As Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month comes to a close, Ennead reflects on the impact and value of AAPI culture across our studio in both New York and Shanghai and with our clients and collaborators, and recognizes the many contributions this diverse community has made to the profession of architecture.
“Contemporary culture is finally catching up to the experience of immigrant communities and recognizing the value of looking at the world differently. Growing up Chinese American in the Midwest gave me a particular lens of the rich collage that results from being bi-cultural, which of course I bring as much as possible to my work. The world was never binary for me, it was always multi-layered – a mindset that allows me to identify more with other points of view and I think, makes for greater awareness and empathy in design. As a leader of this firm, it’s important to me to lift up the AAPI community and encourage new generations of leadership.”
Tom Wong, AIA, Partner
“The AAPI experience in America is manifold. For me, it is tied to being an immigrant and a South Asian woman. I like to think this contributes an added perspective to my work as an architect: one that takes the view of an outsider and challenges assumptions regarding cultural norms. For our projects to truly serve all users, we need to see outside of established narratives and embrace plurality. As we celebrate AAPI history month, let’s recognize the unique experiences and perspectives Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders bring to this work.”
Shalini Abeyaratne, AIA, Senior Associate
Learn more about the history of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month here. Read about world renowned figures like I.M. Pei, and about visionary architects who you may not know like Helen Liu Fong, and of the forgotten history of Japanese-American designers’ World War II internment. Listen to the roundtable discussion “Asian American Architecture: Mapping the Field and Its Futures,” led by the Asian American & Diasporic Architectural History Affiliate Group and visit the exhibition on South Asian architecture and decolonization currently on view at the Museum of Modern Art.
Ennead supports advocacy for the AAPI community and is proud to donate to Heart of Dinner, which provides NYC’s Asian elders with food and friendship, and to the AAPI Civic Engagement Fund.