 — AIA/ALA Library Building Award
  • 2015 — Best Interior, Designers Saturday
  • 2016 — AIA New York Honor Award

Pleasure or Fetish: Dating as a White-Passing Hapa. It’s a term that each and every Asian United states understands.

Pleasure or Fetish: Dating as a White-Passing Hapa. It’s a term that each and every Asian United states understands.

Yellow fever. In the event we’ve never ever practiced they our selves, we more often than not understand somebody who has, and may conveniently envision the kind of person that this label was directed toward: Some white chap with a katana and/or papers scroll on his wall surface, which wants to flaunt what little Chinese/Japanese/Korean he understands, who is enthusiastic about anime and/or kung-fu flicks, and just who just ever before dates Asian women. To put it differently, we imagine a truly disgusting, racist pervert. But what easily said your white guy involved is Hapa? Imagine if the reason why he’s constantly trying to need Korean is because he wanted to training the code their Asian mother never ever educated him? What if the key reason why he’s usually planning Asian social activities, online dating Asian women, and obsessing over Asian record is because he’s seeking a residential district the guy never ever had expanding up? Could you still contact your a racist pervert? Would you still state he has got yellow-fever?

The reason I inquire these questions is mainly because, despite getting Chinese to my father’s area, we spent my youth fairly whitewashed.

We did little activities in my own household, like say grace in Cantonese, and celebrate the Lunar New Year, but, overall, I happened to be about the more white-looking and white-acting chap in the world. My father never ever bothered to train myself china or records. He performedn’t struck myself, requirements that I have great grades, or create all things that Asian dads were stereotypically “supposed” accomplish. And while I’m individually glad he didn’t, I was remaining feelings like a fake Chinese because of this. Not just did I perhaps not see Asian, but nothing about my upbringing or house existence was actually Asian either. Very subsequently, ended up being I absolutely Asian? Some other Asian children certainly performedn’t think so. They honestly doubted my background, and managed me coldly when I tried to join numerous Asian college student organizations in high-school. Whether or not they never stated it out loud, the perplexed and, sometimes, outright hostile looks they provided me with made it clear that they didn’t believe we belonged there. It hurt. They harm significantly more than I’m able to probably say. Thus, used to do every thing i really could adjust her heads, to prove that I happened to be Chinese. We began finding out Mandarin, in fact spending several summertimes in China immersing my self inside words and customs. We trained myself personally Chinese history. I joined up with different Chinese social societies and establishments, such as for instance NYU’s Asia House, and GCC (Global Asia Connection). And, yes, I began online dating Chinese girls.

Now, in order to become obvious, I didn’t exclusively time Chinese people. I did so periodically go out with Black and white girls also, but I’d become lying to me, and you also mostly, if I made an effort to point out that a lot of the females We outdated in university weren’t Chinese. I mean, it just happened plenty that first question my friends and family members would ask myself once I told them I found myself witnessing a lady got, “So where in Asia try she from?” That surely claims one thing. Understandably, plenty of people implicated me of experiencing yellow-fever. We naturally got very defensive if they performed, and developed several responses. How can I have yellow fever if I’m Asian too? Yes, girls I date have the same back ground, but that doesn’t mean that i believe of these once the same. What’s wrong with me reclaiming my personal heritage? is not that exactly what forest temperature, I’m by with light ladies, snowfall Falling On Cedars, and all others films that shame folks of tone for internet dating outside their particular competition were arguing, that we must respect our root and stick to our very own type?

As times continued, but my personal views started initially to move. Who had been we to force my insecurities and desire to have recognition onto these girls? I wasn’t eroticizing their particular “otherness” in the manner that dudes with yellow-fever carry out, but I happened to be still diminishing their particular personhood and individuality by valuing them due to their ethnicity. I happened to be simply with them in order to render me feel more Chinese, and that’s positively harmful also. So I ceased knowingly seeking out Chinese people. Yet, despite the fact that truth, the girls we finished up matchmaking after college or university mainly had a tendency to become Chinese. The fact is, I experienced a kind OurTime how does work. Certain kinds of girls happened to be merely more attractive if you ask me than the others, in the same way that somebody might like particular locks tones or human anatomy type, but I however thought embarrassed. I nevertheless felt like a terrible person if you are attracted to certain lady. That’s while I noticed it wasn’t my personal duty to worry about what other group looked at my matchmaking behaviors.

Because people will believe in binaries, Hapa men and women are frequently compelled to “choose” a side, and are usually hence strained

using expectations forced on particular teams. By virtue of looking the way in which I do, I became defined as “white,” and is hence given the rights and stigmas that accompany that personality. Equivalent is true of Hapa those who look Asian, and are usually thus classified therefore by public. They’re compelled to manage most of the junk society thinks are Asian should involve. It’s perhaps not reasonable, or right, while we wish to establish a comprehensive industry, we must changes how exactly we go over identification and connections. For that matter, we need to alter how we go over appeal and attractiveness. The entertainment and marketing sectors want to end supporting white because default standard of charm. That will level the participating field, and not set certain teams, like Ebony ladies and Asian men, sense devalued. It’ll additionally reduce steadily the range battle and ethnic fetishes, which can be built around the “novelty” to be with anybody “different,” since everyone else will be considered similarly attractive. In addition, we need to quit shaming people for internet dating outside their very own battle. It’s no one’s obligations to “maintain the bloodline,” or “secure the purity of their party,” or any junk that way. Folk should always be allowed to like whomever they desire, and, first and foremost, we must worry the significance of individuality. Hapa young ones, as well as girls and boys, irrespective of their race, is allowed to stay and function nevertheless they therefore craving. No-one should tell them, that is who you are, so this is the person you need to be. Go from myself, hearing that may push you into some peculiar places. Places for which you wind up getting anything there is a constant desired to getting.