Roland recalls that when he was 6 years old, he put together cardboard boxes in his front yard to create a play space for himself and his siblings. It was his earliest recollection of having an interest in and affinity for creating spaces. He lived in Makaha, Oahu, on a one-acre farm that his parents, who immigrated from Canton, China, ran while his father also worked full-time at Pearl Harbor as an electrician. In addition to that, he sold mail-order shoes on the side. “I believe my parent’s work ethic influenced my work ethic,” Roland says. He was seven years old when the family moved to Guam, because it provided hundreds of Hawaii residents the opportunity to work in civil service to support military bases—and receive full military benefits. The story of Roland’s professional development also continued to grow through his hard working, high achieving work ethic.
That overseas experience is behind why Roland treats every project like adventure that he always hopes will provide the same desire he had when he put together those cardboard boxes to create spaces to be in, although now it’s more complex. Roland has developed an expertise in putting documents together from the design through contract stage, and then carrying them through construction. But despite his focus and expertise in the more technical aspects of the profession, he has always been most passionate for design, where he believes architecture should be treated like art and poetry to elevate the experience of inhabiting space and place.
Our Perkins Eastman
Roland serves on the Perkins Eastman Project Management Committee, and is a champion for the mentorship program in the firm’s San Francisco studio and is active in the AIASF Mentorship Committee. Roland believes that emerging professionals who take advantage of the program are contributing greatly to the growth and strength of the firm. Additionally, he runs the architectural preparatory program for licensure at the AIASF. The classes are taught pro-bono by licensed architects and engineers from offices throughout the San Francisco Bay area.