Sheng-Yuan Huang – Episode 57

On the programme this week we’re joined by Sheng-Yuan Huang founder of Fieldoffice Architects.

Sheng-Yuan Huang. Image courtesy of the practice.

Sheng-Yuan was born in Taipai and initially studied architecture at Tunghai University in Taichung – Taiwan’s second city – where he graduated in 1986.

Taiwan – officially the Republic of China – was governed under Martial Law until 1987, which marked the start of a transition to more democratic freedoms. It was perhaps this early desire for greater freedom which led him in 1989 to the United States, where he later gained his Masters Degree in Architecture at Yale.

He subsequently stayed on in the States and worked for Eric Owen Moss Architects in Los Angeles and then taught at North Carolina State University, before returning to Taiwan in 1993, having failed to find the freedom he was looking for.

Sheng-Yuan founded Fieldoffice Architects in 1994 in Yilan, a rural town in North East Taiwan, where the practice has pursued mainly community driven projects.

Indeed, the vast majority of the practice’s work is extremely local – with virtually all projects taking place within a 30 minute drive of the studio. Despite this Sheng-Yuan’s world has been widely exhibited internationally – including at the 2018 Venice Biennale with the exhibition ‘ Living with Sky, Water and Mountain: Making Places in Yilan.

My colleague Andre Holmqvist visited Taiwan in February this year with support from a British Council grant. You can find Andre’s write-up in the Views Pages off the LFA website.

Last month I spoke to Professor Sheng-Yuan Huang down the line from the practice’s offices in rural Yilan.