“Every building must have its own soul”—Louis Kahn.
Giaa believes that great architecture is like a living being, with its soul inspiring people and places around it with memorable moments, personal experience, and spatial connections. She believes that the more deeply architects can understand each project as a set of complex layers, they can uncover its true mission that lies beyond its immediate purpose. Finding that underlying story requires a rigorous process, collective teamwork, and sincere inquiry.
Giaa grew up in Seoul, Korea, witnessing the dynamic urban development and cityscape all around her. Her deep interest in traditional architecture helps her to understand a clear order, complex layers, spatial quality, and abstract beauty. Since 2003, Giaa has worked on many different types and scales of projects, including cultural, civic, commercial, higher education, senior living, high-rise, large-scale, and mixed-use projects.
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Giaa is active in the firm’s Pin-Up Committee, creating an environment with an open dialogue about what we do and how we do it. The committee offers colleagues an opportunity to get connected, share work, and learn from each other. It’s also a venue for junior staff and those who are not as vocal as others to present their work.
Giaa also serves as a mentor to junior staff, encouraging them to take ownership of their projects, freely share their ideas, and openly discuss how to make the project better.